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CLRAT & ISMW(CSRE) ACT. The CLC, Labour Dept. GoI issued notification for extension of time to licences under these acts. The notification dt.3.6.20 is attached.
From India, Bangalore

Attached Files
File Type: pdf Extension of Renewal Of License For Various Acts Under Central Sphere.pdf (285.3 KB, 42 views)

Dear members,
Here you read pertinent issues discussed on the impact/fallout of COVID-19 on the labour front -
Challenges Posed to Contract Labour Due to COVID-19
JUNE 10, 2020 5 (12)
Contract labourers are increasingly being made a part of the workforce and are preferred for jobs which are non-perennial and do not constitute the core activities of the firm. They are employed for all types of positions, be it skilled, semi-skilled or unskilled. It is preferred by establishments as it helps them keep a low headcount and gives them greater flexibility in management.Given that labour employment contracts in India are managed by licensed labour contractors, their relationship with the principal employer is different and this is what distinguishes them from regular labourers. The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition Act), 1970 governs the engagement of contract labour and labour contractors in private establishments and factories. Apart from this legislation, other labour law legislations such as the minimum wages act, and social security laws are applicable to them.The COVID-19 Scare to EmploymentThe COVID-19 pandemic has forced many firms in the FMCG, finance, insurance and retail sectors to layoff employees to cut off costs, especially contract labour. Major companies are directly terminating their relationships with intermediaries who provided them with the services of hundreds of blue-collar and white-collar jobs. Thousands of Indians are losing their jobs with minimal salary and notice period, as there is no anticipation of a rise in demand for these services.Moves by the GovernmentSince the outbreak of COVID-19 was declared as a “notified disaster” by the Government of India, multiple steps had been taken to ensure welfare of all sectors. One such step was the issuance of an advisory by the Ministry of Labour and Employment regarding the payment of wages to the labour force, on 20th March 2020. It stated that employers are not to terminate any employees during the onslaught of the pandemic and are to pay full wages to the employees as well.This notification was issued under the “sweeping” powers under the Disaster Management Act (Section 10), and was issued with disregard to the labour laws already in place related to payment of wages and related provisions, such as provisions of Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, which explicitly recognize the right of an employer to reduce the wages to 50% up to a period of 45 days in certain situations such as a natural calamity (Section 25C and Section 25M); and if the layoff continues for more than 45 days, then no wages are payable. This move by the Central Government received much flak from employer’s organizations like FICCI, and thus, was subsequently revoked by the Government, through another notification dated 18th May, 2020. With this move, the government swung its position by 360 degrees on the issue of payment of wages to workers, from advocating 100% payment to now being completely silent on the issue.The Grey Areas Left UnansweredWhile the move to withdraw the notification was a relief to the employers, it puts the labour unclear, especially the temporary employees such as contract labour, regarding the position of their job and receiving wages. It leaves a gaping “grey area” for the employee with respect to the following issues:a)      What level/percentage of wage to pay to the employee?b)      How to re-open the operations slowly and support the business and its burdening payments?Measures Taken by Foreign GovernmentsIf we take a look at what other countries are doing to tackle the wage-crisis with respect to helping the unorganized sector including contract labour:1) The Canadian Government has announced a fiscal stimulus package worth 202 billion Canadian Dollars which includes wage subsidies to inject cash into the country’s small and medium-sized businesses providing 75% subsidy on wages.2) Similarly, Ireland has also announced a Wage Subsidy Scheme, under which employers are refunded up to 70 percent of an employee’s wages, up to a specific amount to reduce the adverse financial effects of COVID-19 on employers.3) The USA has announced a 2.2 trillion Stimulus Package which provides unemployment benefits and forgivable loans for small businesses to pay workers and other expenses even while they are shuttered. Individuals having an income below the set levels will be getting stimulus checks.SuggestionsThe government of India too has planned a stage-by-stage deployment of funds for making the economy recover, and the package is worth 10 percent of the total GDP. One good solution could have been to include a wage stimulus package similar to the ones given by the aforementioned nations, in which the government could pay 50 percent of the salaries of contract workers. The employer should have to contribute 25 percent of salary. This arrangement could be continued up to the Phase-3 of the “unlocking” of India commences. The salary funds can be directed either to the licensed contractors or the principal employers. This could have ensured even disbursement of funds to contract labourers in India and ensured their survival during the COVID-19 pandemic.ConclusionThere is very less anticipation of an increase in the volume of business in the markets post Unlocking of the economy. Yet, there is a ray of hope that businesses shall start picking up due to the suppressed demand of the consumers from the past few months. Till then, to ameliorate the helpless situation of contract labour and provide relief to employers, a wage stimulus is recommended.Please do let us know in the comments section below about your opinion on the issue. Your feedback is valuable.How useful was this post?Click on a star to rate it!     Thank you for rating this post!   Geethika Satti Simpliance COEPost navigation← Safe and Harassment Free Environment: Is it still relevant when employees work from home?Mandatory Obligation on Employer to Monitor Aarogya Setu Imposed by the MHA Order of May 30, 2020 →3 thoughts on “Challenges Posed to Contract Labour Due to COVID-19” PJJ says:June 12, 2020 at 1:37 pmYes, a stimulus to take care of the workers and thereby the business and ultimately the economy as a whole is the need of the hour.Providing free ration etc. is welcome. But a much better option is to give workers and employers the means to sustain them, which involves purchasing power of rations.Wage subsidy up to 75% of wages must be provided to the contractors. Balance 25% must be borne by the ultimate user, who is the Principal employer.This should be a straight and simple procedure and not entangled in complexities. Rules and further rules and still more rules would spoil and nullify the intended purpose.Grandiose talks, useless statistics and advertisements by the govt. must be avoided to focus on the issue at hand.

From India, Bangalore
Hi friends,

Guidelines of CPC reg.disposal of wasges of COVID. May be useful for many.

Central Pollution Control Board vide notification, has released new guidelines for handling, treatment, and disposal of waste generated during treatment, diagnosis, or quarantine of COVID-19 patients. This revision is in the suppression of the earlier guidelines uploaded at the CPCB website. The guidelines mention about Sample Collection Centers and Laboratories for COVID-19 suspected patients, Responsibilities of persons operating Quarantine Camps/Homes or Home-Care facilities, Duties of Common Biomedical Waste Treatment Facility, Duties of SPCBs/PCCs, Duties of Urban Local Bodies and Management of wastewater from HCFs/Isolation Wards. Please refer to the notification for details

From India, Bangalore

Attached Files
File Type: pdf COVID-Disposal of wastes-CPC Guidelines.pdf (735.1 KB, 68 views)

Hello all,

ESIC have listed certain measure for the benefit of ESI members to combat COVID related issues, especially unemployed which are detailed in the attachment released by ESIC. Might help many.

Relaxation In Eligibility Criteria And Enhancement In The Payment Of Unemployment Benefit Under Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana Of ESIC:

ESIC vide notification No. E-13/12/9/2020-P.R. had launched the 'Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyna Yojna' (ABVKY) a scheme under which unemployment benefit is paid to the workers covered under ESIC Scheme. The ESIC has now decided to extend the scheme for one more year up to 30th June 2021. It has been decided to relax the existing conditions and enhance the amount of relief for workers who have lost employment during the Covid-19 pandemic period. The enhanced relief under the relaxed conditions will be payable during the period of 24th March 2020 to 31st December 2020. Thereafter the scheme will be available with original eligibility condition during the period 1st January 2021 to 30th June 2021. The eligibility criteria for availing the relief have also been relaxed, as under:

(i), The payment of relief has been enhanced to 50% of the average of wages from earlier 25% of average wages payable up to a maximum of ninety days of unemployment.

(ii) Instead of the relief becoming payable ninety days after unemployment, it shall become due for payment after thirty days.

(iii) The Insured Person can submit the claim directly to ESIC Branch Office instead of the claim being forwarded by the last employer and the payment shall be made directly in the bank account of the Insured Person.

(iv) The Insured Person should have been insurable employment for a minimum period of two years before his/her employment and should have contributed for not less than seventy-eight days in the contribution period immediately preceding to unemployment and minimum seventy-eight days in one of the remaining three contribution periods in two years prior to unemployment. Please refer the notification for more details

From India, Bangalore

Attached Files
File Type: pdf ESI's EFFORTs fighting Corona-Relaxation In Eligibility Criteria And Enhancement In The Payment .pdf (66.4 KB, 18 views)

Good material has been shared precaution measure to be taken by the HR department during these chanlangeing time of Covid -19
From India, Delhi

"Pandemic is not an internal emergency threatening the security of India": Supreme Court

In its order in the case of Gujarat Mazdoor Sabha v State of Gujarat (Writ Petition (Civil) Number 708 of 2020), the Supreme Court of Ind:ia (Supreme Court) has quashed the notification issued by the government of Gujarat whereby it had exempted factories from provisions relating to daily and weekly hours of work, rest intervals etc. in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, the state had provided that factories may enjoy these relaxations subject to certain conditions, including that the overall daily limit of work hours would be 12 hours, and wages shall be paid in proportion to the existing wages (meaning that if the wages for 8 hours of work is INR 80, the wages for 12 hours of work would be INR 120). Interestingly, the notification was issued by the government by invoking Section 5 of the Factories Act, 1948, which allows a state government to exempt a factory from its provisions in the event of a 'public emergency'. 'Public emergency' here refers to a situation wherein the security of the country is threatened or where there is war, external aggression or internal disturbance.

The Supreme Court relied on Section 5 to observe that while the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected economic activities, it has not affected the security of India in a manner that "disturbs the peace and integrity of the country". The court accordingly held that when none of the abovementioned conditions is present, the government cannot its exercise its statutory power of exemption. The notification was quashed and the state government directed to pay overtime wages to all eligible workers who were made to work in accordance with the impugned notification.

Establishment contributed to COVID-19 spread among workers, closure order justified: Madras High Court

In Care 4 Life v Secretary to Government (Writ Petition Number 9381 of 2020), the petitioner-establishment approached the Madras High Court to seek a writ of mandamus that would direct the respondent to permit resumption of manufacturing operations by the petitioner. The petitioner is engaged in manufacture of surgical masks and related products, and it had been operating during the pandemic. Unfortunately, several workers were soon tested COVID-19 positive, and when inspection was conducted at the premises, the authorities found that the petitioner had not been adhering to safety protocols mandated by the government from time to time. Ultimately, the establishment was directed to be closed down. Hence the petition.

The court, however, declined to provide relief to the petitioner. It noted that courts should be slow in interfering with the order of the authorities, and that when the authorities found the petitioner to be contributing to the spread of the virus, it would not be appropriate on the part of the court to allow it to resume operations. The court accordingly directed that until normalcy returns, the petitioner should refrain from carrying on operations and that once the situation is normal, it may approach the respondents again for reopening the establishment.

No writ jurisdiction for retrenchment claims unless there are exceptional circumstances: Delhi High Court

The order of the Delhi High Court in PTI Employees' Union v PTI Limited (Writ Petition (Civil) 10596/2018) comes as a respite to employers to an extent. In this case, the petitioners approached the court challenging the retrenchment of 297 employees by the respondent and sought quashing of the retrenchment notices issued to the impacted employees.

The respondent, on the other hand, challenged the maintainability of the writ petition on the ground that the IDA already contains a dispute resolution mechanism for industrial disputes. On the merits, the respondent argued that there was no work for the retrenched workers for a long time and that the establishment had been facing operational losses. These reasons were also communicated to the retrenched employees and all requisite severance payments were made to them.

The court agreed with the respondent's contention, holding that the IDA is a complete code in itself when it comes to resolution of industrial disputes. Writ petitions in such matters should not be entertained by courts unless there are exceptional circumstances established. This principle assumes more significance when there are disputed questions of fact.


Union Labour Minister advises limited use of fixed term employment arrangements

With the three labour codes receiving the assent of the President of India, the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India, has been issuing statements to allay some of the concerns of the workers. On 5 October 2020, the Union Labour Minister stated that the industry should use fixed term employment contracts primarily for short-term projects or seasonal work. As regards permanent employment, he observed that when employees are involved in the affairs of an establishment for a longer duration, they are more productive.

The statement of the minister should, however, not come as a surprise to the industry. The statement reiterates the observations of the judiciary, which has noted in several cases that there should be a bona fide need to engage someone on a fixed term employment basis.

As Indian workforce spends significant time working from home, burnout becomes a problem

For majority of the Indian workforce, work from home at the first blush was a new and exciting experience. It was perceived that one would finally be able to witness a flexible working model and be around their family while meeting work deadlines. However, as Indian workforce spends a considerable time working from home, the situation is not that rosy.

It is being reported that employees are now facing a burnout as the line between the personal and the professional is getting blurred. Microsoft, too, has reported that India has the "second-highest percentage of workers facing increased burnout in Asia at 29%". Several employees have reported that there is a constant anxiety that they are grappling with during these times. There could be several reasons for the same: despite video conferencing, employees miss personal interaction. Further, it is stated that managers are developing "trust issues" with their subordinates due to lack of visibility. As noted by a survey of Harvard Business Review, when doubts come into picture, "managers can start to develop an unreasonable expectation that those team members be available at all times, ultimately disrupting their work-home balance and causing more job stress."

Companies are responding to these findings. Some employers are introducing a staycation policy and observing an organisation-wide holiday from time to time, thereby encouraging employees to avail leaves and rejuvenate. Another company has mandated that employees will not be disturbed during designated lunch hours. The idea of all such measures is simple: to create work boundaries even when the employee is not within the confines of an office. The new normal calls for a unique sensitization program for managers, who should be trained to allow their direct reports to take charge of matters without being micromanaged.

From India, Bangalore
Employment termination, salary hold and latest legal law updates

From India, Hyderabad
Dear Team HR's
I have received a concern in an audit regarding overtime hours a day.
In Uttar Pradesh, before covid the daily maximum hours was allowed as 10 Hours/day including 2 hours overtime. And Quarterly Overtime was allowed 50 Hours.
Post covid the Quarterly Overtime standard revised from 50 to 100 Hours / Quarter.
Accordingly we have done 3-4 hours exceeding overtime of workers for few days in month.
Please tell me the actual law in Uttar Pradesh after Covid and also advise for the corrective actions.
Vikas Gupta
HR From Meerut


From India, Mumbai

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