The changes proposed through the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 will have a major impact on the health, well-being and growth of the future generation in the country. It will have a positive impact on women’s participation in the labour force and will improve the worklife balance of female workers. The Maternity Benefits (Amendment) Act, 2016 will come into effect as soon as it receives the President’s assent.
This is a welcome step from the Government as not only would we save paper from the perspective of the environment, India would be viewed as a country where compliance of laws is manageable and not cumbersome, therefore, having a direct impact on the ease of doing business in the country.
Recent rulings: i) It is not sufficient that the alleged misconduct of the employee constitutes an offence involving moral turpitude as per the report of the domestic inquiry. There must be termination on account of the alleged misconduct, which constitutes an offence involving moral turpitude, for the gratuity to be denied to such an employee; ii) The High Court cannot interfere with the decision of the disciplinary authority under each and every circumstance, unless it is found that the punishment/penalty awarded by the disciplinary authority/employer is wholly disproportionate – to an extent that it shakes the conscience of the High Court – and compels it to interfere and alter the punishment.
(i) By virtue of amendment in the ESI Rules, an insured woman shall be entitled to 26 weeks of maternity leave. However, an insured woman having 2, or more than 2, surviving children shall be entitled to receive maternity benefits during a period of 12 weeks, of which not more than 6 weeks shall precede the expected date of confinement; (ii) Rule 30 (3) of the EPF Scheme provides that it shall be the responsibility of the principal employer to pay both the contribution payable by him, in respect of the employees directly employed by him, and also in respect of the employees employed by or through a contractor, as well as administrative charges. The Employees’ Provident Fund Office published certain conditions to be followed by principal employers if they are advised to discharge the provident fund to the contract employees.
A recent Supreme Court ruling held that to determine the percentage of permanent disability of the employee under the Employee Compensation Act, it has to be undertaken by a qualified medical practitioner.
The Ministry of Labour and Employment released the draft of Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2016 on December 29, 2016. One of the main proposed changes is to rename the Rules to Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Rules, 1988.
The amended Rules notified on December 22, 2016, has revised the wage limit for coverage of an employee under the Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948 (“Act”) from INR 15,000/- to INR 21,000/-. The amendment is effective from January 1, 2017.
a) quantum of back wages is dependent on the length of service, nature of misconduct and the employer’s financial condition; b) one year of continuous service means that a workman, during a period of 12 calendar months preceding the date with reference of which the calculation is to be made, has actually worked under the employer for not less than 240 days; c) non-compliance of certain sections of the Act would result in the reinstatement of a terminated workman; d) basis for awarding back-wages in reinstatement; e) Labour Court shall not entertain a dispute when the establishment is not an ‘industry’, defined as any systematic activity carried on by co-operation between an employer and his workmen (whether such workmen are employed by such employer directly or by or through any agency, including a contractor) for the production, supply or distribution of goods or services with a view to satisfy human wants or wishes.
Summary of new act includes: a) Prosecution of a defaulting employer to be quashed when the deficiency was fulfilled. b) Prosecution of employer for delayed remittance of employee provident fund dues is quashable…
a) “Insured woman” means a woman who is or was an employee in respect of whom contribution is or were payable under Employees’ State Insurance Act and who is by reason thereof, entitled to any of the benefits provided under the said Act.
b) The number of weeks for maternity benefit is to be increased from 12 to 26 weeks