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Ministry of Labour advises organisations to extend support to employees amid Lockdown

April 9, 2020

The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 virus has left the entire globe handicapped. Each and every industrial sector is stressed and is facing overburdening liabilities. As the businesses are getting strained, it is becoming difficult for the owners to maintain their workforce without any generation of work. Looking into the aggravated situation, the Union Labour Ministry has issued an advisory protecting the welfare of the workers.[1]

The Ministry of Labour and Employment vide its advisory dated March 20, 2020 has advised all the public and private establishments to extend support to their employees during this time of distress. In this regard, the Ministry has issued the following advises for the employer organizations in India::

  1. The employers are advised not to terminate their employees particularly casual or contractual workers or reduce their wages.
  2. It has also been advised that if any worker takes any leave during the period of COVID lockdown he should be deemed to be on duty without any consequential deduction in wages for this period.
  3. Additionally, if the place of employment has been made non-operational due to COVID 19 lockdown, the employees of such establishment shall be considered to be on duty.

The Labour Ministry has issued this advisory pressing on the issue that termination of employment or reduction in wages would further deepen the existing crisis and would also result in weakening the financial condition of the employees. It would also hamper the morale of the employees to combat their fight with the epidemic. The said advisory is to be circulated to the employer/ owners of the establishments for compliance.

Punjab government- Employees to be considered “On Duty”

The Government of Punjab on April 08, 2020 has issued a similar notification stating that any contractual worker, outsourced person or daily wage earners working in Departments/ Offices or other organisation of Government of Punjab are required to stay at home during the lockdown period as a preventive measure. For this period of absence, the workers/ employees shall be considered ‘on duty’ and necessary wages and emoluments would be paid to them accordingly. The above instructions have been made applicable to all Public Sector Undertakings/ Corporations/ Board/ Autonomous and Semi-autonomous/ Statutory Bodies of Government of Punjab[2].

[1] https://labour.gov.in/sites/default/files/Central_Government_Update.pdf

[2]https://ssrana.in/pdf/Payment%20of%20wages%20during%20lokdown%20due%20to%20COVID.pdf

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