I was engaged as techncian apprentice at an psu one year apprenticeship in the month of December 2020 I selected and first three months it was paid full bug in month of March 2020 they revised our stipend against our call letter that I got an notice from my company that my stipend is going to be decreases as per new gazette from apprenticeship board but my company has engaged me for stipend as per call letter 90% semiskilled wages plus 2500 company stipend this accurs nearly 18000 but now they decreased it to 10500 but the gazete has issued in September of 2020 I engaged in the month December .

As per my call letter my they should give me full stipend as mentioned. And company was not taking our issue or responding to our mails and our colleagues want to file a case upon my company - can it be done or my company can do disciplinary action on us?

From India, Khammam
Dear Uday,
Disciplinary action is an employment process which comes into play only when there exists a contract of employment between two parties viz., the employer one who provides employment subject to certain mutually agreed terms and conditions and the other the employee the person getting employed for hire or reward. The apprenticeship contract never creates such an employment relationship between the organization and the apprentice. In case of any action by either of the parties in violation of any of the terms of the apprenticeship contract, the aggrieved party can at best terminate the contract forthwith. Where is the question of suing the other? Since the arrangement seems to be one sponsored by your college, let the college take appropriate steps to remedy the situation by ascertaining whether the reduction in the agreed amount of stipend is under any bonfide notification of the Government concerned. So ultimately, it is a tussle between the college and the company only.

From India, Salem
No sir it is an apprenticeship selected us by conducting an exam and interview As per notification of psu and shortlisted as merit basis there is involvement of my college and I was posted at class A city and my question is can a psu can decrease stipend without informing or as said in call letter? Does call letter valids to us ?
From India, Khammam
No involvement of college .. and can I go to court for my stipend issue is it better way to me nearly 1 lakh I need to loss
From India, Khammam
In my understanding, a civil action lies; but not before labour authorities or in a labour court but in a civil court.
From India, Kochi

Your description of the issue is a bit confusing, particularly the time periods mentioned. Anyhow, as you were taken by a PSU, it is most likely that it is under the Apprenticeship Act, and you are engaged as Trade Apprentice. As per the Apprentice Act, if so, you are required to be paid 80% of the semi-skilled wages notified for your area as the stipend. The extra amount the company is paying is an additional reward and since you were paid so only from December 19 to March 2020, it cannot be said to be a service condition. So no legal right accrues to you on this count as per labour laws. As regards Civil relief is concerned, yes there is an actionable claim. But before doing that the contract of Apprenticeship Training is to be seen.
As regards taking disciplinary action, if any of the misconducts mentioned in the Standing Orders applicable to your establishment is breached, it can take action and the ultimate penalty would be termination of the Contract of Apprenticeship itself, so it is risky to venture into any act that can be a 'misconduct'.

From India, Mumbai
Dear Uday,

I am sure that by this time you'd have understood the undercurrent of all the replies given so far. That's - some discrepancy has developed unfortunately in the contract of apprenticeship by the unilateral reduction of the amount of stipend by the PSU and any remedial legal action likely to be taken by any apprentice may end up with the cancellation of his apprenticeship contract by the company - that's all.

Apprenticeship is an extended form of education in case of technical or professional academic courses. Even some times, it can be a method of imparting certain designated technical skills to young people with minimum general educational qualification and stipend is the honorarium granted to such apprentices to meet the minimum basic expenses involved. That's why the Apprentices Act, 1961 and provisions under the IE(SO)Act, 1946 for the Scheme of Apprenticeship training by the establishments.

I infer from your successive posts that it falls under the category of Company Apprenticeship. If so, it is important that whether there is any clause in the contract empowering the Company to unilaterally revise the rate of stipend any time during the course of apprenticeship. If not, well, since it is a PSU, you can move the High Court by a writ petition under Article 226. Better file the writ jointly with all other apprentices.

From India, Salem

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