Compliance Calendar for September, 2018

Employers can’t recover wages already paid: Delhi HC

The Delhi high court on Monday clarified that employers can’t recover the wages already paid as per the revised wages scheme of the Delhi government since March 2017.

A bench of acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar issued the latest directions, saying an important implication of its August 4 judgment escaped their attention.

“We are of the view that wages dispersed shall not be recoverable from employees to whom it has been already paid,” it said, elaborating on its August 4 verdict where the court had quashed the Delhi government’s March 2017 order revising the minimum wages for all classes of workmen in scheduled employment.

Private companies should disclose Sexual Harassment of Women in the annual reports

In order to make sure safe workplaces for Women in the private sector, the Ministry of Women and Child had requested Minister for Corporate Affairs to mandate the disclosure about the implementation of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act in the Directors Report of every company.

Notification dated 31.07.2018, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has amended the Companies (Accounts) Rules, 2014, issued under Section – 134 of the Companies Act, by inserting clause(X) as follows:

“A statement that the Company has complied with provisions on the constitution of the Internal Complaints Committee under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013”.

Women in workforce dipping, Government plans to extend EPF subsidy

Following a sharp decline in employment of women in the workforce, the Labour Ministry plans to extend the Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY) for women to 5 years, instead of the current 3 years, to urge employers to hire more women.

Small and medium enterprises, as well as micro-businesses, would be incentivized to hire more women as the government would pay the employer’s contribution of 12 per cent towards the employees’ pension and provident fund for five years for fresh talent who join the workforce.

The Process of issuing licenses and registration certificates to employers and contractors gets digitized under Major Labour Acts

It’s yet another move towards ease of doing business; the Ministry of Labour & Employment has launched an Online Registration and Licensing process. The Ministry has informed this through its circular dated August 7, 2018 and has informed all Principal Employers/Contractors to apply for Registration/Licenses for the above-mentioned Acts through the Shram Suvidha Portal.

Employers and contractors will get digitized licenses and registration certificates under the following Labour Acts:

  • Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996 (BOCW)
  • Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979 (ISMW)
  • Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970 (CLRA)

With the digital India tone set by the present government, the Regulatory Authorities are keeping pace with the momentum.

Principal employer not liable to pay ESI contributions towards employees of contractor

The ESI Authority asked the principal employer to pay ESI contributions in respect of workers employed through contractors. The principal employer stated that certain job work was given to contractors and it had no control or supervision over the employees of contractors and not liable to be the employer of such employees and pay ESI contributions.

The ESI Authority determined the money under Section 45A of the Employees State Insurance Act and directed to the principal employer to pay the same. The Principal employer challenged the order of the ESI Authority in appeal which was allowed. The ESI Corporation challenged the order of the El Court in High Court.

The Judge of the High Court observed that officers of the principal employer were not empowered to take disciplinary action against erring employees of independent contractors. Thus, the employees of independent contractors could not be the employees of the principal employer. Employees’ State Insurance Corporation Vs. India Pistons Repco Limited, 2014 LLR 536 (Mad. HC)

Important Judgments

  • A resignation can be withdrawn before its acceptance. Karn. HC 1010
  • Labour Laws are for the welfare of workers and to keep up peace and harmony. Karn. HC 957
  • Termination not justified when an enquiry is held to be unfair. All. HC 977
  • Resignation can’t be accepted before one month in absence of notice period. Karn. HC 1010
  • Abnormal delay in raising industrial dispute won’t justify reinstatement with back wages. All. HC 975
  • Failing to reply show cause notice despite its receipt can’t be inferred denial of opportunity. Mad. HC 935
  • Reinstatement not proper on a failure of the workman to join duty despite offer. P&H HC 950
  • Enquiry is not imperative in the prolonged and unauthorized absence of a worker. Bom. HC 933
  • No accident compensation in absence of an employer-employee relationship. Mad. HC 982

Employees’ Provident Funds & MP Act

  • Factors for levy of damages pertain to willful default and financial crises etc. Bom. HC 1022
  • List of employees duly signed by a responsible officer cannot be rebutted while challenging coverage. P&H HC 1040
  • Forum for challenging order of EPF authority is only filing of appeal before Tribunal. Mad. HC 1034
  • Writ petition is tenable when EPF Tribunal is not functioning. Mad. HC 1033
  • Damages not mandatory but the employer has to pay for delayed remittance to make sure regularity in deposits. Bom. HC 1020
  • Appeal not writ petition tenable while challenging order under section 7A of the Act. Mad. HC 1031
  • Coverage of an establishment justified when above 20 employees were employed. P&H HC 1040
  • Declared sickness of a unit is a factor for reduction of damages Bom. HC 1022
  • Coverage of establishment is to be decided on factual material. Jhar. HC 1041
  • Every default by the employer does not prove the levy of damages mechanically. Bom. HC 1022

Minimum Wages

Professional Tax – Tripura