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Today, the world is in the grip of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. While a worldwide containment effort to halt the spread of COVID-19 is on, stock markets continue to struggle, and companies are dealing with the challenges of lockdowns and ensuring the safety of their employees. All of this while working to support customers and to plan for an uncertain road ahead. The crisis is testing the agility, strategic decision making, and resilience of leaders everywhere.

The outbreak has presented new roadblocks for the workforce, and India is no different. The International Labor Organisation has called for urgent, large-scale, and coordinated measures across three pillars – protecting workers in the workplace, stimulating the economy and employment, and supporting jobs and incomes. The central and state governments have been issuing advisories on a regular basis, to provide directions on workforce management.

The directives from various jurisdictions, through the last week, have been summarized here:

Jurisdiction: Central (All India)

Date of Issue: April 15, 2020, | Valid Through:  May 15, 2020

EPF Contribution Due Date Extended For The Month Of March 2020. EPFO vide notification no.C-I/Misc./2019-20/VolII./Part./9 has extended the due date for payment of contributions and administrative charges/ inspection charges due for wage month March 2020 from 15th April 2020 to 15th May 2020 i.e. grace period of thirty days (16th April 2020 to 15th May 2020) for filing of Electronic Challan cum Return(ECR) to establishments disbursing wages for March 2020. Employers seeking the above relief need to file ECR for wage month March 2020 on or before 15th May 2020 duly certifying the disbursement of wages to employees by declaring actual date of disbursement of wages for March 2020 in the column “Salary disbursal date” in the ECR and remit the contributions and administrative/inspection charges on or before 15th May 2020.


Jurisdiction: Central (All India)

Date of Issue: April 15, 2020, | Valid Through:  May 15, 2020

ESI Contribution Due Date Extended For The Month Of February 2020. EPFO vide notification no.C-I/Misc./2019-20/VolII./Part./9 has extended the due date for payment of contributions and administrative charges/ inspection charges due for wage month March 2020 from 15th April 2020 to 15th May 2020 i.e. grace period of thirty days (16th April 2020 to 15th May 2020) for filing of Electronic Challan cum Return(ECR) to establishments disbursing wages for March 2020. Employers seeking the above relief need to file ECR for wage month March 2020 on or before 15th May 2020 duly certifying the disbursement of wages to employees by declaring actual date of disbursement of wages for March 2020 in the column “Salary disbursal date” in the ECR and remit the contributions and administrative/inspection charges on or before 15th May 2020.


Jurisdiction: Central (All India)

Date of Issue: April 11, 2020, | Valid Through: No Effective End Date Available

EPF Scheme Guidelines For Implementation Of PMGKY Credit Of Employers And Employee Contribution By Government Of India. EPFO has released the circular and guidelines to the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana Package for credit of Employees and Employers Share of EPF & EPS Contributions (24% of wages) for three months by Government of India. As per the notification to prevent disruption in the employment of low wage-earning employees and support establishments employing up to one hundred employees, the entire employees EPF contributions (12% of wages) and employers’ EPF & EPS contribution (12% of wages), totaling 24% of the monthly wages for the next three months shall be directly paid by the Central Govt. in the EPF accounts (UAN) of employees, who are already members of Employees Provident Funds Scheme,1952, drawing wages less than fifteen thousand rupees per month and employed in establishments, already covered under the Employees Provident Funds And Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1952, employing up to one hundred employees, with 90% or more of such employees earning less than fifteen thousand rupees monthly wages.


Jurisdiction: Punjab

Date of Issue: April 20, 2020, | Valid Through: 3 months from the date of issue

Government of Punjab, Labour department vide notification dated 20th April 2020, in the exercise of powers conferred under Section 65 of the Factories Act 1948, has exempted factories for three months from certain provisions of the Act. As per the notification the regular working hours of Nine hours per day as per Section 54 of the Act and allow the working of maximum twelve hours per day for all factories permitted to operate in the State of Punjab. Spread over hours shall not exceed thirteen hours in one day instead of a maximum of ten and half hours as provided under Section 56 of the Act. The workers shall be provided wages at the rate of twice the ordinary rate of wages as provided for overtime under Section 59 of the Act. All precautionary measures advised by the Government.


Jurisdiction: Andrapradesh

Date of Issue: April 18, 2020, | Valid Through: No Effective End Date Available

The Government of Andhra Pradesh has issued instructions to all the Government as well as Private Establishments to make payment of wages/salaries fully to the workers of the employees including those working under Contract and Outsourcing basis during the lockdown period and the violation will be viewed seriously and invite penal action under the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897. In this regard, the Chief Secretary to Government of Andhra Pradesh has issued instructions to the Labour Department, to ensure, that every migrant labour in the AP shall be provided food and shelter, and also facilitate all industries and factories to pay their wages/salaries during the lockdown period. All the labour in the industries shall be paid salaries during the lockdown period without making any deductions and shall not to remove any contract or casual labour, any violations of this order will be punishable under Disaster Management Act. The JCLs/DCLs are required to submit a daily report in prescribed proforma (enclosed) in coordination with the General Manager, District Industries Centre without fail before 6:00 PM.


Jurisdiction: Karnataka

Date of Issue: April 16, 2020, | Valid Through: May 30, 2020

Karnataka Tax On Professions, Trades, Callings And Employments (Removal Of Difficulties) Order, 2020. The Government of Karnataka vide order No.FD 03 CPT 2020 has extended the monthly PT contribution due date for the month of March 2020 from the existing date of 20th April 2020 to 20th May 2020 and the due date for payment of enrollment tax has been extended from the existing date of 30th April 2020 to 30th May 2020.


Jurisdiction: Haryana

Date of Issue: April 21, 2020, | Valid Through: No Effective End Date Available

Haryana State Disaster Management Authority has released an order allowing E-commerce companies, vehicles used by e-commerce operations to ply with necessary permissions.


Jurisdiction: Karnataka

Date of Issue: April 22, 2020, | Valid Through: May 3, 2020

Update released by the Government of Karnataka on the 22nd of April 2020. The Government of Karnataka released a relaxation order with a list of industries whose employees would be allowed to work and extensions on the other essential services like courier, irrigation, metro rail project, construction of road and pharmaceutical including minimum employees in the IT BT Industries.


Jurisdiction: Maharashtra

Date of Issue: April 22, 2020, | Valid Through: July 31, 2020

Government of Maharashtra, Department of Labour has extended the deadline for filing annual returns under The Maharashtra Shops And Establishments (Regulation Of Employment And Conditions Of Service) Act, 2017, to 31st July 2020 as many establishments could not file their annual returns for the year 2019 due to the outbreak of COVID 19


Credits

  • Susmita Sen, Head- HR Advisory
  • Saishree Kidiyoor, Manager- HR Advisory
  • Wristy, Manager– HR Advisory
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