WPS Is one of the buzz word around and most HR/IR managers are getting notices from various Labour depts. across the state in order to implement the same. An exclusive explanation/direction is hard to find at this point of time.
I had made a brief note on the same - hope the same is beneficial. Wage Protection System – Kerala
Kerala Government has decided to implement “e-payment of wages” scheme which aims at providing wages to employees electronically. WPS – means an IT enabled system provided by the labour commissionerate to ensure payment of minimum wages to all or any class of employees employed. Initially this was promulgated through a notification in the year 2015, subsequently this was enforced through an amendment in the Kerala Minimum Wages Act. Objective of the enactment is to make sure that there is transparency in the dealings between the employer and the employee and Minimum Wages is ensured to all employees, also enabling the Labour Dept Officials to effectively monitor salary payments of employees. For non-compliance will attract punitive.
Who all are covered?
All employers who are defined under the Kerala Shops and Commercial Establishment Act are covered under the new scheme like employee working in Small Scale Banks, Textile Shops, Pvt Hosp, IT Sector, Edu Institutions etc…
Data and Salary upload
Employer shall pay wages through individual employee’s bank account. Present Register of wages which are maintained by the employer can be maintained in electronic format like Form XIV. Dedicated person on behalf of the employer shall upload all data in Form XIV and release the salary. All salary needs to be disbursed through website of the Kerala Govt. https://wps.lc.kerala.gov.in/main/index.php
. Form XIV is in Excel format which can be downloaded. Hard copy of the fully filled Form XIV should be maintained and must be readily available during inspection. Register of employment and Form XIV needs to be submitted 3 days prior to the salary disbursal. Also the Wage slips needs to upload and must be made visible 1 day prior to the salary disbursal. All employee details and salary details which are uploaded by the employer will be considered as authentic hence employer must ensure that following details to be uploaded correctly in the Form.
Bank Details of the Employees
Salary details of the employee
As the new enactment will come into force, it is necessary all the salary details needs to be updated through the dedicated portal. Process - the employer needs to send all employees Salary amount to one dedicated employee’s account who is having salary disbursal right. Said Account must be a Current Account owned by the employer. Money thus deposited will be transferred as salary to all the employees in their dedicated salary account. Same will involve lot of difficulties and is not possible in our type of environment. On discussion Labour dept had allowed to disburse the salary centrally but through the portal. They had ensured that the data uploaded will be safe and secured.
Wage Calculation and form XIV
“Wage calculation” should be made in Excel ( Form XIV). Form XIV is most crucial in the process (attached a copy). It contains 42 columns which need to be filled religiously before updation errors and correction should be avoided. All coloumns may not be filled every month as there will be repetition. Only those columns which are Variables may needs to be entered every month. In-short, components which remains constant need not be changed every month.
Those employers who are complied with WPS and details are uploaded with Form XIV are exempted from maintaining Forms under Register of Fines, Register of deduction of Damages or loss caused to the employer. Over time Register, Register of wages.
List of banks doing WPS
As of now there are 20 banks had entered agreements with Labour commissioner under WPS. As per latest notification there are more branches which will be included soon. The list reflect following Banks
1. ICICI Bank
2. Syndicate Bank
5. Central Bank
7. Vijaya Bank
10. Vijaya Bank
12. Canara Bank
13. Indian Bank
15. Union Bank ‘
16. Federal Bank
Couple of Establishments had gone for Staying the impugned order before the Kerala High Court and had received a favorable order. As this being a beneficial legislation, same will not be stayed for long. The recent amendment of Payment of wages Act by the Central Govt had given "..... rights to the state govt to repeal and amend laws concerning the payment of wages" sanctifying the amendment made by the Kerala Minimum Wages Rules.
I thoroughly feel that, there will be hardship for many org to implement the same, mostly those employers whos salary disbursals are done centrally and outside Kerala. I understand all security and other related issues of data entry, which is a one time job.Nevertheless, this is a beneficial legislation and will be use full.
All contents mentioned above is my own based on my learnings.. I may stand corrected thru any discussions.. 13th January 2017 From India, Bangalore