Compliance During the Lockdown – What You Need to Know
India has not been affected by the CoVID-19 crisis, and the subsequent lockdown would be nothing more than an understatement. Lives have been thrown into disarray. However, organizations have been proactive in finding ways to make sure their processes run as smoothly as possible. Organizations have still, to an extent, maintained the quality of their work, with their employees working from the comfort and safety of their own homes.
However, it has not been smooth sailing as managers have had to deal with various issues on almost all front. From logistical issues to statutory compliance in HR, it has not been an easy time for managers.
This all changed on March 24, 2020, when the Indian Finance Minister, Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman, sent out a press release with various efforts to offer relaxation to businesses that had been adversely affected by the CoVID crisis and subsequent lockdown. These efforts could potentially benefit managers and employees who have faced issues owing to the lockdown.
Compliance management refers to ensuring that employees of an organization adhere to a certain set of rules, regulations, codes, and standards. To ensure that statutory compliance in HR is followed in organizations, managers tend to run compliance audits to ensure that certain systems are running smoothly. On March 24, 2020, India’s government has relaxed and made changes to certain regulations for businesses to ensure that they continue to run smoothly.
- In a major move by the government, the filing of Income Tax returns, both original and revised for FY 2018-19 and the last date to link PAN and Aadhar card has been extended to June 30, 2020.
- Delayed payments of advanced tax, regular tax, TDS, TCS and so on, made between the period of March 20, 2020, and June 30, 2020, a reduced rate of interest (9% instead of 12 %) or 18 % per annum will be charged for this period. No late fee shall be charged, and there will be no penalties or prosecution for delays in payment or compliance relating to this period. This provides corporates a much-needed respite and time for corporates and managers who are working from home to work on this as well as adhere to payroll tax compliance. The Indian government announced the “Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana” relief package on 26 March 2020. The government stated that it would handle both the employer’s and the employee’s contribution towards the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) for the next three months for establishments with up to 100 workers. 90% of those workers should be earning below INR 15,000 per month to avail of this benefit. The government of India will accordingly pay 24% (12% each, the share of the employer and employee) of the salary of these workers. The EPF department stated that to avail of this benefit, all organizations have to pay their workers and employees on time and submit an ECR certificate. This introduction will ensure the continued employment of workers who are at risk of losing their employment and provide financial benefits to the organized sectors.
- India’s government has urged private and public sectors to not terminate employees due to the disruption. Other state governments such as those of Telangana and Karnataka have confirmed that employers will not be laying off employees from key organizations.
THE WAY AHEAD:
As ‘Unlock’ is upon us, organizations will now have to look at statutory compliance in HR and employee welfare by factors such as hygiene, sanitation, safety, and healthcare. These will be a whole new set of challenges ahead for managers in the days to come. For any assistance in Statutory Compliance Services, contact us. We have helped several companies to be legally compliant in their business.