RELIEF MEASURES UNDER LABOUR LAWS TAKEN AMIDST COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Keeping in view of the Covid-19 Pandemic, Government of India has announced a nationwide lockdown from midnight of 24/03/2030.

The GOI has made an appeal to all the employers to not deduct the salaries of their employees during the period of lockdown and hence this has put a financial burden on the employers to manage their finances when there will be no enough liquidity of funds.

In view of the above, the GOI has tried to relieve the financial pressure to some extent by announcing certain relaxations in compliance under various Statutory Acts.

Following are the relaxations announced under various statutory labour laws;

ESIC ACT:-

1. Due Date for filing and payment of contributions for the month of February 2020 and March 2020 have been extended up to 15/05/2020.

Employees Provident Fund &MP Act :-

1. GOI had announced relief under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna (PMGKY) for the months of March 2020, April 2020 and May 2020.

2. GOI will pay the 24% PF contribution for establishments fulfilling the following conditions;

  • Employee strength is less than 100 employees, and
  • 90% of employees earn monthly wages less than Rs.15000/- . The dept is silent whether wages means Baisc+DA or calculated as per Supreme Court judgement i.e. Gross wages less HRA/OT etc.
  • Some EPFO officers with whom we interacted have given a view that, the wages must be Basic + DA.
  • KYC of all employees should have been updated
  • Employers should submit a declaration before filing the ECR
  • Eligible Employers should not deduct PF contributions from employees salaries

3. Employers eligible for this benefits have to pay the administration (0.5%) & inspection (0.5%) charges only.

4. Gov has also given relaxation the condition of simultaneously paying the dues after filing the ECR . The establishments can now pay the dues later after filing the ECR however, dues should be paid within the due dates / extended due dates.

5. Due Date for March 2020 has been extended up to 15/05/2020.

6. No penal action against the employer, if ECR is filed in time and dues are paid within the extended time.

Appeal to all Establishments :-

All employers are requested to start their own Twitter and Facebook accounts to address the grievances of their employees.

Benefits to Employees:-

1. For employees, Gov has allowed the employees in service to withdraw 75% of accumulated balance or 3 months of salary (Basic +DA) or the claim amount whichever is lower.

2. Software changes have been made to make date of birth corrections as under;

  • If the difference in date of birth in EPFO and Aadhar Card is less than 01 year, such correction request will be auto approved.
  • No documents will be required to make corrections if the difference in date of birth in EPFO and Aadhar Card is less than 03 years.

3. Prerequisite to file withdrawal / advance withdrawal claims,

  • UAN should be activated
  • Aadhar Card should be linked with UAN
  • Bank account with IFSC should be seeded with the UAN
  • Mobile number should be seeded with the UAN

FAQS:-

Q 1. How can one know if their establishment is eligible for the benefit under PMGKY?

Ans: 

  • All those establishments which are eligible under the scheme will get a pop up box of the PMGKY info after logging into EPFO portal.
  • In the ECR filing tab, an option to submit the declaration can been seen. Employer has to furnish the information about the total number of employees and number of employees drawing wages less than Rs.15000/- and submit the declaration.
  • Portal will allow to file the ECR only after submitting the declaration.
  • The system will bifurcate the benefit amount and payable amount in the challan separately.

Q 2. Are the benefits given to all establishments submitting the declaration ?

Ans: 

  • No, all the above mentioned conditions should be satisfied to get the benefits
  • Even if one condition is not satisfied, benefit will not be given

Q 3. How to update the KYC of Employees without DSC ?

Ans: 

  • All the employers should immediately update the KYC / Basic details correction request of the employees with digital signatures.
  • Employers who do not have Digital Signatures should try the option of Aadhar based E-Sign to approve the KYC / Basic Correction details requests of the employees.
  • However, to use the option of E-Sign, the Aadhar numbers of the employers should be linked with their mobile numbers
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Qualification: CS
Company: S R Kudale & Associates LLP
Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra, IN
Member Since: 13 Apr 2020 | Total Posts: 10
I am a Practicing Company Secretary located at Mumbai having specialization in Corporate Laws and Labour Laws. Follow my Blog: www.csrohitkudale.com for regular updates. View Full Profile

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