Anonymous
Hi everyone, I am working in a health tech startup company. I am the HR admin. We have given work from home option for all employees. Is it mandatory to provide full salary for the employees during WFH else can we deduct 25% from their salary since there will be a lack of efficiency in their work due to WFH? Also, please suggest the leave policy for covid 19 affected employees. Whether we need to give them full salary for 14 days without deducting from their leave balance or else can we adjust this with their leaves provided earlier?
From India, Kochi
KK!HR
1080

Payment of full salary during the WFH period is the best option and would keep your employees happy and motivated. By all means, if you can manage it that is the best. However if your financials are not permitting, then you can stop payment of conveyance allowance, uniform allowance, attendance bonus, entertainment allowance, etc which are linked to the employees' presence at work spot. The drop in effectiveness on account of WFH is not due to employee-related matters but is a work system issue and the employee cannot be held responsible or made to lose salary on this account.
Whether the quarantine period is to be adjusted against the leave to the credit of the employee is reflective of the approach the organization has towards its employees. If they are seen as only a pair of hands and are destined to work for you, then leave will be deducted, but if the approach is that every employee is a human resource and this resource takes care of all others, (say the Human Resource Approach) then the period of quarantine leave is not adjusted against any other leave.

From India, Mumbai
Thank you for the valuable suggestion
From India, Kochi
In the first COVID -19 there were instances where salary was deducted.

It is not fair on the part of employer to deduct wages from the employees for fault of nothing. It was the employer advised employees to work from home, hence, deducting wage is not advisable.

In of the IDA ( Industrial Development Area ) conveyance/washing/hazardous allowance was not paid, stating the reason that the employees were not advised them to report duty and they are entitled to only Basic pay and Dearness allowance. Lot of complaints have been filed before the labor department.

Last month they declared lockdown period, the State Govt categorically stated in the G.O that during the period of Lock down, no allownces be deducted from the salaries of the employees.

From India, Hyderabad
Legally you should pay the full salary. when a person is working from home, all over the world it is found that his/her output has increased. secondly the company is making a massive saving by not operating the office, Electricity and water saving itself is a big amount. The employee pays for electricity when working from home. Think of the situation positively to get better output from the employees. They would support more as they have less burden on travelling etc. For Covid 19 quarantine cases, it is advisable to pay the full salary. Just study what Ratan Tata has done in Tata group. he has decided to pay full salary to the family if an employee die from Covid, until his retirement age. Employment is a duel contract. Look after the employee specially in difficult time and they would look after the company.

Legally you should pay the full salary. when a person is working from home, all over the world it is found that his/her output has increased. secondly the company is making a massive saving by not operating the office, Electricity and water saving itself is a big amount. The employee pays for electricity when working from home. Think of the situation positively to get better output from the employees. They would support more as they have less burden on travelling etc. For Covid 19 quarantine cases, it is advisable to pay the full salary. Just study what Ratan Tata has done in Tata group. he has decided to pay full salary to the family if an employee die from Covid, until his retirement age. Employment is a duel contract. Look after the employee especially in difficult time and they would look after the company.

The Central Government had ordered during the first lockdown that employers will be required to pay the full salary for the lockdown period. However that is struck down by the courts and is no longer applicable.

However, if the person is working, he is entitled to his salary. Deduction of salary at an arbitrary rate or % is not allowed. However, allowances that are related to attending office (travel allowances, washing allowance, lunch allowance, etc) can be denied. On the other hand, the employee spends more money on his own power bill, AC, Internet Connection, etc. The courts have not given any verdict on the same yet, as most of the employees have accepted that certain cuts would be there during a crisis at this time.

Under various laws, including Industrial Dispute Act, employer can not unilaterally reduce wages or change the terms of employment. It has to be agreed with by the employees also. So you may have a problem under that also.

From a productivity and longterm labour relations point of view, you should avoid such a deduction in any case.

As regards salary for quarantine period, Maharashtra has passed an order under Disaster Management Act that any employee who contacts covid while he is coming to work (meaning if he is not WFH), then the salary will be paid for the full recovery and quarantine period by the employer. Further, this also applies to those who were forced to travel due to work reasons and are quarantined on account of contact in the office or during travel for work.

I suggest you look a the orders issued by your state government

From India, Mumbai
Thank you all for the suggestions
From India, Kochi

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