The world of labour law is known to be dynamic, with never a dull moment. Although most businesses have laws, rules and guidelines firmly in place to help govern processes, there is constant change and updation. Given just how rapidly the scope and dictats of businesses have been changing, this is not without wonder.
The year gone by has been no exception to any of the others. With amendments that have been made in order to keep with the changing nature of business, there has also been an increased focus in bringing ease and transparency into the reporting process. Here are some of the most significant amendments that have taken place during the last year.
Employee State Insurance Act
1. The latest amendment to the ESI Act now allows employers who are dissatisfied with the orders an option to file an appeal before an Appellate Authority within 60 days of the order.
Payment of Bonus Act
In a change made this year to the Payment of Bonus Act, the notification redefines an employee as one drawing not more than Rs. 21000 per month as opposed to the earlier value of Rs. 10,000. It also reclassifies the calculation of bonus for certain employees, where the wage is calculated as either seven thousand rupees, or the minimum wage, whichever may be higher.
Employee Provident Fund Act
Notification to Employee Provident Fund Act to ensure coverage and proper inclusion of all construction workers: The objective of this notification is to ensure that all workers are accounted for, and that their details are documented, maintained and submitted accurately.
Employee Provident Fund Scheme
The amendment to the Employees Provident Fund Scheme makes it mandatory for all employers to make contributions through internet banking. While drafts and cheque payments were allowed for those with contributions of under 1lac a month, with effect 2016 all payments need to be made electronically.
The introduction of the ‘Jeevan Praman’ or life certificate online was intended with the objective of making it easier submission of details and forms. Although only an optional provision, the benefits of this option are immense.
In accordance with this notification, in all cases where the revision of electronic Challan cum return is beyond one year, the same shall be accepted upon approval of zonal ACC. This is to ensure genuine parties benefit. For cases upto 6 months, APFC approval is necessary, and for cases between 6 months and a year the appropriate RPFC approval is mandated.
Shops and Establishments Act
The Central Government has proposed a Model Shops and Establishments Act which is directed at helping State Governments make modifications to the current system. This has been designed in order to help facilitate business. It includes various propositions like keeping shops open 365 days of the year, allowing more flexible working hours and enabling women to work more freely.
Maharashtra Shops and Establishments
Amendment made to the Shops and Establishments Rule to modify renewal of registration of an establishment, along with forms and the renewal certificate. It also details the enquiries that need to be made to verify correctness of information
Addition made to Schedule II, detailing the number of working days, working hours and rest days to be allowed to employees along with facilities and method of recording attendance and other details.
Maharashtra Contract Labour Regulation and Abolition Rules
In this notification, an additional clause has been added which makes it mandatory for an undertaking to be submitted while applying for a license. It also adds that if a license is not received within seven working days, it shall be deemed to be granted. Application and issuance of certificates has now been offered online, which will prove a huge convenience. The grant of a certificate will now cost Rs. 5000, while its renewal will cost Rs. 5000 per annum.
Maharashtra Amendment to Factories Act
This amendment is in keeping with businesses today, and looks for options to make the working environment more conducive. Features include relaxed hours of overtime work for males, permission for women to work the night shift, eligibility to avail leave with pay. Also includes an added Schedule which lists compoundable offenses
SHRAM SUVIDHA PORTAL
The Shram Suvidha Portal has been an initiative of the Central Government to encapsulate labour law and make it easier and friendlier to all establishments. The advantages of the Shram Suvhida Yojana include instant generation and submission of forms, and the filing of returns online.