The relevant clauses of ESI Act is reproduced here-
Chapter - IV.
38. All employees to be insured.—Subject to the provisions of this Act, all employees in factories, or establishments to which this Act applies shall be insured in the manner provided by this Act.
39. Contributions.—(1) The contribution payable under this Act in respect of an employee shall comprise contribution payable by the employer (hereinafter referred to as the employer’s contribution) and contribution payable by the employee (hereinafter referred to as the employee’s contribution) and shall be paid to the Corporation.
[(2) The contributions shall be paid at such rates as may be prescribed by the Central Government:
Provided that the rates so prescribed shall not be more than the rates which were in force immediately before the commencement of the Employees’ State Insurance (Amendment) Act, 1989 (29 of 1989).]
[(3) The wage period in relation to an employee shall be the unit in respect of which all contributions shall be payable under this Act.]
(4) The contributions payable in respect of each [wage period] shall ordinarily for due on the last day of the [wage period] and where an employee is employed for part of the
[wage period] or is employed under two or more employers during the same
[wage period] the contribution shall fall due on such days as may be specified in the regulations.
[(5) (a) If any contribution payable under this Act is not paid by the principal employer on the date on which such contribution has become due, he shall be liable to pay simple interest at the rate of twelve per cent. per annum or at such higher rate as may be specified in the regulation till the date of its actual payment:
Provided that higher interest specified in the regulations shall not exceed the lending rate of interest charged by any scheduled bank.
(b) Any interest recoverable under clause (a) may be recovered as an arrear of land revenue or under section 45C to section 45-I. XXXXX."
The Supreme Court has ruled that Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) cannot levy damages for employers’ failure to deposit contributions of employees and establishments. Existence of mens rea (guilt mind) to contravene a statutory provision must also be held to be a necessary ingredient for levy of damages and/or the quantum upon the employer, said the apex court.
Read more at:
22nd October 2018 From India, Bangalore