Contemporary Issues in Labour Relations in Nepal

Labour relations determinate sharply immediately after reinstallation of democracy in Nepal. Union activities have subsided in the privatized units. Labour strike, agitation and protests are still going on in some enterprises. In the case of extreme disputes, almost all workers took voluntary retirement. The need for the government to undertake responsibility to
pay gratuity or other termination benefits without any commensurate change in the price of the enterprise may have affected seriously the actual realization. There is a sincere need to value the price of enterprise on the basis of workers retention or retirement or other pertinent conditionality.

The following are the major contemporary issues in labour relations in Nepal:
  1. Suspicious management: The Nepalese management has remained suspicious of trade unions and their activities. It has taken a confrontation oriented reactive approach to labour relation where ever these is industrial unset or strike management reacts. There is a need of change in the attitude of management towards unions. Instead of using reactive approach, the management should adopt the supportive approach to the unions, which will not only smoothen the relationship between the management and unions but will also chances of productivity.
  2. Collective bargaining: Industries of Nepal have lack of collective bargaining. Getting an optimum bargaining for both groups is important and for that is need of professionals specializing in collective bargaining. Training should be given to the members of each party which will enhance their skill in negotiating and bargaining.
  3. Quality of work-life: In theory, QWL (Quality of Work Life) are simple-it involve giving workers the opportunity to make decisions about their jobs, the design of their workplaces, and what they need to make products or to deliver services most effectively. It requires managers to treat workers with dignity on the job. Its focus is on employees and management operating the business together.
  4. Grievance handling: A grievance handling procedure should be based on a policy statement to the effect that employees should be given a fair hearing by their immediate supervisor or manager covering any grievances that may wish to raise have the right to appeal to a more senior manager against a decision made by their supervisor or manager have the right to be accompanied by a follow employee of their own choice when raising a grievance or appealing against a decision. The procedure should be staged as follows:
    1. The initial hearing by the immediate supervisor or manager.
    2. If a satisfactory conclusion is not reacted at that meeting, a hearing with a more senior manager.
    3. The right of final appeal to a director or equivalent. Time limits should be laid down for the intervals between meetings.
    4. Training and skill development when the training proposal for the staff to the management to improve the working condition, the management usually sees it as with the worthless to spend the money and sees it as unnecessary expenses. This concept should be changes of as to encourage the employee in getting good productivity.
  5. Labour policy: Nepal lacks a comprehensive labour policy. There is need of formulation of comprehensive labour policy to manage labour relations. It should be in conformity with the management needs and socio-political realities of the country.
  6. Evolving legal framework: Nepal needs an evolving legal framework improving labour relations. The industrial unrest and disputes are growing. There is need of efficiency implementing the existing laws and develop a comprehensive legal framework.

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