Legislative Assembly Passes Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Bill, 2020

The Legislative Assembly of Haryana government on November 5, 2020 passed a ‘Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Bill, 2020[1], (the Bill). The Bill paves a way for more employment opportunity for locals in private sector. Similar to the bill introduced by Andhra Pradesh Government, Haryana too has announced that 75 per cent of private sector jobs in the state, till a certain salary slab, shall be reserved for local candidates.

The Bill shall come into force on such date, as the Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify. The Bill, when implemented, would reserve 75% of the jobs in specified private sector posts for local candidates.

Salient features of the Bill –

  • Duration – The Bill provides that its provisions shall cease to have an effect on the expiry of 10 years from the date of its commencement (which date is to be notified by the state government).
  • Applicability – It applies to all the Companies[2], Societies[3], Trusts[4], Limited Liability Partnership firms[5], Partnership Firm[6] and an entity, employing 10 or more persons on salary, wages or other remuneration, as may be notified by the government from time to time. It shall not include the central government or state government or any organisation owned by the central or state government
  • Registration Requirements – The Bill require covered employer to register such employees of their establishment receiving gross monthly “salary or wages” not more than fifty thousand rupees or as notified by the Government, from time to time, on the designated portal, within three months of coming into force of this Act.

No person shall be employed or engaged by any employer till the registration of all such employees is completed on the designated portal.

  • Recruitment of local candidates – Every employer shall employ seventy-five per cent of the local candidates[7] with respect to such posts where the gross monthly salary or wages are not more than fifty thousand rupees or as notified by the Government. The employer may, at his option, restrict the employment of local candidates from any district to ten percent of the total number of local candidates.
  • Recruitment of outside-the-state candidate – Employer in the event a Covered Employer wishes to recruit from outside the state on the ground that there is a dearth of local candidates who meet the requisite skill, qualifications or proficiency, it would be required to apply to the Designated Officer appointed under the Bill. Before deciding on the application, the Designated Officer is required to assess whether the Covered Employer made attempts to recruit local candidates of the desired skill, qualifications or proficiency. The Designated Officer can not only accept or reject the application, but also direct the Covered Employer to train local candidates so that they meet the requirements.
  • Reporting requirements – The Bill requires Covered Employers to furnish quarterly reports regarding the local candidates recruited by them in the manner prescribed by the state government in its rules.
  • Penalties for Contravention – Non-compliance of the requirement provided under the Bill shall lead to imposition of a fine within the range of INR 25,000 – INR 1,00,000. If the employer continues to commit the violation even after conviction, a penalty of INR 1,000 per day till the violation continues shall be imposed. A penalty of INR 50,000 shall be levied on the employer who produces false records or counterfeits or knowingly makes/produces a false statement. The penalty, on a subsequent offence, shall not be less than INR 2,00,000 but may even extend to INR 5,00,000.

Similarly, failure to fill in 75% of the relevant posts for local candidates in the manner set out in the Bill may attract fine within the range of INR 50,000 – INR 2,00,000.

  • Employers that can be held liable – When a company commits an offence under this Act, every Director, Manager, Secretary, Agent or other officers or person concerned with the management shall be deemed guilty of the offence, unless he/she proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or consent.

In case of an offence committed by limited liability partnership firm – all the partners/ designated partners shall be held guilty of the offence. In case of offence committed by a Society or Trust – every person who was in charge at the time of commission of offence, or the person who was responsible for conduct of the business of the society at the time of commission of offence shall be deemed guilty of the offence.

If it is proved that the offence was committed with the consent or connivance of any Director, Manager, Secretary, Trustee or other officer of the society or trust, all of them shall be deemed guilty. No court shall take cognisance of any offence punishable under this Act unless a complaint is made within six months of the date on which the commission of offence came to the knowledge of authorised or designated officer.

Violation of Article 16 of the Constitution of India

Andhra Pradesh’s decision of introducing 75 per cent reservation for local candidates was challenged in the Andhra Pradesh High Court which observed that “it may be unconstitutional”. The Andhra Pradesh High Court had asked state government to inform if the quota-law was enacted as per the Constitution. Similar concerns were raised in Haryana Vidhan Sabha by opposition leaders. The bill was said to be violating Article 16 of the Constitution of India. Haryana government claims that while Article 16 talks about the “public employment”, the Bill only pertains to “private sector employment”.

The Bill is yet to be implemented and any legal action has not been initiated against it as on date.

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References –

1. https://www.jagranjosh.com/current-affairs/haryana-government-passes-bill-to-provide-75-percent-reservation-in-private-sector-jobs-to-local-candidates-1604648286-1

2. https://scroll.in/latest/977785/haryana-passes-bill-to-reserve-75-jobs-in-private-sector-for-locals

3. https://www.khaitanco.com/sites/default/files/2020-11/Ergo_11112020_0.pdf

4. https://prsindia.org/files/bills_acts/bills_states/haryana/2020/Bill%20No.%2033%20of%202020%20Haryana.pdf

Notes:-

[1]https://prsindia.org/files/bills_acts/bills_states/haryana/2020/Bill%20No.%2033%20of%202020%20Haryana.pdf

[2] a Company registered under the Companies Act, 2013;

[3] Society registered under the Haryana Registration and Regulation of Societies Act, 2012;

[4] a Trust as defined under the Indian Trust Act, 1882;

[5] a Limited Liability Partnership Firm as defined under the Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008;

[6] Partnership Firm as defined under Indian Partnership Act, 1932;

[7] a candidate who is domiciled in the State of Haryana;

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