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‘Workers have power to convert sick unit into a profit-making one’ – Girish Patwardhan

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Indore : “Nowadays managing workers in a company has become very sensitive issue and the workers have power to convert a sick unit into profit-making and a profit-making unit into a sick unit. Listening to their grievances and problems patiently and taking them to a win-win situation is a challenge for every welfare officer and HR manager,” said senior law consultant advocate Girish Patwardhan while addressing a one-day workshop for corporate people organised by Indore Management Association (IMA) here at Hotel Best Western on Saturday.

The topic for the workshop was “Employment Law: Avoiding Legal Pitfalls”.  Patwardhan is a labour law expert, editor and writer for various professional publications.

Patwardhan started the session by stating that employment laws are generally referred as Labour Law in legal term and industrial relation is a relation between employer, employee and government.


Defining ‘God’ is an impossibly complex phenomenon, but believing in ‘God’ is a simple state of mind. Similarly, no codified law in the world can be defined exclusively and conclusively. We need to imbibe it conceptually, Patwardhan said.

The state enacts and modifies laws as per specific needs. Some of these laws do complement and supplement each other, while some others fall contradictory. Even the right person on the right track may not know all of these laws. These laws are meant to make us behave right in a social and natural context, but the trouble begins when someone starts behaving in an unsynchronized way.

He further said that Nobody is above the law, arbitration and mediators play a key role in settling up industrial disputes and trade union demands. He also covers various legal Acts such as Employee Provident Fund Act 1952, Industrial Dispute Act 1947, Indian Factories Act 1948 and many more which are important for healthy day to day operations in an organization.

He also said that current employee retracement and layoffs are not bad signals of industrial growth rather it would raise voice for higher employee security and awareness towards long term attachment of employee with orgainsations.

A good industrial relations officer will help build trust, and prepare a transparent and sound IR policy/programme based on human engineering. Hence, IR/ER managers have to ensure that their policies are transparent and based on performance, thereby enhancing human value, employee participation and satisfaction, leading to a team spirit.

It goes without saying that the effective management of industrial relations will continue to remain high on the priority list in the coming years. It is important for not just ‘doing well,’ but also for the survival of both, the organisation as well as the employees.