You may refer to the previous threads on the subject particularly one titled " 35 interesting Questions related to Contract Labor ".
Principal Employer's liability to pay gratuity to contract labor is a matter over which no consensus judicial opinion so far. The view of the Kerala High Court is that the PE has no legal obligation to pay gratuity to his contract labor because neither the CLRA Act,1970 nor the PG Act,1972 provides for payment of gratuity to CL by the PE [ Cominco Binani Zinc Ltd., v Pappachan ( 1989 LLR 123 ) while the Madras High Court has held in Madras Fertilizers Ltd., v C.A under the P.G Act [2003 LLR 244 ] that gratuity should be paid by the PE first and got reimbursed from the concerned contractor later as per the vicarious liability imposed on him vide sec.21(4) of the CLRA Act,1970.
Coming to the situation described in your query, my view is that the time elapsed as well as the respective length of service under each PE falling below the minimum qualifying service would forbid any later claim for gratuity from them.
15th June 2019 From India, Salem
15th June 2019 From India, Kannur
17th June 2019 From India, Kannur
It is out of context where the employee worked till his last day of service. The person rendered his service to M/s X,Y & Z as an employee of M/s ABC. Further, gratuity is the liability of imiidiate employer but no the principal employer.
The cost of gratuity can be claimed by M/s ABC from M/s X,Y & Z, if there had been any undrstanding to compensate or to reimburse the cost put providing the service. The Principal employers M/s X, Y and Z are no way associate with payment of gratuity for the employee of M/s ABC.
17th June 2019 From India, Mumbai
Section 21 (4) of the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970 (CLRA), mandates that a principal employer is responsible for the payment of ‘wages’ to a contract employee in the event of a contractor’s failure to pay within the stipulated timelines or in the event of a contractor making a short payment. The principal employer then has the ability to recover the amount paid as 'wages', from the contractor. Section 2(h) of the CLRA defines the term 'wages' as all remuneration (whether by salary, allowances or otherwise) expressed in terms of money or capable of being so expressed, which would if the terms of employment, expressed or implied, were fulfilled, be payable to a person employed in respect of his employment or of work done in such employment and includes, among others, "(d) any sum which by reason of the termination of employment of the person employed is payable under any law, contract or instrument which provides for the payment...". However, it excludes "(6) any gratuity payable on the termination of employees in cases other than those specified in (d)." The judgment below has now held that gratuity payable under the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 falls within this definition of 'wages'.
Superintending Engineer, Mettur Thermal Power Station, Mettur vs. Appellate Authority, Joint Commissioner of Labour, Coimbatore & Anr, 2012 LLR 1160
18th June 2019 From India, Bengaluru