Legal Update – Exemption to all IT/ITES Establishments : Telangana Shop & Esstt Act

Categories
Shop & Establishments

Exemption to all IT/ITES Establishments : Telangana Shop & Esstt Act

Dear All,

The enclosed Notification outlines a government order from the Labour Employment Training & Factories (Labour-I) Department of Telangana State. Here are the key points:

Exemption Granted: All Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) and Information Technology Establishments in Telangana are exempted from certain provisions of the Telangana Shops and Establishments Act, 1988, for four years starting from 30th May 2024. This exemption is issued under the authority of G.O.Ms. No. 5 dated 7th June 2024.

Exempted Sections: The sections from which these establishments are exempted include sections 15, 16, 21, 23, and 31 of the Telangana Shops and Establishments Act, 1988.

Conditions for Exemption:

Weekly working hours are limited to 48 hours. Overtime wages are applicable for work beyond this limit. Employees must be given a weekly off.

Engagement of young and women employees during night shifts is permitted with adequate security and transportation to and from their residences.

Provision of identity cards and welfare measures as per existing rules.
Compensatory holidays with wages for work on notified holidays.
Pre-employment screening and collection of bio-data for drivers, including verification of their credentials.

The schedule and route for pick-up and drop-off must be decided by the company’s supervisory officer weekly, with any changes requiring their prior knowledge.

Confidentiality of women employees’ contact details.
Ensuring women employees are not the first to be picked up or the last to be dropped off.

Providing security guards for night shift vehicles is desirable.
Random checks on vehicles by designated supervisors.
Establishment of a control room/travel desk for monitoring vehicle movements.

The exemption can be revoked at any time without prior notice if conditions are violated or if it is detrimental to the employees.
Maintenance of Integrated Registers and filing of integrated returns as per G.O.Ms.No.23 dated 24th March 2016.

This order aims to regulate working conditions and ensure the safety and welfare of employees in the IT sector while providing operational flexibility to IT establishments in Telangana.

 

Download

PAYMENT OF BONUS ACT 1965

Categories
Blogs

Your Guide to Bonus Payments: The Payment of Bonus Act 1965

INTRODUTION

The “Payment of Bonus Act 1965,” along with its amendments by the “Payment of Bonus Rules, 1975” (central rules), legally mandates employers to ensure bonus payments. Its primary objective is to impose a legal obligation on employers regarding bonus provision.

Any factory or establishment that employs a minimum of 20 individuals on any given day during the financial year falls under the applicability of the Payment of Bonus Act 1965.

 

What exactly is a Bonus?

An employer gives a bonus to an employee as an additional payment, typically as a reward, along with their regular monthly salary within an establishment. The primary aim of a bonus is for the organization to distribute its profits among its workforce. It’s important to emphasize that a bonus does not take into account any form of non-monetary contribution.

The employer must ensure that the minimum bonus is equivalent to 8.33% of the employee’s annual wage or a fixed amount of one hundred rupees for employees aged 15 and above, and sixty rupees for those below 15. However, the employer must limit the maximum bonus payable during the fiscal year to 20% of the employee’s salary.

 

What are the establishments/industries/factories covered by the act?

The law applies across India and covers:

All factories

Other establishments with 20 or more employees engaged on any day during the year

Any establishment or category of establishments recognized in the Gazette by the relevant governments

Part-time employees are also covered.

Establishments under the Payment of Bonus Act 1965 must continue bonus payments even if the number of employees decreases later on.

 

Which types of establishments are exempt from the application of the Act?

General Insurance Company or LIC employs workers.

Seafarers fall under the Merchant Shipping Payment of Bonus Act 1965.

The Reserve Bank of India employs staff.

Unit Trust of India, IDBI, Deposit Insurance Corporation, and similar organizations employ workers.

 

What are the criteria employees need to fulfill to qualify for a bonus?

Employees qualify to receive a bonus if they meet the following criteria:

Their monthly salary must not surpass Rs. 21,000/- (As per the 2015 Amendment).

They must have worked in the establishment for at least 30 days throughout the calendar year.

However, involvement in certain misconducts such as fraud, aggression, rioting, theft, misappropriation, or property sabotage disqualifies an employee from receiving a bonus (As per Section 9 of the Payment of Bonus Act 1965).

 

What is the maximum time for Bonus Payment?

Employers must disburse the bonus within eight months from the conclusion of the financial year or within one month from the enactment of the Payment of Bonus Act 1965.

 

How is the amount of Bonus due determined?

Section 10 of the Payment of Bonus Act 1965 requires all institutions covered by the act to provide a minimum bonus of 8.33% of the employee’s salary/wages. However, Section 11 stipulates that the maximum bonus allowable cannot exceed 20% of the employee’s salary/wages.

As of 2015, the calculation ceiling for bonus computation rose to Rs. 7,000 per month from its previous level of Rs. 3,000. Hence, employees with a gross salary of up to Rs. 21,000 per month qualify for a bonus.

Only the employee’s salary/wages and Dearness Allowance are considered for bonus calculation.

Therefore, if the Basic Salary and Dearness Allowance fall below Rs. 7,000 (the calculation ceiling), the bonus calculation will be based on the actual amount. However, if the Basic Salary and Dearness Allowance exceed Rs. 7,000, the bonus calculation will be based on Rs. 7,000 only.

 

What are the Act’s offense and penalty provisions?

If an individual fails to comply with any provision of the Payment of Bonus Act 1965 or its regulations, they may face imprisonment for up to six months, a fine of up to Rs. 1,000, or both.

Non-compliance with a directive issued under the Payment of Bonus Act 1965 may lead to imprisonment for up to six months, a fine of up to Rs. 1,000, or both.

If the corporation commits an offense under the Payment of Bonus Act 1965, individuals responsible for the company’s operations (such as Managing Director, CEO, CFO, Managerial Head) will incur corresponding penalties.

 

What are the most recent Act updates/changes?

An amendment named the Payment of Bonus (Amendment) Act, 2015, became effective on April 1, 2014, increasing the maximum calculation for bonus payment to Rs. 7,000.

Furthermore, the Payment of Bonus (Amendment) Rules, 2016, which revised the fundamental rules of 1975, were officially published in the gazette.

 

Bonus Disqualification Under the Act

Section 9 of the law stipulates that if an employee is terminated for reasons such as fraud, engaging in violent behavior on the business premises, or involvement in theft, misappropriation, or sabotage of company property, they become ineligible to receive a bonus under the Payment of Bonus Act 1965.

This guideline reflects the recommendation of the Bonus Commission, emphasizing that employees who contribute to the stability and prosperity of the industry, rather than those who display disruptive behavior, should receive bonuses. Undoubtedly, receiving bonuses entails a responsibility to uphold good conduct..

 

Payment of Minimum Bonus

Section 10 of the Payment of Bonus Act 1965 mandates that every employer must ensure that each employee receives a minimum bonus equal to 8.33% of their salary or wage earned during the fiscal year, or one hundred rupees, whichever is higher. For employees under the age of fifteen at the beginning of the fiscal year, this Section applies with sixty rupees substituted for “one hundred rupees.” The employer must still pay the minimum bonus even if the company experiences losses during the fiscal year.

 

Payment of Maximum Bonus

If the allocable surplus for a fiscal year specified in Section 10 exceeds the minimum bonus amount prescribed for employees under that Section, the employer may choose to give a bonus equivalent to each employee’s salary or wage earned during that fiscal year. The calculation of the allocable surplus under this Section takes into account any amounts allocated or set off under the provisions of Section 15.

 

Conclusion

The Payment of Bonus Act 1965 was enacted to legalize the practice of many organizations providing bonuses. It establishes a bonus calculation approach tied to profits and performance, enabling employees to earn beyond the minimum salary or income.

 

Equal Remuneration Act 1976

Categories
Blogs
equal remuneration act 1976. equality.

The Equal Remuneration Act 1976: Equal Pay for All

The Equal Remuneration Act (ERA) aims to bridge the gender pay gap by ensuring equitable pay for employees in similar roles, regardless of gender, wage scale, social security, or nationality. Enacted in 1976 to combat sex-based discrimination, it safeguards workers from wage-related exploitation. The Act applies universally to employers, irrespective of their size or job classifications, covering both manual and non-manual labor positions, as well as aspects like hotel accommodations, travel expense reimbursements, and compensation for temporary work assignments or relocations.

Under this legislation, payments must be made by the 7th of each month for businesses with fewer than 1000 employees, and by the 10th for those with over 1000 employees.

 

Why Is the Act Important to Employers and Employees?

Promotes Workplace Fairness and Equality

The ERA ensures equitable compensation for employees by addressing various factors like gender and other forms of bias that may impede fair pay. Additionally, the Act safeguards fringe benefits such as leave, holidays, and allowances. Employment regulations like the Minimum Wages Act of 1948 ensure that all workers receive fair compensation to sustain their customary means of living.

 

Promotes Respectful Business Practices Towards Employees

The ERA encourages government employers to embrace business practices that ensure equal treatment for all employees, regardless of gender. Organizations that implement such practices have noticed increased employee motivation, as individuals feel valued and rewarded solely based on their job performance. Additionally, the central government mandates that employers avoid gender discrimination and strive to narrow the wage gap. Employers must adhere to these laws and uphold wage equality.

 

Safeguards Women Against Wage and Benefit Discrimination

Historically, women have encountered bias and unfair treatment concerning wages and benefits at work. By eliminating unjust disparities, the ERA guarantees equal treatment for both genders regarding workplace benefits, encompassing wages, vacation time, sick leave, health insurance, retirement plans, and more.

Recent studies indicate that the average monthly earnings in India were INR 32,840 (approximately US$422).

Key Provisions of the Act:

 

  1. Prohibition of Gender-Based Discrimination:

The ERA prohibits discrimination based on gender in terms of remuneration for any job, regardless of occupation. Employers are prohibited from providing different compensation solely based on an individual’s sex. The Act emphasizes valuing employees without regard to their gender or sexual orientation.

 

  1. Wage Revision Requirement:

The Act mandates periodic wage revisions, taking into account changes in the cost of living and wage history, to ensure equal pay for equivalent work performed by both men and women. It guarantees that individuals receive equal wages for equal positions within the same organization.

 

  1. Establishment of Wage Fixing Authority:

The Act establishes a wage-fixing authority appointed by the government to ensure that wages are fairly determined and appropriate compensation is provided for various job roles across workplaces in India. Job postings must adhere to competitive compensation strategies, explicitly stating the basis of wage determination and its applicability to both genders.

Additionally, if a surcharge is applied, an additional 4% tax for health and education purposes will be levied on both the income tax and the surcharge amount.

 

  1. Promoting Balanced Gender Pay Ratios:

The Equal Pay Act ensures that all qualified individuals, regardless of gender, receive equitable wages, and female candidates are not subject to discrimination in training, transfers, or promotions. Benefits such as dearness allowance, minimum wage rates, and travel allowances should be consistent for all employees performing similar duties or responsibilities. Bonuses must range from a minimum of 8.33% to a maximum of 20%.

 

  1. Consequences for Non-Compliance:

Employers failing to adhere to the Equal Pay Act may face severe penalties, including forfeiting wages for business days, paying liquidated damages, and fines. Employers may invoke affirmative defenses to avoid liability by demonstrating that their pay structure is based on factors such as seniority or merit rather than gender. Federal government employees have the right to pursue claims in civil court for non-compliance with the Act. However, employers must clearly outline compensation in job postings to ensure fair wages for all.

 

  1. Advancing Gender Equality:

The ERA stands as a landmark legislation fostering gender equality in workplaces. By ensuring equal pay for equal work, it helps narrow the gender wage gap and enhances economic security for women. Moreover, the Act underscores India’s commitment to promoting gender equality and empowering women by offering improved job prospects and financial stability.

 

Implications of the Equal Remuneration Act

Ensuring Fair Allocation of Working Hours:

The ERA mandates protection against gender-based discrimination concerning working hours, necessitating employers to maintain uniform criteria for men and women engaged in similar roles. If female employees are granted extended working hours, equivalent provisions must be extended to male employees as well. Both domestic and international corporations are bound by the ERA’s provisions, requiring equal working hours for male and female employees alike.

 

Ensuring Equitable Employee Benefits Allocation:

Under the ERA, employers are obligated to provide uniform employee benefits irrespective of gender identification. This encompasses entitlements such as maternity and paternity leave, healthcare coverage, life insurance policies, pension schemes, etc. Employers must ensure equal accessibility to official employee provident fund facilities to enable both male and female workers to avail themselves without discrimination.

 

Promoting Equality Across Business Divisions:

According to the ERA, all enterprises must treat employees equally, regardless of gender identification, when distributing resources and talent across various business units. Positions must be filled based on merit, ensuring both male and female individuals have equal opportunities to secure suitable roles with commensurate remuneration packages across each business division they operate in.

Stricter compliance regulations emphasize the necessity for companies to uphold uniform standards of equality across all business units. Failure to comply may result in significant legal repercussions.

 

Ensuring Compliance with the Act:

  1. Establish a Gender-Neutral Compensation Policy:

Employers should formulate a compensation policy devoid of gender biases to ensure equitable pay for all employees. This may involve defining clear criteria for determining pay, such as qualifications, experience, and job responsibilities, while avoiding subjective factors that could lead to gender-based pay differentials.

 

  1. Maintain Thorough Documentation:

Employers should maintain meticulous records of employee wages, encompassing details on pay rates, job roles, and performance assessments. This practice aids in identifying and promptly addressing any instances of pay disparities. Additionally, employers should provide employees with legal protections and cost-of-living allowances to safeguard them against potential legal challenges.

 

  1. Conduct Training Sessions:

Employers ought to organize training sessions for managers and human resources personnel to educate them about the requirements of the ERA and the importance of pay equity. This ensures that all staff members are aware of their rights and emphasizes the company’s dedication to fair compensation practices. Additionally, the company should refrain from taking adverse employment actions, such as demotions or terminations, against employees who assert their rights under the Act.

 

How Can Employers Use the Equal Remuneration Act to Their Advantage?

Employee Engagement:

Employers can leverage the ERA to initiate conversations with employees regarding pay equity, encouraging them to voice concerns about potential disparities. This approach fosters a more equitable work environment and enhances employee satisfaction.

 

Enhanced Employer Reputation:

Embracing a policy of equal pay for equal work can enhance an employer’s reputation among customers, clients, and stakeholders, showcasing a commitment to fairness and social responsibility. Additionally, it can attract top talent to the organization.

 

Recognition of Employee Value:

Through implementing the ERA, employers demonstrate to employees that they value and respect their contributions. This acknowledgment fosters increased loyalty and engagement, ultimately leading to enhanced productivity in the workplace.

 

Commitment to Compliance:

Employers should demonstrate a genuine commitment to comply with the ERA. This entails regularly reviewing salary structures, addressing any identified disparities, and providing all employees with opportunities for career growth and advancement.

Employment Exchange Act 1959

Categories
Blogs

Exploring the Employment Exchanges Act (1959): Your Key to Job Opportunities.

Introduction

In the ever-evolving landscape of employment, it’s imperative to seamlessly connect job seekers with suitable job openings. The Employment Exchanges Act 1959 assumes a crucial role in achieving this pivotal objective. Additionally, this legislation seeks to streamline the employment process and guarantee optimal utilization of the workforce by ensuring job seekers promptly receive pertinent information about available positions. In this comprehensive article, we’ll delve into the fundamental objectives of the Employment Exchanges Act, its significant contribution to enhancing job opportunities, and its paramount importance for both job seekers and employers.

 

Understanding the Employment Exchanges Act, 1959

Grasping the Employment Exchanges Act of 1959 entails comprehending its role in creating a synchronized framework for accessing employment opportunities. Additionally, this legislation explicitly acknowledges the paramount importance of connecting individuals seeking employment with potential employers, thereby fostering an environment conducive to the efficient exchange of employment opportunities.

 

Key Elements of the Legislation

Mandatory Vacancy Notification: At its core, the law mandates the prompt notification of job vacancies to employment exchanges. This requirement ensures that job information reaches a wider pool of potential candidates, consequently increasing the likelihood of suitable matches.

Integrated Employment Exchange System: The legislation envisions establishing a network of employment exchanges to facilitate a platform where individuals seeking employment can register their skills and preferences, while employers can announce job openings. This integrated system streamlines the job search process and fosters efficient communication between job seekers and employers.

Job Matching: By linking job seekers with appropriate employment opportunities, the law addresses the disparity between labor demand and supply. This promotes the effective utilization of available workforce resources, resulting in optimal workforce allocation.

Timely Communication: The legislation underscores the significance of timely communication between employers and job seekers. This enables job seekers to access relevant opportunities promptly, while employers can identify suitable candidates for their vacancies, thus expediting the hiring process.

 

Importance of the Legislation

Boosting Employment Prospects: The Employment Exchanges Act plays a pivotal role in improving job prospects for individuals seeking employment. By facilitating access to a broader array of job openings, it enhances the likelihood of finding suitable employment opportunities, thereby bolstering employment prospects.

Maximizing Workforce Efficiency: Through effective job matching, the legislation aids in maximizing the efficiency of the labor force. This benefits both employers and job seekers alike by ensuring that skills and job opportunities are aligned effectively, thus maximizing workforce efficiency.

Fostering Diversity and Inclusion: The act fosters diversity and inclusion by providing a platform for job seekers with diverse backgrounds and skill sets to explore suitable employment opportunities. Consequently, it actively promotes diversity and inclusion within the workforce.

Stimulating Economic Development: A well-operated employment exchange system contributes to economic development by reducing unemployment rates and promoting a more efficient allocation of human resources. Consequently, this process stimulates economic growth and development.

 

In conclusion.

The Employment Exchanges Act of 1959 underscores the government’s commitment to fostering a conducive environment for both job seekers and employers. Through its mandate for mandatory vacancy notification to employment exchanges, the legislation establishes a robust framework that facilitates job matching and encourages the effective utilization of labor. In today’s rapidly evolving employment landscape, where information dissemination and opportunity access are paramount, this act holds significant importance. As businesses and individuals engage with the guidelines outlined in this act, they contribute to cultivating a more dynamic and inclusive job market, ultimately benefiting the entire economy.

Factory Act 1948 Compliance: A Comprehensive Guide

Categories
Blogs

Factory Act 1948: Your Complete Guide

A concise overview of the historical development of the Factories Act:

In India, the introduction of machinery in cotton industries during the latter part of the 19th century ushered in increased production and marked the beginning of the development of more factories.

Major Moore, the Chief Inspector of the Bombay Cotton Department, first raised concerns about the need for legislation to regulate working conditions in factories. Consequently, legislators enacted the initial Factories Act in 1881, primarily focusing on prohibiting the employment of children below the age of 7. Legislators introduced subsequent amendments under the Indian Factories Act in 1891. Post World War I, in 1911, legislators made amendments to the Factories Act, including provisions related to working hours, minimum age, and night work for women and children. These proactive measures aimed to address the evolving needs of the workforce and ensure better working conditions in factories.

Further developments occurred in 1934 when, based on the recommendations of the Royal Labour Commission, the Factories Act of 1934 was enacted, replacing all previous versions. Following numerous amendments post-1934, the Factories Act of 1948 was passed by the constituent assembly on August 28, 1948, coming into effect on April 1, 1949. This act has undergone subsequent amendments to address evolving needs.

The Bhopal Gas tragedy prompted the introduction of a separate chapter on hazardous processes in the 1987 amendment. Consequently, the Factories Act aims to ensure adequate safety measures, maintain working conditions, and promote the health and welfare of laborers in factories. In 2019 and 2020, certain states, including Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, UP, and Himachal, introduced significant changes through ordinances and amendments to the Factories Act to revitalize the economy affected by the Covid-19 lockdown. Notable changes included an increase in working hours from 8 to 12 hours per day and from 48 to 72 hours per week, along with applicable overtime wages. However, this led to social consequences and worker agitation, with some states withdrawing the notifications and others challenging them in court. Subsequently, the Central government later introduced a Labour Code that consolidates the existing 29 Central Acts into 4 codes. Specifically, the Occupational Safety, Health, and Working Conditions Code, 2020 repealed 13 central Acts, including the Factories Act, 1948, regulating the occupational safety, health, and working conditions of employees. Moreover, the new code aims to streamline and modernize labor laws for better implementation and enforcement.

 

The necessity of conducting a Factory Compliance Audit

An audit is a necessary examination in any business operation aimed at enhancing a company’s internal controls and systems. It serves to pinpoint weaknesses within the operations, enabling the company to rectify them. Additionally, audits are crucial for identifying potential non-compliance in factories, ensuring the maintenance of adequate safety measures and working conditions, and promoting the health and welfare of labourers. The overarching goal is to ensure compliance with all statutory aspects, thereby avoiding penal consequences under various Acts.

 

Who falls under the regulations of the Factories Act, 1948?

A factory that employs 10 or more workers in any day during the preceding 12 months for manufacturing activities with the assistance of power, a factory employing 20 or more workers for manufacturing activities without the aid of power, new factories yet to commence manufacturing activities, and existing factories expanding their manufacturing activities are all subject to the regulations of the Factories Act, 1948.

 

Activities related to compliance under this Act

Engaging in compliance activities under this Act involves:

  1. Obtaining a new license
  2. Renewing or amending existing licenses
  3. Issuing relevant notices
  4. Filing periodic returns
  5. Maintaining various registers
  6. Disclosing and displaying information to various stakeholders
  7. Remitting statutory payments
  8. Facilitating inspections by Inspectors, and more.

 

Responsibility in the event of Non-Compliance with this Act

Any violation of the Factories Act results in penal consequences for the Occupier and the Manager, including:

  1. Under Section 92 of the Act, contravention of its provisions and rules may lead to a fine of up to Rs. 2 lakhs and imprisonment for a maximum of 2 years.
  2. Continuous breach incurs a daily penalty of Rs. 10,000 until the violation persists.
  3. For accidents causing death or serious bodily injury, Section 94 imposes a fine not less than Rs. 25,000 in case of death and Rs. 5000 in case of serious bodily injury.
  4. Section 93 holds the owner responsible for leased industrial premises, ensuring services like drainage, water supply, electricity, lighting, and approach to main roads are adequately maintained.
  5. Certification is required for individuals to work in factory premises. Falsifying a fitness certificate can result in imprisonment for 2 months and a fine of at least Rs. 10,000.

Legal Update – Conditions in respect of employing women in the factory during night shift.

Categories
Factories Act

Conditions in respect of employing women in the factory during night shift

In exercise of the power conferred by clause (b) Sub-section (1) of Section-66 of Factories Act, 1948 (Central Act 63 of 1948) and in supersession of all other notifications issued in this behalf, the Governor of Haryana hereby prescribes the following conditions in respect of any factory which apply for the exemption for employing women in the factory during night shift i.e. between the hours of 07.00 PM to 06.00 AM, in respect of their Safety and Security. Such exemption shall be valid for one year from the date of issuance of the notification:-

A. No women shall be subjected to sexual harassment at any workplace in the factories.

B. The provisions of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 or any other law or any other instructions / conditions issued in this regard from time to time by the Central Government or State Government , shall be complied with by the occupier of the factory.

C. Every occupier of the factory shall constitute by an order in writing, a Committee to be known as the Internal Committee (IC) as per Section 4(1) of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013. Where the offices or administrative units of the workplace are located at different places or divisional or sub divisional level, the Internal Committee should be constituted at each administrative units or offices or workplaces separately.

D. Every occupier shall prepare and as often as may be appropriate, revise, a written statement of his general policy showing his commitment with respect to the prohibition of sexual harassment of the women worker at workplace and the order regarding constitution of Internal Committee and Policy on prohibition of sexual harassment shall be displayed at conspicuous places at the workplace.

E. The occupier shall provide proper lighting and CCTV cameras not only inside the factory, but also surrounding of the factory and to all places where the female workers may move out of necessity in the course of her work and shall see that the women workers are employed in a batch of not less than ten.

F. The Occupier shall provide transportation facility to the women workers from their residence and back. Security guards (including female security guard), well trained & responsible drivers, proper communication channels shall be provided in each vehicle. Other practical measures such as installation of CCTV cameras, GPS etc. may also be provided in each vehicle to ensure the safety and security of women workers.

G. Sufficient women security guards shall also be provided at the entry as well as exit point of the factory.

H. Declaration/consent from each woman worker including security guard, supervisors, shift- in-charge or any other women staff to work during night shift i.e. between 07.00PM to 06.00AM shall be obtained.

 

Download