30th August 2018 From India, Pune
Three options are before an employee who is denied bonus under the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965.
One is u/s 21 that enables a claim for bonus by an individual employee who can not be represented by a Trade Union or who doesn't choose such a Union representation for whatever reason if the amount of bonus claimed is under an award or a settlement. However, it is limited by time i.e within one year from the date on which bonus became due.
The second one is u/s 22 of the Act. A dispute u/s 22 is, by a statutory fiction, expressly deemed to be an industrial dispute. In Pappu v. Raja Tile and Match Works [(1988)I LLN 643(Ker) (DB)] it has been categorically held that when S. 22 operates, it is not possible to hold that the dispute is not an industrial dispute simply because the dispute was raised by an individual employee.
Therefore, the employee who is denied bonus under the Payment of Bonus Act because of his /her resignation, if not a 'workman ' u/s 2(s) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, can make a representation u/s 21 of the PB Act to the Assistant Labour Commissioner for the area who would determine the amount of bonus after an inquiry and give directions to the employer accordingly and in case of non-compliance, request the District Collector to recover the amount under the Revenue Recovery Act.
In the case of an employee who is/was a workman under the ID Act, he/she can raise a dispute u/s 22 of the Act before the area Conciliation Officer who would treat it as a dispute under the ID Act and do the needful.
The last one as well as in any other case, is lodging a formal complaint u/s 19 of the PB Act with the Inspector under the Act after the time limit for payment of bonus prescribed u/s 19(a) or (b) as the case may be. The actions, if any, likely to be taken by the Inspector under the powers vested in him u/s 27 would result in penalty prescribed u/s 28 of the Act and it would certainly be a deterrent in the matter of disbursement of bonus by any unwilling employer.
3rd September 2018 From India, Salem