The 4 Labour Codes were supposed to bring a paradigm shift in industrial relations, thereby opening up the country to manufacturing at a global scale. However, they have been a let-down. Not only are they for the most part a mere cut and paste job (whereby 29 central labour laws have been consolidated into 4 Codes), but even that has been poorly executed, with the result that both employers and unions are unhappy.
This article seeks to examine the introduction of the concept of “fixed term employment” under the Industrial Relations Code, 2020 which has been promoted as enablingemployers to hire and fire at will. Of course, any attempt at introducing a hire and fire policy was always going to be difficult to pass through the unions. However, what has been proposed ought even to be unacceptable to employers. In any case, for the reasons explained in this article, it would be useless to them.
To consider the concept of “fixed term employment”, I will compare the definition of “retrenchment” as it presently exists under the Industrial...