For better understanding of industrial relations, various terms need to be defined here:

Industry

Industrial Disputes Act 1947 defines an industry as any systematic activity carried on by co-operation between an employer and his workmen for the production, supply or distribution of goods or services with a view to satisfy human
wants or wishes whether or not any capital has been invested for the purpose of carrying on such activity; or such activity is carried on with a motive to make any gain or profit.
Thus, an industry is a whole gamut of activities that are carried on by an employer with the help of his employees and labors for production and distribution of goods to earn profits.

Employer

An employer can be defined from different perspectives as:-

  • a person or business that pays a wage or fixed payment to other person(s) in exchange for the services of such persons.
  • a person who directly engages a worker/employee in employment.
  • any person who employs, whether directly or through another person or agency, one or more employees in any scheduled employment in respect of which minimum rates of wages have been fixed.
  • As per Industrial Disputes Act 1947 an employer means:-

    • in relation to an industry carried on by or under the authority of any department of [the Central Government or a State Government], the authority prescribed in this behalf, or where no authority is prescribed, the head of the department;
    • in relation to an industry carried on by or on behalf of a local authority, the chief executive officer of that authority;

    Employee: –

  • Employee is a person who is hired by another person or business for a wage or fixed payment in exchange for personal services and who does not provide the services as part of an independent business.
  • An employee is any individual employed by an employer.
  • A person who works for a public or private employer and receives remuneration in wages or salary by his employer while working on a commission basis, piece-rates or time rate.
  • Employee, as per Employee State Insurance Act 1948, is any person employed for wages in or in connection with work of a factory or establishment to which the act applies.
  • In order to qualify to be an employee, under ESI Act, a person should belong to any of the categories:

    • those who are directly employed for wages by the principal employer within the premises or outside in connection with work of the factory or establishment.
    • those employed for wages by or through an immediate employer in the premises of the factory or establishment in connection with the work thereof
    • those employed for wages by or through an immediate employer in connection with the factory or establishment outside the premises of such factory or establishment under the supervision and control of the principal employer or his agent.
    • employees whose services are temporarily lent or let on hire to the principal employer by an immediate employer under a contract of service (employees of security contractors, labor contractors, house keeping contractors etc. come under this category).

    Employment

    The state of being employed or having a job.

    Labor market

    The market in which workers compete for jobs and employers compete for workers. It acts as the external source from which organizations attract employees. These markets occur because different conditions characterize different geographical areas, industries, occupations, and professions at any given time.