The Government of Karnataka on June 30, 2020, introduced an Amendment to the Karnataka Industrial Employment (Standing Order) Rules, 1961 (hereinafter referred to as the “Rules”) enacted under the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946 (hereinafter referred to as the “Act”). The main object of the Amendment was to bring the concept of fixed term employment (FTE) to Karnataka.
Karnataka is not the first to have taken up this employment model. Maharashtra, Gujarat, Bihar, Goa and Punjab have also relied on this model for employment.
New Category: Fixed Term Employment Workman
FTE brought on Par with Permanent Workmen
Notice and Termination
WHO IS A WORKMAN?
Section 2(s) of Industrial Disputes Act defines a workman as an individual who is engaged in a technical, skilled, unskilled, operational, manual or clerical work but excludes those who are in a managerial or supervisory position.
ARE NON-PROFITS COVERED?
Yes – in Karnataka, all establishments including non-profit – trusts, societies & Sec 8 companies having 50 or more employees are included under the ambit of the Act. But the IT & ITES, KPO & BPO sector is exempted.
Eg, a field worker/researcher whose main job comprises going in the field to collect data may be considered a workman if he/she is working under an employment contract, is reporting to a superior, is working under that superior’s directions, does not lead a team and is rendering services mainly of a technical, skilled/unskilled, operational, manual or clerical nature.
ADVANTAGES OF THIS AMENDMENT?
DISADVANTAGES OF THIS AMENDMENT?
WHAT REMAINS UNCLEAR?
The Amendment is also silent on the option of termination simpliciter prior to the expiry of the term of the fixed employment. As the Amendment does leave some gaping holes, legal consultation is recommended, to draw contracts of FTE, structuring statutory benefits, conversions of full time to FTE and terminations of FTE, in a manner that is legally compliant.
 Karnataka Industrial Employment (Standing Orders)(Amendment) Rules, 2019 https://complianceuncovered.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Karnataka-introduces-%E2%80%9CFixed-term-Workmen%E2%80%9D-amending-the-Standing-Order-Rules.pdf
 Anil Gejji, Karnataka allows flexible hiring across industry, Times of India (Jul 7, 2020, 07:21 AM), https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/karnataka-allows-flexible-hiring-across-industry/articleshow/76824844.cms.
 Draft Notification, EGazette Bihar (May 15, 2020), http://egazette.bih.nic.in/GazettePublished/314_2_2020.pdf#page=1.
 AZB Partners (July 9, 2020), https://www.azbpartners.com/wp-content/uploads/Amendment-To-The-Industrial-Employment-Standing-Orders-Central-Rules-1946-In-Goa.pdf.
 AZB Partners (July 9, 2020), https://www.azbpartners.com/wp-content/uploads/The-Draft-IESO-Punjab-Amendment-Rules-2020-as-applicable-to-the-UT-of-Chandigarh-Introduction-of-Fixed-Term-Employment-2.pdf
 Akram Mohammad, 'Fixed term workmen' will hit jobs for middle-aged: unions, Deccan Herald (July 7, 2020, 20: 43 PM), https://www.deccanherald.com/state/top-karnataka-stories/fixed-term-workmen-will-hit-jobs-for-middle-aged-unions-858277.html.
 Sharat S. Srivatsa, ‘Fixed-term workmen: trade unions fear for collective bargaining power”, https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/fixed-term-workmen-trade-unions-fear-for-collective-bargaining-power/article32006450.ece