Madhu.T.K
Industrial Relations And Labour Laws
Rkn61
Hr Manager
Ssushr
Pune

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Hello Seniors... I am working in HR department as a executive in one of the corporate hospital in AP. I am the only person dealing with all the hr activities individually and running the show without any hassels. I am not much aware of the statutory obligations concerning to Labour department . Recently my organization imposed a penal damage from labour department for not paying the minimum wages to work men like permanent employees and contract labour.
I conveyed the same to my management and cleared all the payments owed by us. Now i am unaware that how to appraoch the commisioner of labour . Kindly help me in this threat and let me know if i need to write any covering letter with the proof of payments.

If you have paid the arrears, ie, the difference between actual wages paid and the wages payable as per minimum wages notification, you can prepare a statement to that effect with proof of receipt or bank statement in support of it and appear before the concerned officer (not necessarily be the Labour Commissioner but may be an Assistant Labour Officer) who has issued the order. Your appearance will be evidenced in the proceedings and whatever explanation that you give will be noted. Once both of you (yourself and the Labour Officer) sign, it becomes a statement. You can also submit the proof of payment of difference of salary. There is no other formality.
As you have cleared all payments by conveying with your management, why do you want to
write to Labour Commissioner?
At the outset, you need to obtain the minimum wages stipulated by your State Government,
and compare this with the present payment made by your organization. If your payments are
higher than the minimum wages, then you can escalate the same with the higher ups in Labour Department, and seek for refund, if applicable.
If your purpose is only to apprise/inform Labour Department for compliance, then it will be
better, if you address to the same person, who had signed the penal damage notice sent to you
by Labour department.

Thank you both for your valid replies. But the thing is , we got the complaince directly from Speacial commisioner of Labour, and the inspection was done by our zonal Labour officer. When we asked the local Officer of Labour department, they are asking us to submit the statements to the Commisioner of Labour only. Hence, I need to address the concern official with the proof of payments . So please guide me how to write a covering letter on this issue
Thanks in advance
Kinvitha

As I said it is nothing but appearance what they mean. What is more important is the proof of compliance and if you have paid the difference, you can either tell the same and submit the proof in a personal hearing or if you just want to send it by post, you just quote the reference number of the letter issued by the Zonal Labour Officer and say that " Pursuant to the directions in the notice above referred, we have paid the difference of salary to make it at par with minimum wages notification. We are submitting the proof of payment for your kind perusal and disposal of legal action proposed."

This is enough. If you need to clarify further on this you should appear before the Officer or Commissioner personally and give your statement. There is nothing harm in asking for a personal hearing in the covering letter itself. This is required to avoid further queries. If you desire to have PH, please write like this after the above sentence:

" If you need any clarification on the documents submitted, a personal hearing may kindly be granted to us at your convenience"

this is enough.

You check at your end, whether the wages & salary are being paid by your agency to different categories of employed person is as per the rate envisaged by the Govt under minimum wages. Take an example Govt has notified that wages of a Nurse Grade A is Rs.X/PD & Rs. Y/PM for 8 hours of working and you are paying her Rs. Z, if the Z is equal & greater than X & Y then there is no violation. You go to the office of Labour from where you served with notice to know the source of complain without a complaint the office would not impose a penal damage unless there is a violation.
If Labour Officer (Inspector) conducts inspection of your work site he is issuing Inspection Report cum shown cause notice to the employer / contractor or Principal Employer under applicable labour laws in which he is clearly mentioning the breach of Section/ Rules under each enactment and also the statement of difference of wages if you have paid wages at a rate less than the minimum wages or OT wages under Minimum Wages Act. If you are not complying with the observations mentioned in the inspection, he may file prosecution before the Judicial Magistrate for the offences with regard to non maintanance of register, non display o f notices or non issue of wages slips. He may file claim case before the Authority appointed by the Appropriate government to decided the claim amount. Both the Judicial Magistrate and Authority under Minimum Wages Act will give you opportunity to submit your explanation and decide the matter on merit. When Judicial Magistrate decide the case either on your pleading guilty you have no option but to pay fine. If convicted, you may either pay fine or appeal to the appellate court. In claim case also if you are satisfied with the order of the Authority under Minimum wages Act, you have to pay the difference of wages with compensation imposed by the Authority either to the workers and produce the proof to him or to deposit the allowed amount in the account number as mentioned in the order of the Authority. Now in your case, if the Inspector has only issued inspection report, you have to submit reply to the authority mentioned in the inspection report cum show cause and copy of the reply to be sent to the inspector by enclosing the relevant documents to prove you have paid minimum wages to the concerned employees. If you have paid less wages to any employee than the rates fixed by the appropriate government then you have to pay the difference of wages and submit the proof alongwith your reply. By your submission, your case is related to the conditions of licence, as per Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Central Rules, Rule 25(2) (v) (a) & (b) where the contract labours and labours employed directly by the Principal Employer are performing same and similar work, you need to pay the same wages to the contract labours as paid to the regular employees employed by the principal Employer. In this case if you wish to prove that the nature of work performed by the contract labours and principal employer is different and therefore the contract labours are not entitled to same wages as drawn by the principal employer, then, the Inspector will file case against the Principal employer and contractor under the relevant rule and the Authority appointed to hear such cases , may be Dy Chief Labour Commissioner in Central Govt and Dy Labour Commissioner in State Govt. In such a case the Inspector has to file many documents and to produce evidence/ witness to establish his case and contractor and Principal Employer have to prove that the work performed by the contract labours and workers employed directly by the principal employer is different. The Authority will issue orders based on the evidence produced before him. Aggrieved party can approach to the High court. Now you examine your case is at what stage and take appropriate action.
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