Madhu.T.K
Industrial Relations And Labour Laws
Suresh2511
Labour Consultant
Kritarth Consulting
Posh Programs; Hr Management Consultants
Bhartiya Akhil
Freelancer
[email protected]
Retired Government Servant/advocate
Pkjadia
Selfemployed

Essential services are continuing and employees of those organizations are attending to work. While most people are safe in the confines of their home, a few are taking the risk to come and work.
The EC Act 1923, covers occupational diseases peculiar to the employment Sec 3(2)a & Sch III, but will it also include any disease contracted during an epidemic?
In case of a permanent disability or death, what is the employer's liability?

From India, Mumbai
Employees Compensation Act confines the liability of the employer for death or disability during the course of due to employment. The diseases due to and related to occupation only will be covered. COVID 19 is not an occupational disease and death due to COVID 19 will not come under the purview of the employer.
However, if you ask the employees to come to office/ factory despite the instructions given by the government following the provisions of the Disaster Management Act that offices and factories should be closed and employees should be asked to remain at homes and due to this if someone has contracted COVID19 then the employer will be liable and the punishment is imprisonment for one year. In case of death or similar happening it shall extend upto 2 years!

From India, Kannur
This Case in point falls withing the Meaning of " Occupational Hazard" though not stated /specified/Listed. No Employer need to divest herself/hmself from her/his "Responsibilty", on any any ground including Moral/ Ethical ones, as the concerned Employee was " Ordered" to prsent herself/himself On-Duty despite readiness or unwillingness. The "Issue" need to be looked into by Employers, also on Humanitarian Ground. The Incapacitated or deceased was Faithfully Fulfilling her/ his Part of Employment Contract amy be not in writing.
Harsh K Sharan, Kritarth Team,
7.5.20

From India, Delhi
Thanks . But I am asking about essential services which are permitted by MHA notification. Example water supply, electricity supply, banks etc.
They are coming to their workplace to ensure essential services are going on. What if someone from those essential services contracts COVID due to being in workplace?

From India, Mumbai
COVID19 is an epidemic disease. It has nothing to do with occupation. A person can get COVID19 even without working anywhere. An occupational disease to come under the purview of employees Compensation Act is a disease attributed to occupation only. Moreover, it should be contracted DURING the COURSE of EMPLOYMENT.

However, we can take a defense like this. In the case of an employee of a bank, the chances of getting a disease transmitted though currency notes and persons visiting the bank are very high. Though you can get it when you exchange currency is a grocery shop or talk to a shop keeper, you can say that you got it workplace and you got the disease just because you were asked to work. But how can you prove that it was through the currency notes that you handled in the bank you got the disease?

From India, Kannur
We are overlooking Sec 3 (2) of the ECA. It says :

(3) (2) "If an *[employee] employed in any employment specified in Part A of Schedule III contracts any disease specified therein as an occupational disease ........."

Thus unless central government specify, it will not fall within section 3 (2). There many more riders in the section.

However, the like heart attacks / strokes, if could be relate to the employment, compensation may attract. Labour jurisprudence follows the principle of preponderance...hence, these are the documents and evidence available with employer and employee will decide whether it will cover under the ECA. If employee could prove that employer while permitted to operate the facility, did not follow the rules and guidelines for social distancing, personal hygiene, disinfection of work places, transports, provisions of masks, hand washing etc. or did not conduct awareness programmes, which might have attributed to infection resulting in the covid-19 to him, he may get compensation. Similarly, if employer can prove it otherwise by documents and other substantial evidences, that compliance was made, the liability cannot be fastened on him. In short, each case will go on its merit. Thus employers must be particular in documentation. Whatever, they do, that must be documented.

P K Jadia

Labour Law Consultant, Silvassa, UT of DNH and DD

9687625260,

From India, Jalalpur
The COVID 19 or any other epidemic disease may not be covered under the EC Act. And it can not be considered under Occupational Health Hazards.
All of us aware the Govt. declared special Insurance coverage for deceased dealing with Covid 19 cases for health & police personnel.
What remedy is available for the person engaged on essential service succumbed to death or disability, is a valid question ?
The employee engaged in any establishment are either covered under ESI or by the WC policy taken by the employer, besides Govt (TRAI) has already asked all the Insurance Company to extend the scope keeping Kovid 19.

From India, Mumbai
Dear Members,
EPFO has announced Ex-gratia Death Relief Fund of Rs.10/- lakh in the event of death of an employee due to COVID - 19 to his / her family. (Please refer EPFO Circular No. WELFARE/3 (136)2019/ Policy Matter/08 dated 28.04.2020.)
Suresh

From India, Thane
Thank you all for your comments.
From India, Mumbai
Is not too much hue and cry is being made of the Covid - 19? Yes, it is highly contagious, but, yo my knowledge, not deadly as it is being made out. Most of the deaths occur in cases where the affected persons are afflicted by many other health complications. Such being the real situation there is no real chance of any death because of Covid during the course of employment.
From India, Kochi

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