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Friday 9 December 2016

Payment of Bonus Act - Taking Filing of Returns Offline

The latest of labour law notifications has to do with the Payment of Bonus Rules. In accordance with this notification, modifications have now been made to the filing of returns. While an online provision has always been available, the latest amendment only accounts for physical returns that are to be filed by 1st February of every year. The Form D that was introduced has now been taken offline and must be filed in physical copy.

The older, 2014 notification can be viewed at

The latest, December 2016 notification is available at

Wednesday 7 December 2016

The Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana – Key Facts

Among the various initiatives that have been seen recently, the PMRPY has been among the most discussed – for the opportunity that it allows and also for the change that it expects to bring about. However, there has also been a lot of ambivalence accompanying it, much of it stemming from ambiguity in understanding its scope and extent. Through this note, we attempt to deconstruct the PMRPY and help make it simpler and more inclusive.


The main objective of PMRPY is to help generate greater employment, with the Government of India making a contribution of 8.33% EPS on behalf of the company for the new employee.


Establishments with a valid organisational PAN qualify. All payments will be made to the establishment through a bank account. Additionally, the establishment must also have a Labour Identification Number (LIN) which is assigned upon registry with the Shram Suvidha Portal. This is applicable only to establishments who are already registered with the EPFO.

In order to avail this benefit, the establishment needs to add the new employees to the reference base of workers. The Scheme has been in operation since August 2016.

Reference Base

It is mandatory that the establishment have submitted their ECR for March, 2016. The reference base is simply the number of employees for whom the establishment deposited the EPF and EPS, together amounting to 12%, on or before 31st March 2016. The details will be verified.

Determining benefits

In order to be eligible for the benefits, the establishment needs to show an increase in the number of employees on or after 1st April, 2016. The benefits, however, will only be available to the new employees. Using the same reference base and 31st March cut off, a calculation of new employees will be made every subsequent year.

In the event that there has been no new employment, or the establishment has witnessed a fall in employment in the subsequent months, they will not be eligible for the scheme during those months.

For new establishments, or establishments that register with the EPFO after 1st April 2016, the reference base is zero, with every employee being considered new.

New Employee

Under this scheme, a new employee is defined as one:

-        Who did not have a UAN prior to 1st April 2016 (all UAN’s must be Aadhar seeded and verified)

-        Has not worked with an EPFO registered organisation prior to 1st April 2016; and

-        Whose wages do not exceed Rs. 15,000 per month in either the unskilled or semi-skilled category.

Extent of Validity

The Scheme will be operational for 3 years, and will cover all new employees until such time, provided that the new employee continues to be in employment under the same employer.

Process for Availing the Benefit

Upon registry, the following procedure must be followed on a monthly basis

-        Using the PMRPY form, the establishment must update the PMRPY interface, on or before the 10th of every month. This form includes a description of the job role, date of joining and date of exit if applicable.

-        The form must be submitted by the 10th of each month. In the event that the form is not submitted online before the stipulated time, the employer will not be able to avail the benefits for the said month.

-        Using the prescribed format, an undertaking must be filled and duly signed by the employer.

-        Details of the new employee – like the UAN, its seeding with the Aadhar number etc. will be validated and verified. After this, the amount due against the new employee will be computed.

-        Until such time that ECR 2.0 is in operation, contributions will be made directly into the account of the employer.

In case multiple ECR’s have been filed by an establishment for the same period, only the first ECR filed and submitted for the month by the employer would be considered.

Supplementary ECR’s

If a supplementary ECR is filed by the employer for the base month at a later stage, which leads to a strengthening of the employee number in the base month, there is a chance that the employer may become ineligible for the benefits during some, or all months, for which the contribution has already been made. In this case, the employer must refund the subsidy received for those months, along with penal provisions which have been laid down in the EPF & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 and Schemes thereunder.

NIC – 2008

To avail benefits, it is compulsory for the establishment to mention the nature of industry as per the National Industrial Classification Code or NIC-2008. This code is assessed by the value of products, services and activities carried out by the establishment. For establishments that produce multiple products, the product which contributes maximum value is taken. Where such classification is not possible, the revenue of the establishment, services or the number of people deployed in the activity may be considered.

Benefit to Textile Industry

A parallel scheme known as the Pradhan Mantri Paridhan Rojgar Protsahan Yojana is targeted at the textile industry, wherein the employers can also avail the 3.67% EPF contribution, over and above the 8.33% contribution. The payment will be made after the employer has credited the employees’ 12% EPF contribution with the EPFO. This is particularly in favour of establishments dealing in the manufacture of wearing apparel (NIC 1410 and 1430).

Sub-Sectors covered in the apparel sector

(1) NIC 1410: Manufacture of wearing apparel, except fur apparel

a. NIC 14101: Manufacture of all types of textile garments and clothing accessories 

b. NIC 14102: Manufacture of rain coats of waterproof textile fabrics or plastic sheetings

c. NIC 14105: Custom tailoring

d. NIC 14109: Manufacture of wearing apparel not elsewhere classified

(2) NIC 1430: Manufacture of knitted and crocheted apparel

a. NIC 14301: Manufacture of knitted or crocheted wearing apparel and other made-up articles directly into shape (pullovers, cardigans, jerseys, waistcoats and similar articles) 

b. NIC 14309: Manufacture of other knitted and crocheted apparel including hosiery

Availing PMRPY Benefits

Given below are the steps that should help you to avail the benefits under the Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana

1.      Login to the Employer Interface of the EPFO Unified Portal

2.      Details of all new employees along with Aadhaar information is to be filled for the relevant month. This can be done either individually or through bulk registrations

3.      UAN’s to be allotted to new members, and the Aadhaar information must be approved by the employer through the DSC

4.      The employer then needs to login to the PMPRY portal (

5.      Details of new members who have joined and are eligible will now be added. The return will be signed digitally. This activity must be completed and submitted either before the 10th of the following month, or before submitting the ECR for the month, whichever is earlier. It is only on fulfilling this condition that the contribution will be released.

Sr. No
Field Type
Member’s Name
Display/Non Editable
Father/Husband’s Name
Display/Non Editable
Display/Non Editable
Date of Birth
Display/Non Editable
Date of Joining
Display/Non Editable
Date of Exit
Display/Non Editable
Job Description
Skill Level

6.      Employer logs in to the Employer Interface of EPFO’s unified portal.

7.      Employer files the ECR copy as is – without any changes under the PMRPY Scheme. The system uses step 5 to ascertain whether the benefit is to be extended or not.

8.      A Challan is generated by the system after adjusting the amount payable under the PMRPY.

9.      The system then begins the procedure for remittance of dues excluding the subsidy allowed under the PMRPY, as determined by the Challan described in step 8.

Tuesday 29 November 2016

The Importance and Scope of Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana

The country has witnessed an anomaly of sorts in the few last years. Despite trends and demographics being highly in favour of the country, and especially so for as far as the youth are concerned, the figures that have translated have been alarming. The growth was not remarkable to start off with. Accompanying this was the fact that the rate of growth of jobs has not been consistent. The last decade has seen an actual decline in the people employed in the labour force, and an alarming drop in the female population engaged. The greatest cause of concern perhaps, has been the fact that the unemployment rate among the youth has been especially high. This is even true for those who have a minimum of a secondary level of education.

To help streamline processes and also incentivise and improve the situation in organisations, the Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY) has been a significant step in not just encouraging organisations to employ a greater number of people, but also facilitates bringing otherwise unaccounted employees into their books. The key deliverable of this Scheme is that the Government will pay the 8.33% contribution for all new employees for the first three years of their service.

Who Stands to Benefit?

There is a direct benefit to employers who will receive support from the government in this regard. The situation of unemployment also stands to get direct redressal through this instrument. What is of greatest significance is the fact that all workers will now stand to have access to a more sound social security cover.

Who does this cover?

Any employee who, prior to April 2016, has not been employed in an establishment that is registered under the EPFO, and does not have a UAN is covered. However, the employee must not have a salary exceeding 15,000/- per month.

Who is eligible?

-        It is mandatory that the organisation have a LIN(Labour Identification Number) allotted to them. This is available through the Shram Suvidha Portal. This is over and above the customary registration with the EPFO.

-        The new employees should have been added to the existing reference base by August 2016. In the case of new establishments or those who have just registered, the reference base is maintained at zero.

-        This is only applicable to those whose salary is under 15,000/- per month. The EPFO portal will help facilitate payments in the event that the employee does not possess a UAN.

-        The contribution can be availed by the employee through the government for a period of three years as long as the employee remains in the same organisation. The additional 3.67% EPF contribution is also available to those in the apparel sector.

The official notification is available on at

Also you would find complete explanation on

Wednesday 28 September 2016

Integrated Registration and Return under Telangana

The Government of Telangana have decided to introduce a common periodical Return in Form–I, and Integrated Registers in Form - II and Form-III together (under following acts), so as to provide immediate relief to the Industries /Establishments, falling under the jurisdiction of State Government by protecting the interest of the workmen too.

1. Contract Labour(Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970

2. Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Condition of Service) Act,1979

3. Minimum Wages Act,1948

4. Payment of Wages Act,1936

5. The Motor Transport Workers Act,1961

6. Building and other Constructions Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996

7. The Beedi and Cigar Workers (Condition of Employment) Act, 1968

8. Shops & Establishment Act, 1988

9. The Factories Act, 1948

Form–I:- Annual Return for the financial year ending 31st March, may be prepared by an employer and furnished to the Inspector, on or before 30th April of every succeeding year, those employers who wish to submit online can register on web portal and can submit in Form-I and others who do not want to submit online can submit manually to the concerned officer.

Form-II & Form-III :- Integrated Registers to be maintained by an employer and to be furnished to the Inspector on demand either in physical form or computer floppy, diskette or through electronic mail.

Where an employer furnishes Return in Form-I, and maintains Integrated Register in Form-II and Form-III together, nothing contained under the above Acts/Rules shall render himself liable to any penalty.

Attached the G.O for your information.

Thursday 8 September 2016

ESIC Wage Threshold Raised to Rs. 21,000

The Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) today raised the monthly wage threshold to Rs 21,000, from the current Rs 15,000, for coverage under its health insurance scheme.
In a meeting held today, the ESIC board also decided to give an option to existing insured persons to continue membership even if their wage breaches the ceiling of Rs 21,000 per month.
At present, all those insured under the ESIC scheme lose their membership of ESIC as well as that of the insurance cover if their wage overshoots the ceiling.
"ESIC has raised the threshold wage limit from Rs 15,000 to Rs 21,000," Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya told PTI after the board meeting of ESIC here. Labour Minister is the Chairman of the ESIC Board.
Both the decisions will be implemented from October 1.
Dattatreya added that the move of raising the threshold will help bring in an additional 50 lakh members to ESIC.
At present, ESIC has 2.6 crore insured persons, which covers over 10 crore people, assuming four members of a family.
The minister also said there is a plan to increase the wage threshold for retirement fund body EPFO subscribers and it may be considered in the next meeting of the Central Board of Trustees (CBT).
At present, the wage threshold is Rs 15,000 per month for coverage under its social security scheme.

Saturday 23 July 2016

Haryana Government Passes Amendment Bills

The Haryana Vidhan Sabha on Wednesday, 20th July 2016 amended the following:

Industrial Disputes (Haryana Amendment) Bill 2016: To allow enterprises with up to 300 employees to lay off workers without the government’s permission.

Labour and Employment Minister Capt Abhimanyu moved the Industrial Disputes (Haryana Amendment) Bill, 2016 in the ongoing budget session which was passed by the House.

The House also passed three other Bills concerning labour reforms.
Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Haryana Amendment Bill, 2016:

The Bill concerning contract labour proposes to do away with the condition of registration for industrial establishments, employing up to 50 workers, under the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act 1970. With this, the existing limit of 20 workers was increased to 50 for the purpose of application of the Act in Haryana.

Payment of Wages (Haryana Amendment) Bill, 2016:
With the Payment of Wages Bill, the central government becomes the competent authority to fix or revise wage limits of persons employed in industrial establishments.

The existing limit of such wage is Rs.18,000/- per month. The amendment was proposed to provide remedy to those who are getting wages at higher rate to enable them to agitate their claim in case of delayed payment of wages or illegal deduction from the wages.

Factories (Haryana Amendment) Bill, 2016:
The amendment approved by the Haryana Vidhan Sabha would enable factories with 20 workers with aid of power and 40 workers without the aid of power to be exempted from the definition of Factories Act, 1948.

As per the statement of objects and reasons, orders for supplying the goods are time bound and the factories are to supply the required goods well before the targeted time.

Sunday 10 July 2016

Model Shops and Establishments(Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Bill, 2016 - Up For Action

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has considered the Model Shops and Establishment (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Bill, 2016. The Bill will now be sent to States/UTs to enable them to modify their individual Acts, if they so desire either by adopting the said Bill as it is or after modifying its provisions as per their requirements. This Bill was finalised after detailed deliberations and discussions with public through internet and with employees/labour representatives, employers’ associations/federations and State Governments through tripartite consultative process.

The main features of the draft model Bill are as follows:-

• It will cover only establishments employing ten or more workers except manufacturing units.

• The Bill provides for freedom to operate 365 days in a year and opening/closing time of establishment.

• Women to be permitted during night shift, if the provision of shelter, rest room ladies toilet, adequate protection of their dignity and transportation etc. exists.

• No discrimination against women in the matter of recruitment, training, transfer or promotions.

• Online one common Registration through a simplified procedure.

• Powers of Government to make rules regarding adequate measures to be taken by the employer for the safety and health of workers.

• Clean and safe drinking water.

• Lavatory, creche, first aid and canteen by group of establishments, in case, it is not possible due to constraint in space or otherwise by individual establishment.

• Five paid festival holidays in addition to national holidays etc.

• Exemption of highly skilled workers (for example workers employed in IT, Biotechnology and R&D division) from daily working hours of 9 hours and weekly working hours of 48 hours subject to maximum 125 over-time hours in a quarter.

The Model Bill would bring about uniformity in the legislative provisions, making it easier for all the States to adopt it and thereby ensuring uniform working conditions across the country and facilitate the ease of doing business and generate employment opportunities.

Friday 6 May 2016

The Latest National and Maharashtra Amendments Made Easy

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

October 2015
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

January 2016
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

October 2015
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

August 2015
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.

October 2015
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.

May 2016
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

May 2015
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

March 2015
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

June 2015
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

December 2015
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


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.

Thursday 31 March 2016

Latest Amendment to the Tamil Nadu Shops and Establishments Act

Taking cue from the Maharashtra Amendment to the Shops and Establishments Act, the Tamil Nadu Government has also brought into  effect its latest amendment to the Tamil Nadu Shops and Establishments Act. This amendment allows shops and establishments to remain open for business throughout the year.

The implications of the Act on the employees are as follows:

- The mandatory weekly holiday has been replaced with the option of a holiday once a week on rotational basis. The employer must display lists of employees on leave, updated every day in a conspicuous place.

- The maximum hours of working for any employee shall be eight hours a day, and forty eight hours a week. Including overtime, no employee shall be made to work more than ten hours a day and for fifty four hours in any week.

- No women shall be made to work beyond 8p.m in the normal course. In the event that women work in shifts, the employee shall ensure that transport arrangements are made for them.

- If any provisions are found violated, the Inspector shall initiate penal action in accordance with the dictate in the Tamil Nadu Shops and Establishments Act and Rules

- The provisions shall be in operation for an initial period of one year, unless revoked.

Sunday 28 February 2016

Pointers While Conducting Domestic Enquiries Against Chargesheeted Employees


1) Check up your Order of Appointment as Enquiry Officer.

2) Check up that the following documents have been received along with your Order of Appointment:-

a) A Copy of the Articles of Charge and the Statement of imputations of misconduct or misbehaviour.

b) A Copy of the written statement of defence, if any, submitted by Charged Official.

c) A list of documents by which, and a list of witnesses by whom the articles of charge are proposed to be sustained.

d) Copies of the statement of witnesses, (if any) recorded in the course of preliminary enquiry / investigation.

e) Evidence proving the service of the charge sheet on the Charged Official.

f) A copy of the order appointing the Presenting Officer.

3) Send Notices of Preliminary hearing in the prescribed form.

4) See that the notices are served in person on the Charged Official or communicated to him and duly acknowledged.

5) At the preliminary hearing, apprise the Charged Official and the Presenting Officer of the procedure of Enquiry.

6) Find out if the Charged Official wishes to admit any of the charges in the Preliminary hearing.

7) Ask the CO whether he requires any Defence Assistant to be nominated.

8) Ask the CO to inspect the listed documents and accept the documents for genuineness.

9) Decide relevance of defence documents and witnesses quickly.

10) Record reasons in the Daily order Sheet for disallowing the defence documents / witnesses.

11) Send requisition for the additional documents to the authority to whom the documents belong.

12) If necessary, have a second preliminary hearing for the purpose of reducing the number of witnesses and documents in consultation with the Presenting Officer and the CO. This could cut out a lot of delay at a later stage.

13) Open a Daily Order Sheet and record the daily transaction of business therein.

14) Send notices to witnesses in the prescribed form. In the case of witnesses who are public servants, requests should be sent to the Head of the Department / Office to ensure the attendance of the witnesses concerned.

15) Notice to private witnesses may be sent direct or through the Presenting Officer / Charged Official.

16) Hold regular hearing on day-to-day basis without avoidable loss of time.

17) Send intimation to the controlling authority in the prescribed form about the officer selected by the Charged Official as his Assisting Officer.

18) Obtain Certificate from the defence assistant that he is not having more than two cases on one hand in which he is rendering defence assistance.

19) Reject all requests for adjournments etc. which appear to be meant to obstruct or delay the proceedings, but always record reasons for such rejections, in the Daily Order Sheet.

20) Before the regular hearing commences, obtain Certificate of Inspection of documents from the Charged Official.

21) Record the questions disallowed by you during the Cross-Examination.

22) Depositions of the Witness(es) should be recorded during the Enquiry and the signatures obtained thereon.

23) After the case of the disciplinary authority is closed, you should require the Charged Official to state his defence orally or in writing, as he may prefer. If the defence is made orally, record it and ask the charged official to sign the record. Give a copy of the statement of defence to the Presenting Officer.

24) IF the Charged Official has not offered himself as a witness, you must question him generally on the circumstances appearing against him at the end of the prosecution case.

25) The deposition of each witness should be recorded on a separate sheet under your dictation and you should record a certificate at the end of each deposition as follows:-

"Read over to the Witness in presence of the Charged Official and admitted correct / objection of witness recorded".

26) Reject any request for permission to introduce new evidence or recall any witness merely to fill up any gap in the evidence.

27) Allow copy of the written brief of the Presenting Officer to the charged employee within 07 days.

28) Submit you report of Enquiry to the Disciplinary Authority along with all original records within 6 months from the date of Appointment of Enquiry Officer / Presenting Officer.


1) Proceed with the enquiry if you have any personal interest whatsoever in it. If you yourself feel that you have a bias either way, return the enquiry to the Disciplinary Authority explaining your position.

2) Summon witnesses merely to prove formal documents whose genuineness and authenticity are admitted by the Charged Official.

3) Give publicity since Departmental Proceedings are in the nature of a domestic enquiry.

4) Continue with the proceedings if a representation of the Charged Official alleging bias against the Enquiry Officer is pending consideration.

5) Postpone preliminary hearing simply because the Charged Official could not arrange defence assistance.

6) Call for the documents or examine a witness to decide the question of their relevance.

7) Requisition the additional documents from the Disciplinary Authority. You have to write direct to the authority in whose custody or possession these documents lie.

8) Throw the responsibility of calling defence witnesses on the Charged Official.

9) Allow any request from the Charged Official for supply of copies of voluminous documents (he is, however, free to take extracts).

10) Summon the following documents:-

a) Report of preliminary enquiry / investigation.

b) File dealing with the disciplinary case against the Charged Official.

11) Consult others behind the back of the Charged Official.

12) Look into unspecified record.

13) Allow the Presenting Officer to insist that the witnesses should be examined in the same order in which they have been listed in the charge sheet.

14) Allow leading questions, except in cross-examination. Put leading questions to the witnesses, your self.

15) Allow adjournments on flimsy grounds.

16) Allow "New Evidence" to fill up gaps. It should be allowed if there is an inherent lacuna in the evidence already recorded.

17) Allow the Presenting Officer to introduce any new point during the examination of a witness unless he has convinced you of its necessity and taken prior permission.

18) Put any question yourself to a witness or the Charged Official from your personal knowledge.

19) Allow the conduct of the witness to be the subject matter of examination or cross-examination.

20) Admit evidence recorded in an earlier enquiry in the subsequent enquiry (in exceptional cases, however, for reasons to be recorded, the evidence tendered in earlier proceedings may be taken on record).

21) Allow defence assistance when the charged employee is appearing as a defence witness or when he is answering the mandatory questions, towards the close of enquiry.

22) Examine a co-accused in a common proceedings as a witness against the other co-accused, unless he opts to examine himself.

23) Allow cross-examination of a defence witness by the other charged officials in a joint trial. Only presenting officer can cross-examine a defence witness.

24) Go in for local inspection of the site of the incident except when accompanied by the charged officials and the presenting officer.

25) Supply copy of the written brief of the Charged Official to the Presenting Officer.

26) Be bound by the rigid limitations regarding the admissibility of evidence and the degree of proof applicable to criminal proceedings.

27) Import anything extraneous into your report but confine yourself to the facts in issue, as brought out in evidence.

28) Recommend the penalty to be imposed in your Enquiry Report.

Thursday 18 February 2016

The Newer, Revised EPF Scheme

The Central Government has issued several notifications that are reflected in the EPF Scheme. A summarised version of the notifications are:

1. Amendment To Para 26A Etc: Most of the amendment is concerned with Withdrawal. While a member was earlier allowed withdrawal of  upto 90 percent of total accumulations one year before superannuation or 54 years, the age is now relaxed to 57 years.
The insertion of a new paragraph 68NNNN states that if an employee ceases working, he can withdraw 90 percent of his or her contribution with interest, provided he or she is not employed for 2 continuous months. However, this 2 month period is not extended to women who cease employment for marriage, pregnancy or childbirth.
Paragraph 69 mentions that the full amount can be withdrawn from the member's account on retirement, on reaching 55 years of age. This figure has now been replaced by 58 years of age. The change in age criteria is significant since no member would withdraw for fear of losing out on the Employer's contribution.

2. Applying To Banks:  This notification applies to banks that employ 20 or more, if they were not already covered under Contributory Provident Fund or a similar scheme

3. Introducing Incentive Refund Scheme: This Modified Scheme Encourages Employers To Comply With Seeding All Details Of Employees By Providing Form 11, Aadhar, Bank Details, UAN Activation Etc. This Scheme, Introduced For The Calendar Year 2016, Refunds 10% Or 5% Of Admn. Charges If The Employer Attains, At The End Of Every Quarter, A Certain % Of Seeding All Details Of Employees Is Maintained.

4. ICICI Policy In Lieu Of EDLI: The ICICI Pru-Group Term Plus Policy Has Been Approved By The PF As A Policy If EDLI Exemption Is Sought. This Is In Addition To Other Insurance Policies Issued By LIC, Kotak Etc

Thursday 11 February 2016

Modelling Business Trends For the Future

In a move that looks to revolutionise not just the experience of shopping but the climate of retail in the country, the labour ministry is all set to roll out the new Model Shops and Establishment Act across all states and Union Territories. Citing an array of reasons that range from inconsistency in the maintenance and management of records, registration and inspection, to the inadequacy of equal employment opportunity for women, the labour ministry is taking trade unions head-on. Anticipating that the Act will make it to Cabinet in a little over a week, sources in the Labour Ministry further added that the liberty of deciding whether or not to apply the Act is left entirely to the discretion of the state.
Enabling commercial establishments to stay open for business round the clock and on all days through the year, the move has actually widened the scope of business for everyone. With the preference for online shopping showing a steady increase, malls and retail outlets now have the opportunity of being available to customers more readily.
The move is clearly a well planned and structured one. Targeted at improving prospects at various levels, the new Act has several initiatives in place. To begin with, registration has been simplified greatly with a unified online process. Prerequisites for companies that meet eligibility are clearly defined, as are the various norms that are required to be adhered to. The primary intent of the Act is to facilitate the creation of more jobs, and to make transacting business easier and more transparent.
The Act, however, currently stands as a proposal that awaits approval of the Cabinet. It is only pursuant to this that it may be circulated among the State Governments for amendment and modification to the existing Shops and Establishments Act. The proposals covered under the Model Shops and Establishments Act are as follows:
1. A Model Shops and Establishment Act to be formulated by the Union Government, on the pattern of which states will modify their individual Act.
2. Covers only establishments employing ten or more workers except manufacturing units
3. Freedom to operate 365 days in a year.
4. Freedom for opening/closing time of establishment
5. Women to be permitted during night shift.
6. No discrimination against women in the matter of recruitment, training, transfer or promotions
7. Online one common Registration through a simplified procedure.
8. Power of Government to make rules regarding adequate measures to be taken by the employer for the safety and health of workers
9. Clean and safe drinking water
10. Lavatory, Creche, First Aid and Canteen by group of establishments, in case, it is not possible due to constraint in space or otherwise by individual establishment
11.Twelve days casual cum sick leave.
12. One day earned leave for every twenty days of work performed (can be accommodated upto 45 days)
13.Five paid holidays for festivals in addition to three national holidays.
14. Exemption of highly skilled workers (for example workers employed in I.T., Bio-Technology and R&D division) from daily working hours of 9 hrs and weekly working hrs of 48 hrs subject to maximum 125 over-time hrs in a quarter.
15. Facilitators may be appointed by the Government with the following duties –
(i) Supply information and advice to employers and workers concerning complying with the provisions of the Act.
(ii) inspect the establishment based on inspection scheme framed by the Government
16. Offences
1. Opportunity for compliance of irregularities
2. Graded punishment
3. lrregularities other than safety related are compoundable

For the general public what this means is that there are more reasons than just the late night show at the cinema or drinks at the pub to enjoy the nocturnal life. The good life looks to get only better.