Anonymous
I would like to know how to handle following problem:

Problem Definition:

A company has 26 Employees (+/- 3 Employee per month). Consider financial year 2019-2020. In the begining of the year (1-4-20), on record it had 18 employees (all eligible for PF).

Now note following events of joining and leaving:

(a) 02 (Mr. A and Mr. B) employees joined in June-2019,

(b) 01 (Mr. C) employee joined in August -2019,

(c) 02 (Mr. D and Mr. E) Joined in November-2019,

(d) 01 (Mr. A) Employee left in January 2020

(e) 02 (Mr. C and Mr. E) left in February 2020.

For the financial year (1 April 2019- 31 MARCH 2020) the company appointed, one HR agency to file EPF- ECR and also ESIC challans. Throughout the year (1 April 2019- 31 MARCH 2020), the HR agency, filled EPF- ECR & ESIC for only those 18 memebers who were on roll on 1 April 2019. The HR agency was being updated every month on joining / leaving employees. But due to poor working/organization in HR agency, the EPF+ESIC was filled of only those employees who were on roll on 1 April 19. The people who joined or left, no EPF/ESIC was paid, but it was deducted from their salary.

Question:

1) How to handle this situation and regularise the EPF.

2) How to handle this situation regarding ESIC and regularise.

3) What are legal implications?

From India, Pune
Hello,
In my Opinion:
Althought the HR agency did not file the ECR for the remaning employees, it is the primary duty and responsibility of the Principle Employer to ensure that the EPF & ESIC dues of all of its eligible employees are paid.
Now the questions
1) How to handle this situation and regularise the EPF.
Reply: The company needs to approach the EPF dept immediately and pay the due amount. The EPFO commissioner may levy a fine for the delayed payment. The fine may exceed upto 100 % of the dues. However, the company needs to convey the issue at hand. It will be upto the EPFO Commissioner to enforce the quantum of penalties. But it is advisable for the company themselves to approach the dept instead of any action under Sec.7A of the Act
2) How to handle this situation regarding ESIC and regularise.
Reply: The Same procedure to be followed for ESIC dues.
3) What are legal implications?
Reply: Considering that these employees although left the organisation, were there on your payroll and their names appear in the madatory registers that have to be maintianed by the company. The company will be open to Enquiry and Litigations under PF Act & ESIC Act.
In fact, if the EPF & ESIC dues are deducted from the wages of the employee and not remitted to the EPF/ESIC authority, it may attract penal consequensces of Criminal Nature also.
After you have duly paid the dues, the EPFO Dept may initiate an Enquiry under Sec 7A of the Act and ask for past 5 years records of the company. The company should be in a position to satisfy the EPFO commissioner that such instance has not occured in the past.
Considering the Gravity of the matter, i would advise to have a strong local EPF consultant to be appointed for dealing with the Dept.
Hope this satisfies your query
Regards


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