Umakanthan53
Labour Law & Hr Consultant

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Hello, Can anyone please guide me with the layoff process during COVID -19. I am looking for below specific answer -
1. What is the process to lay off during COVID-19?
2. We are in huge loss, Do we need to pay one month salary as surveillance pay to the employee?
3. How do we communicate this with the laid off employees?
4. Is there a way we can send employees on indefinite leave until the lockdown is revoked and not pay them for those month and hire them back again once the lock down is revoked?
5. If the answer is yes to the 4th question, then what would be the right process for it?
Thank You in advance!

From India
Dear HR-Kadmus,
The answers to your queries are given below:
1) Procedure to lay-off:
The procedures for laying off any workman who has completed not less than one year of service as a regular workman in the establishment have been set out in the Industrial Disputes Act,1947 u/s 25-C of Chapter V-A and u/s 25-M(1) of Chapter V-B respectively.
If your establishment being a factory, mine or plantation falls within Chap V-A i.e., having less than 100 employees on average per day in the preceding 12 months, you can lay them off u/s 25-C due to COVID-19 which is a natural calamity subject to the condition of payment of COMPENSATION for the days laid off other than intervening weekly holidays at the rate of 50% of the total wages comprising of basic and D.A up to the first 45 days only.
If your establishment comes under Chap-V-B by virtue of the total no of employees being 100 or more, normally you are required to obtain prior permission from the appropriate Government u/s 25-M(1). Since the outbreak of COVID-19 comes under the category of natural calamity, no need for such prior permission. But the employer has to pay compensation as set down u/s 25-C(1) for the entire period BUT without any limit.
Better, you make a thorough study of the above-cited provisions on your own for further clarification,if any.
2) Since the COVID-19 outbreak is sudden and universal, without the excuse of practical reasons like continued financial losses or uncertainty of revival or legality of the directions, you have to comply with the directions of the Central and respective State Governments including payment of one month wages on humanitarian grounds.
3) Communication with the laid off employees is not at all a problem. It can be over telephone or publication in local News Papers.
4) No. The employer has no right to compel the employees to avail of any leave on LOP

From India, Salem
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