Leave Management – An Imperative Decision During COVID-19

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COVID-19, the colossal outbreak is carrying the employer-employee relationship to an unchartered territory as employees are increasingly absent from work during the pandemic. Reacquainting employees into the workplace will require the employers to juggle multiple logistical, emotional, and legal concerns. As COVID-19 will impact employment for the foreseeable future, it is anticipated that many employees will be reluctant to return, even after states have approved reopening plans. In spite of Central and State Governments passing…

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The Urgent Need to Reform the Inter-State Migrant Workers Act, 1979

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The Inter-State Migrant Workers Act, 1979 is a central legislation that governs the hiring, registration and payment of wages in relation to the aforementioned class of workers. It provides for equal wages for similar nature of work, displacement allowance and journey allowance for inter-state workers. It also grants the right to raise disputes under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. Principal employers/contractors are required to maintain registers and facilitate the grant of benefits. The Problem Based…

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State-Wise Relaxation of Labour Legislations Amidst COVID-19

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With the total COVID-19 cases touching the one lakh mark, the commercial sector in India has come to a grinding halt. Labour being a concurrent subject in the Constitution of India, have seen state governments striving hard to bring the industries back on track by amending and relaxing the respective labour legislations with an approach to attract investment and restart economic activity, post approval of the Centre. The heads-up has been taken up by the…

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COVID 19: Answering All Questions Of An Employer

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At a time when the world is taken by the Covid-19 storm, the Indian Government, in order to contain the spread, morbidity, and mortality, declared a nationwide lockdown. This lockdown restricted not just the movement of humans and material in the nation but also demanded the closure of all kinds of businesses, establishments, and shops (other than those providing essential services).  In a 21-day complete lockdown period (“Lockdown”), various manufacturing, trading, and other businesses have…

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Are the Labour Codes Going to Be Brought In?

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The government is considering bringing the three remaining parts of the proposed labour codes into force simultaneously vide an ordinance. The Code on Wages has already been passed but there still remains uncertainty with regards to its enforcement. COVID-19 and its consequent economic fallout is the main reason the government is contemplating the above action. Key Highlights In a press conference on 14th May, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman spoke about the introduction of various provisions…

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Suspension of Labour Laws: A Fact Check

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As part of the recovery plan from COVID-19, state governments see the suspension of labour laws by way of notifications/ordinance, as a policy measure that’s expected to boost economic recovery. This decision has been surrounded in hyperbole and rhetoric, with fake and ambiguous news circulating as well. There have been claims of total suspension of labour laws and employers actioning widespread exploitation. This article aims to provide an objective view of the facts surrounding the…

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COVID-19: FAQs on Employee Provident Fund (EPF)

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Employee Provident Fund (EPF) is the main scheme under the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952. Under the scheme, employees are obliged to contribute towards the scheme, with an equal, corresponding contribution being paid by the employer. Prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, employees earning less than INR 15,000 per month were required to become members of EPF scheme mandatorily. While those drawing a salary above the aforementioned threshold could avail of either a…

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Gig/Platform Workers: India’s Biggest Growth Opportunity

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The scope of freelance work in India has rapidly changed from being an alternate career option to an integral part of its labour market. Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, the freelance industry was expected to grow to an estimated value of $20-30 billion by 2025, according to reports from a leading newspaper. With companies being cash strapped and unwilling to take on full-time employees, freelance work also known as a gig/platform work…

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How Long Can India’s Private Sector Withstand the Effects of COVID-19?

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Drained cash reserves, force majeure clauses, and an array of executive decrees have crippled India’s private sector. The lockdown has pushed the workforce into their homes with no clarity with respect to the resumption of business. Meaning that business continuity plans are being made in the dark, in anticipation of a much-needed stimulus package. With clients invoking force majeure clauses to avoid/delay performance, revenue streams are also drying up. In light of the above circumstances,…

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Do Indian Laws Support Remote Work/Work from Home (WFH)?

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The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated the transition from work in office spaces to working remotely. India Inc. has embraced virtual workspaces, with numerous HR leaders stating that work from home (WFH) is here to stay even after the resolution of the crisis. While everyone is happy with this arrangement in the short run, conflicts between the employer and employee will arise in the long haul as there are no laws in India governing WFH. Some…

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