One our client is insisting to maintain Manual Handwritten registers. We have taken computer printouts and maintaining the same.
Experts Could you please share any circulars or amendments on this issue

From India, Bangalore
Yes There is no restriction on this. However, for attendance, you must take prior approval from the labour commissioners office.
From India, Mumbai

Taking your location under consideration, it comes under Sec. 25 D of Karnataka S&E Act, that the permission is granted to maintain all these registers in computerized format in soft copy. Many organizations follow the same and it should be in downloadable format.

From India, Bangalore
Dear Mahesh ji, May I request you to kindly reproduce the said Section 25D verbatim?
From India, Mumbai
It is permissible. But to be on the safer side you need to take out hard copy / printout and get it endorsed / validated by your area Labour Inspector at least once in 6 months wherein he will sign and acknowledge to have verified it on his inspection. this will also help you in filing of returns under the Act from time to time.
From India, Chennai
Dear Experts,
Can we maintain the Muster Roll Cum Wage Register (Form 11) in soft copy, we will take printouts of the same after filing the required data and also will take the signatures. But Is it acceptable by Labour Inspector ?
We are registered under Bombay Shop & Establishment Act.
Kindly suggest.

From India, Nagpur
Dear Rahul,
When you will take the printouts it becomes hard copies. Prepairing in soft and taking print out is no problem, if it is in the prescribed format. Even you intend to take signatures from employees. I do not see any preoblem with it. Keeping in soft copies only requires permission.

From India, New Delhi
Dear Mr. Nair,
I tried a lot but was not able to find the amended section 25 D in Karnataka Shops and Establishment Act. Is it recently amended ? If you have the Text of the section, I would request you to kindly reproduce the same here for the benefit of the community.

From India, New Delhi
I would say, after all its your choice and go for the one that is convenient to you. If a person that is not familiar with computer will prefer to do it manually but if you know and familiar about working on computers then you must know how easier will it be to do it on computer and if needed then you can take print out for that.
Also, by using some software, you can create a log in and log out system that does not require any register to maintain.

From India, Lucknow

I am entering into this debate late as I was not active in the site when you posted it.

As it happens, this is a regular discussion in many of our client offices during audits.

First, I do not know why your client will be deciding or bothering about how you maintain your registers, unless you are a contractor covered under contract labour act. In that case, you need to follow requirement of the contract labour act and not shop and establishment act.

All labour laws in india provide for maintenance of registers,

Though not specifically defined, it is understood that registers are manual and bound (sticker and bound actually) books in which the records are to be maintained,

At the time when the rules were made, computers were not an option. The rules have not been modified since then, unfortunately, and still apply as they were.

Only Karnataka and AP have modified the rules to provide for automatic approval for electronic records. But you still need to inform the concerned authorities. In all other states, you need to take specific approvals.

There are different ways to comply :

1. Maintain the records in manual registers with manual writing

2. Maintain records in electronic form with approval of the department. Please note that approval for electronic records is approval to maintain in a software that is tamper proof and has a detailed audit trail. Therefore records in excel do not qualify or meet the requirements. It's a sure and direct non compliance. Courts will not accept those records as they can be tampered at any time by anyone.

Some will tell you that sec 4 of Information technology act 2000 allows electronic records. That's a fallacy. Sec 4 specifies that you can maintain electronic copies of any record that is required by law to be maintained in hard copy. So it means, you can keep PDF/a copies of your records (PDF/a is a tamper proof encrypted copy)

3. Take print of all records every month, bind them not a set and keep as the hard copy records of the registers. That will be allowed by the authorities. It does not say in the act that it needs to be written in pen. However, wage registers etc which needs to be signed must be signed in original in the bound copies.

4. Where none of the above work, you have an option of taking prints of the records and pasting them in the register. That is followed by many companies. It has the advantage of being non tamperable and still saves manpower by use of electronic records

From India, Mumbai

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