Labor relations is an ongoing relationship between management and workers related to employment, terms of employment or employment conditions. Traditionally Labor Relations was just about the relationship between employers and employees but presently its scope has increased to a wider range which includes social environment of the organization apart from the employer-employee relationship. It is a dynamic and ongoing process which makes collective bargaining and employer - union negotiations possible.
Labor relations is a broad topic which covers collective bargaining, awards and agreements, employer obligations, termination, employment status and issues, pay rates, penalty rates, overtime rates, leaves, allowances, dispute settlement procedures, strikes, lockouts, discharge or dismissal of employees, contract employees, full time and part time employees, workplace environment, superannuation, equal opportunity etc.
HR plays a major role in fostering positive labor relations. The present day issues between employer-workmen or workmen-workmen are more of situational and behavioral. HRs do not take ownership of managing people to their side directly, as they are not the managers managing labor, hence they resolve the issues through the managers. HRs give the coaching, training and education to the managers about how they resolve and minimize the workplace conflicts. They coach managers to be solution based and also bring standard practices in to picture to minimize any future risks or conflicts.
In India, Labor Relations are governed by multiple acts like Industrial Disputes Act of 1947, Factories Act of 1948, The Trade Unions Act 1926, Payment of Bonus Act of 1965, Payment of Gratuity Act of 1972, Workmen’s Compensation Act of 1923 etc.