The definition of lay-off as given in Section 2 (kkk) makes it abundantly clear that the unemployment must have resulted on account of a cause which is independent of any action or inaction on the part of the workman. [Central India Spinning Weaving and Manufacturing Co. Ltd. v/s I.C., 1959 I LLJ 468]
Refusal to Give Work
The Employer’s refusal to give work must be for:
· shortage of coal
· shortage of power (Electricity)
· shortage of raw material
· accumulation of stocks
· break down of machinery
· natural calamity – Force-Major and any other connected reason.
Shortage of Raw Material
In Workmen of Dewan Tea Estate v/s DTE, AIR 1964 SC 1458 it was argued that the company was not able to raise funds and hence it was a clear case of stoppage of supplies (on account of paucity of funds). The apex court held that stoppage of supplies must be related to raw material or such thing connected to it. It is impossible to hold that supplies mean the supply of money or funds. As such, the lay-off did not fall within the mischief of Section 2 (kkk). In Gauhati Press (P) Ltd vis. P.O.L.C. 1983 LIC 824 the reason for giving lay-off was that the previous M.D. had died, the present M.D. was too old and that the Assistant M.D. had a fractured leg and was confined to bed. The Press, therefore, could not be run. The workman filed application under Section 33 C(2) to recover wages. There was also a reference under Section 10(1) of the Act. It was held that the lay-off did not come under Section 2 (kkk) of the Act. In Firestone Tyre & Rubber Co. of India Ltd. v/s Their Workmen, 1976 I LLJ 493 the company declared lay-off in its Delhi office as there were no supplies owing to strike in Bombay’s factory.
The lay-off was held to be falling within the provisions of Section 2 (kkk) of the Act.