Dear All, As per the Central Government's notification, most of the employer paid the full months wages (Up to 31.03.2020) to their employees, during 21 days lock-down period due to COVID 19.
I am having query, what about the further lock-down period wages; 01.04.2020 to 14.04.2020. Please suggest whether employer should paid the salary for this period? Please suggest.

From India, Mumbai

Legally speaking, GOI has asked all employers to make payments to its employees.
No doubt there will be problems,lack of cash inflow but situation is not normal and all have to sacrifice and tighten their belts.
Remember when you pay your employees for this period,they will have a sense of loyalty and gratitude to the employer.Hopefully after COVID (which is a matter of time) employees will work sincerely and in motivated manner to make up losses of the employer.

From India, Pune
Dear Sherkhan,
Attached is the Circular No 51/2020 dated 07-04-2020 of Karnataka Employers' Association (KEA). Though issued by KEA, the contents are very much applicable to the employers of all other states as well. The contents are self-explanatory.
Additionally, you may go through the following link:
Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore

Attached Files
File Type: pdf 5_6082200683623219618.pdf (430.1 KB, 189 views)

Dear Sherkhan,

The outbreak of COVID-19 has become a global disaster. Even the economically and scientifically advanced countries find it hard to contain the epidemic under manageable limits. That's why the Government of India has issued directions to pay full wages for the lock down period to employees under its powers vested in the Disaster Management Act,2005 and the State Governments invoking the provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act,1897. As it is, such directions have overriding effect on corresponding provisions of any existing laws that are inconsistent as per sec.72 of the DMA,2005. Only the Supreme Court or High Courts have the jurisdiction to decide the legality of such directives issued under the Act. The imposition of nation wide lock down and the instructions of the Governments in its wake are temporary measures only. It's anybody's guess that no employer can pay his employees full wages without work in a situation of indefinite lock down of the entire business and the Government, as the largest employer, is also aware of it. The need of the hour is to help maintain the millions of masses losing their livelihood at least at the subsistence level.

From India, Salem
It is ok, we can pay to our staff, however will it fall under the category of salary or other payment.
If we pay as other payment,then it should not attract other statutory obligations like PF,ESIC & PT
as factories are closed without any work.So it should not attract other legal provisions.
Kindly advise
Sadanand Waman Laghate
Anand Manpower Agency

From India
Here is my take on this. Section 72 of the Disaster Management Act states that that “the provisions of this Act, shall have effect, notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act”. This Act does not supersede every other Act. If this Act has provisions similar to the ones in any other Act the ones contained in this Act would prevail. There is no provision in the Disaster Management Act as to payment of wages during a disaster.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) of Government of India issued an order on 29th March which, inter alia, makes it mandatory for the employers to pay wages to their workers on due dates without making any deduction for the closure of their units consequent to the lockdown. This Order has been issued by invoking Section 10(2)(l) of the Disaster Management Act 2005. The impugned Section gives powers to the Central Government to “(l) lay down guidelines for, or give directions to, the concerned Ministries or Departments of the Government of India, the State Governments and the State Authorities regarding measures to be taken by them in response to any threatening disaster situation or disaster”. No amount of legal ingenuity can take the above clause to mean that the MHA can advise the private sector industries and commercial establishments to pay wages during the closure period. The stated objective of the Act is to “to provide for the effective management of disasters and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto”. The only conclusion that one can draw is that this Order has been issued more as a means to project the government as the guardian of the poor who would suffer extreme hardships because of the lockdown. At best it can be considered as an effort on the part of the government to nudge those industries who are unsure about the liability to pay wages to err on the generous side. Considering the nature and extent of the calamity it is possible that there may be more industries willing to pay than not, especially on the first pay-day post lockdown. The State governments on its part have also issued a number of notifications of their own invoking The Epidemic Diseases Act 1897 to deal with Covid-19. Every state has imposed its own restrictions on movement of people and goods as they deemed fit. However, there is no provision to be found even in this Act to force the industry to pay full wages to the workmen during the closure period. However, Section 25C of the Industrial Disputes Act 1947 comes to the rescue of the workmen in the case of natural calamities. It permits the employer to lay off workmen by paying 50% of the wages.

There is one caveat, however. The comments above are not to find valid arguments to deny wages to the poorer sections in the society who are affected by the disaster. Good intentions must be backed up by robust legal framework to ensure equitable delivery.

From India, Nasik

The question of the hour is whether employer need to pay salary to his employees for no work carried out during the lock down period.

Employer has 'a moral obligation' to pay wages/salaries or exgratia to meet the economic crisis faced by the downtrodden labourers. This is also clarified by Government. Payment of wages/salaries in normal circumstances is a contractual and statutory obligation of the company. Similarly payment of salaries/wages during lock down period, to employees/workmen is a moral obligation of the employers, as they (employees) have no alternative source of employment or livelihood during this period of lock down. similarly payment of wages to temporary or casual or daily wages workers during lock down period is a part of the moral/humanitarian/contractual obligation of the company.

"Moral obligation" can not be imposed on parties by law from legal point of view. "Law does not impose any moral responsibility on any party. It is the action of the parties that determines morality" - a legal expert opined. "a statutory obligation, on the other hand is universal and can be enforced by the Court".
Further MCA (Ministry of Company Affairs) also clarified that payment made to employees or casual workers during lock down will not qualify for CSR expenditure, but ex-gratia paid over and above salary will qualify as CSR.


From India, Aizawl

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