Retrenchment of Workmen - Section 25F of Industrial Dispute Act, 1947 - Conditions Precedent to Retrenchment

Private organizations are retrenching employees by citing one or other reason. At the time of retrenchment, most of the organizations are not bothered about giving complete benefits to the employee. It is not possible to an unemployed person to fight legal battle for long years. So employees are the ultimate loser in a labour dispute. Since the employees will lose their reputation and career, they are silently leaving the organization and searching for another job. Only in big organizations where active union works the collective bargaining may give result. Industrial Dispute Act, 1947 contains the following provisions related to retrenchment of Employees.


Section 25G of Industrial Dispute Act, 1947
As per Section 25G no workman employed in any industry who has been in continuous service for not less than one year under an employer shall be retrenched by that employer until -
(a)     the workman has been given one month's notice in writing indicating the reasons for retrenchment and the period of notice has expired, or the workman has been paid in lieu of such notice, wages for the period of the notice;
(b)     the workman has been paid, at the time of retrenchment, compensation which shall be equivalent to fifteen days' average pay for every completed year of continuous service or any part thereof in excess of six months; and
(c)    notice in the prescribed manner is served on the appropriate Government or such authority as may be specified by the appropriate Government by notification in the Official Gazette.


Sixty days' notice of intention to close down any undertaking - Section 25FFA of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947
As per Section 25FFA(1) an employer who intends to close down an undertaking shall serve, at least sixty days before the date on which the intended closure is to become effective, a notice, in the prescribed manner, on the appropriate Government stating clearly the reasons for the intended closure of the undertaking :
Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to -
(a) an undertaking in which -
(i) less than fifty workmen are employed, or
(ii) less than fifty workmen were employed on an average per working day in the preceding twelve months,
(b) an undertaking set up for the construction of buildings, bridges, roads, canals, dams or for other construction work or project.


(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), the appropriate Government may, if it is satisfied that owing to such exceptional circumstances as accident in the undertaking or death of the employer or the like it is necessary so to do, by order, direct that provisions of sub-section (1) shall not apply in relation to such undertaking for such period as may be specified in the order.


Compensation to workmen in case of closing down of undertakings - Section 25FFF of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947
As per Section 25FFF (1) Where an under taking is closed down for any reason whatsoever, every workman who has been in continuous service for not less than one year in that undertaking immediately before such closure shall, subject to the provisions of sub-section (2), be entitled to notice and compensation in accordance with the provisions of section 25F, as if the workman had been retrenched:


Provided that where the undertaking is closed down on account of unavoidable circumstances beyond the control of the employer, the compensation to be paid to the workman under clause (b) of section 25F shall not exceed his average pay for three months.


Explanation : An undertaking which is closed down by reason merely of - (i) financial difficulties (including financial losses); or
(ii) accumulation of undisposed of stocks; or
(iii) the expiry of the period of the lease or licence granted to it; or


(iv) in a case where the undertaking is engaged in mining operations, exhaustion of the minerals in the area in which such operations are carried on; shall not be deemed to be closed down on account of unavoidable circumstances beyond the control of the employer within the meaning of the proviso to this sub-section.


(1A) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where an undertaking engaged in mining operations is closed down by reason merely of exhaustion of the minerals in the area in which such operations are carried on, no workman referred to in that sub-section shall be entitled to any notice or compensation in accordance with the provisions of section 25F, if - (a) the employer provides the workman with alternative employment with effect from the date of closure at the same remuneration as he was entitled to receive, and on the same terms and conditions of service as were applicable to him, immediately before the closure;


(b)    the service of the workman has not been interrupted by such alternative employment; and


(c)     the employer is, under the terms of such alternative employment or otherwise, legally liable to pay to the workman, in the event of his retrenchment, compensation on the basis that his service has been continuous and has not been interrupted by such alternative employment.


(1B) For the purposes of sub-sections (1) and (1A), the expressions "minerals" and "mining operations" shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in clauses (a) and (d) of section 3 of the Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act, 1957 (67 of 1957).


(2)     Where any undertaking set up for the construction of buildings, bridges, roads, canals, dams or other construction work is closed down on account of the completion of the work within two years from the date on which the undertaking had been set up, no workman employed therein shall be entitled to any compensation under clause (b) of section 25F, but if the construction work is not so completed within two years, he shall be entitled to notice and compensation under that section for every completed year of continuous service or any part thereof in excess of six months.


Procedure for Retrenchment - Section 25G of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947
As per Section 25G where any workman in an industrial establishment, who is a citizen of India, is to be retrenched and he belongs to a particular category of workmen in that establishment, in the absence of any agreement between the employer and the workman in this behalf, the employer shall ordinarily retrench the workman who was the last person to be employed in that category, unless for reasons to be recorded the employer retrenches any other workman.
Re-Employment of Retrenched Workmen - Section 25H of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.


As per Section 25H where any workmen are retrenched, and the employer proposes to take into his employment any persons, he shall, in such manner as may be prescribed, give an opportunity to the retrenched workmen who are citizens of India to offer themselves for re-employment, and such retrenched workmen who offer themselves for re-employment shall have preference over other persons.


Conditions Precedent to Retrenchment of Workmen - Section 25N of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947
As per Section 25N (1) no workman employed in any industrial establishment to which this Chapter applies, who has been in continuous service for not less than one year under an employer shall be retrenched by that employer until, -


(a) the workman has been given three months' notice in writing indicating the reasons for retrenchment and the period of notice has expired, or the workman has been paid in lieu of such notice, wages for the period of the notice; and


(b) the prior permission of the appropriate Government or such authority as may be specified by that Government by notification in the Official Gazette (hereafter in this section referred to as the specified authority) has been obtained on an application made in this behalf.


(2) An application for permission under sub-section (1) shall be made by the employer in the prescribed manner stating clearly the reasons for the intended retrenchment and a copy of such application shall also be served simultaneously on the workmen concerned in the prescribed manner.


(3) Where an application for permission under sub-section (1) has been made, the appropriate Government or the specified authority, after making such enquiry as it thinks fit and after giving a reasonable opportunity of being heard to the employer, the workmen concerned and the persons interested in such retrenchment, may, having regard to the genuineness and adequacy of the reasons stated by the employer, the interests of the workmen and all other relevant factors, by order and for reasons to be recorded in writing, grant or refuse to grant such permission and a copy of such order shall be communicated to the employer and the workmen.


(4) Where an application for permission has been made under sub-section (1) and the appropriate Government or the specified authority does not communicate the order granting or refusing to grant permission to the employer within a period of sixty days from the date on which such application is made, the permission applied for shall be deemed to have been granted on the expiration of the said period of sixty days.


(5) An order of the appropriate Government or the specified authority granting or refusing to grant permission shall, subject to the provisions of sub-section (6), be final and binding on all the parties concerned and shall remain in force for one year from the date of such order.


(6) The appropriate Government or the specified authority may, either on its own motion or on the application made by the employer or any workman, review its order granting or refusing to grant permission under sub-section (3) or refer the matter or, as the case may be, cause it to be referred, to a Tribunal for adjudication:
Provided that where a reference has been made to a Tribunal under this sub-section, it shall pass an award within a period of thirty days from the date of such reference.


(7) Where no application for permission under sub-section (1) is made, or where the permission for any retrenchment has been refused, such retrenchment shall be deemed to be illegal from the date on which the notice of retrenchment was given to the workman and the workman shall be entitled to all the benefits under any law for the time being in force as if no notice had been given to him.
(8) Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing provisions of this section, the appropriate Government may, if it is satisfied that owing to such exceptional circumstances as accident in the establishment or death of the employer or the like, it is necessary so to do, by order, direct that the provisions of sub-section (1) shall not apply in relation to such establishment for such period as may be specified in the order.


(9) Where permission for retrenchment has been granted under sub-section (3) or where permission for retrenchment is deemed to be granted under sub-section (4), every workman who is employed in that establishment immediately before the date of application for permission under this section shall be entitled to receive, at the time of retrenchment, compensation which shall be equivalent to fifteen days' average pay for every completed year of continuous service or any part thereof in excess of six months.

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