President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has ratified the Industrial Relations Bill today. The Parliament passed this bill at the 37th sitting of its third session this year, held on Monday, December 18, 2023.
The bill outlines activities promoting the exercise of constitutional rights, such as the right to form trade unions and to participate in or abstain from their activities, and the parameters of such rights. The bill also specifies the procedures for creating employee and employer trade unions, the procedures for resolving disputes between employers and employees, and other trade union-related details.
Additionally, thirty days from the date of ratification, the President is obligated to designate an individual to serve as a Registrar of Unions. The Registrar of Unions manages and maintains employee and employer trade union registration, enforces legal and regulatory measures against unions that breach laws and regulations, and fulfils all other responsibilities imposed on the registerer by this law.
Any employee and employer trade union registered under any other law or regulation must submit an application to the Registrar of Unions under the new law within three months of ratification. The eight-member Tripartite Advisory Board is to be constituted within this period. In the same time frame, the Employment Tribunal of the Maldives will create a new division called the Industrial Dispute Resolution Division.
The Industrial Relations Act was published in the Government Gazette upon ratification and will be in effect after three months. This law repeals the regulation for dispute resolution procedures between employers and employees (Regulation No. R-12/2011).