Certainly retaining allowance is different from overtime. You have rightly said that retaining allowance is paid when an employee is retained by the employer when the factory or establishment is not working.
When EPF Act came in to force, that time In Kolkata & in some other part in our country there was a system of engaging seasonal labours in some industries in which the labours were getting employment gainfully for six-seven months in a year and remaining months unemployed. During unemployment, they use to get retaining allowance so that they are available to the employer in next season.
The retaining allowance is also paid in pursuance of the Report of the Second Central Industrial Wage Board on the Sugar Industry and subsequently in implementation of the Award of the Industrial Court.
However does retaining allowance variable or fixed payment.
Secondly for many reasons the factory or the establishment does not work. For example due to natural calamity, war,sabotage etc.Although factory or establishment is not seasonal in character but due to unforeseen factor the establishment not working.
Some establishment also use forced leave to retain its employees.
How to ensure whether employee retain in such conditions are eligible for retaining allowance.