Article (February-2020)


Balancing the rights & duties

Anil Kaushik

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As the year 2019 has gone by leaving certain impacts on industry and employer- employee relationship through judicial pronouncements, one of the most discussed judgments of Supreme Court has been of provident fund applicability on certain allowances treating them as part of basic wage. This decision while on one side has set to rest a long drawn controversy on the point, other side; employers are left with no clarity on past recoveries indicating huge financial implications.

Judiciary has consistently appeared to have taken sexual harassment issues at workplace very seriously. Year by year judicial pronouncements have helped clear the doubts about IC, its inquiry procedure and its findings' importance. Madras HC has decided that in case of dismissal on the basis of IC enquiry findings, no prior approval is required under provisions of I.D. Act. This is a big shift where IC findings have been placed almost on equal footing of a tribunal. Loss of confidence of employee in employer due to misconduct has also been established a point where no reinstatement would be granted. In respect of engagement of contract labour also courts have clearly defined the parameters of employer-employee relationship, without establishing that, contract labour cannot get any relief against principal employer.

There appears to be consistency in judicial though process that while industry should be reasonably free to manage their people affairs, employees’ legal rights are also not allowed to be taken away.

This edition is annual compilation of all important labour judgments delivered and published in various journals during last year. Our team works throughout the year for this edition. It is all about going through all the judgments published whether offline or online, selecting them, assessing their relevancy and importance for our readers and then putting their central idea in one/few lines to prepare this special issue. It carries around 800 judgments of Supreme Court and various high courts.

Apart from this, edition also carry a special feature on HR Focus-2020, about which experts have attempted to figure out certain areas  on which HR fraternity will be working around should focus in coming year.

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