Amidst the worldwide fear of Novel Coronavirus, (COVID – 19), MCA has rolled down a web-based form (CAR) – 2020, i.e. Company affirmation of Readiness towards COVID 19 and maintaining social distancing. The MCA Notification states that the same will be applicable to all Companies / LLP irrespective of any criteria levied on it. Amidst the lockdown state in most part of the country this form has already created spark at the Board level of the management and professionals are struggling to offer a clear opinion based on the future impact it may have on the state of affairs of the Company as the Act has no reference to it and an affirmation may also increase compliance requirement of the Corporates.
The form is said to come into effect on Monday, 23rd March, 2020 and has to be filed by 30th March, 2020 (date revised after a state of lockdown in the country). This web based form looks upon the corporates towards fulfilling their social obligation towards their employees who work towards the fulfilment of organizational goals. The Corporates are required to put in place an immediate plan to implement the “work from home” policy both in the headquarters and also in field offices to combat the swelling rise in cases of COVID – 19 in our country, even if they do not have a permanent employee.
There have been widespread rumours in the Corporate world that another policy has to be framed by the Companies / LLP and it will again have to be reflected in the Annual Report but seeing the emergency in rolling out the form it can be felt that policy may not have to be necessarily a formal one but the steps which has been taken to keep employees / staffs away from office premises and the manner in which it has to be complied. But when it comes to policy, the decision should be taken at the management level in case of Company and partners in case of LLP.
Going by the notification the web based small form need not be certified by a Practicing Professionals and it does not require any Digital Signature of Director, CFO, Company Secretary etc. The only requirement it has it that of an Authorized Signatory of the Company / LLP who has to verify it based on an OTP received on his/her Mobile number stated therein and submit the same, without any payment of fees.
Seeing by the language it is clear that MCA may also consider relaxing some other mandatory requirements like it has done away with the holding of physical Board Meeting on matters such as approval of financial statement, board report, restructuring etc upto 30th June, 2020 and professionals have to tighten their belts once normalcy is restored.
1. To whom is this form applicable?
To All Companies / LLP including small companies, private companies, One Person Company (OPC) .All Companies/LLP include the companies, whether incorporated in India or not, but having operations in India.
2. When will the form be deployed?
The form is expected to be deployed on 23rd March, 2020 and is required to be submitted by 30th March, 2020 (extended by a week).
3. Is there any fees for filing the form?
4. Who can file the form on behalf of Companies / LLP?
CS, CFO, Managing Director, Director, Designated Partners or Authorized person who has been authorised for such purposes.
5. Whose Mobile number has to be entered in the form?
In case of Director / Designated Partner signing the form their mobile number will be automatically prefilled from database. In all other case, the Mobile Number shall be editable should be that of the person who is authenticating the form as it has to be verified by a One Time Password (OTP).
6. What if my organization does not have a whole time / permanent employee?
The form still has to be filed, but the Company / LLP will be eased of future compliance burden, if any.
7. Till when does such policy needs to be in place?
The policy needs to be in place till 31st March, 2020 as per present scenario but may be extended based on the review made by appropriate Govt. Authorities.
8. What if I do not adhere to filing of such web form?
There has not been any information on the same but going by the intent of the form, non – filing of it may not lead to any penal outcome.
9. On what basis can I prepare “Work from Home” policy?
This shall be prepared based on the guidelines and advisory issued by the Government from time to time to check the spread of COVID – 19.
10. How to track the filing of form?
Once the form is filed, a system based acknowledgement will be sent to: