Covid-19- deduction of salary by the companies.

This query is : Resolved 
 


Querist : Anonymous (Querist)
26 March 2020

I am working in a call center. Now due to the lockdown from the government, I am not able to go to office. company had offered option of work from home for which I am ready, but the company has not yet provided the required infrastructure necessary to start that work. Now the company is saying that they will mark my leave and thereafter deduct the salary as well. I would like to know if the company can do that considering that I am left with no option other than staying at home as per government directive. The company is not taking responsibility of delivering the required infrastructure to start work from home.


SHIRISH PAWAR, 7738990900 (Expert)
26 March 2020

Dear querist,

You can take legal action against the company for any arbitrary action by company against you.

Regards,

Raj Kumar Makkad (Expert)
26 March 2020

Though no special law or instructions have been passed by Government but Worthy Prime Minister of India has specifically requested all employers neither to deduct the salary of their employees not retrench them during this crucial period of war against COVID-19 and accordingly your company should not take such harsh step but let the things be normal/

If in practical, your leave are deducted or salary is not paid for these days, you may definitely agitate before competent court of law. It is not the proper time to take any action when the things have not materialized as on day.


Querist : Anonymous (Querist)
27 March 2020

Thank you Mr. Shirish Pawar and Mr Raj Kumar Makkad for your kind reply. I am obliged.
May I know who is the competent authority where I can file a complaint and what is the process to file that complaint.

Dr J C Vashista (Expert)
27 March 2020

During lock down period there are lot of other (similarly) affected employees, just wait and watch till situation improves and normalcy resumes. It is premature to comment/ advise on such sensitive issue.

Sudhir Kumar (Expert)
27 March 2020

I know there is no special law or instructions.

But by such action the company is forcing the employee to violate the Epidemic guidelines and to spread virus after vatching infection.

The company officials are abetting crime of violating section of IPC as under :-

IPC/Section 269. Whoever unlawfully or negligently does any act which is, and which he knows or has reason to believe to be, likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six month, or with fine, or with both.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Imprisonment for 6 months, or fine, or both—Cogniza¬ble—Bailable——Non-compoundable.

IPC/Section 270. Whoever malignantly does any act which is, and which he knows or has reason to believe to be, likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Imprisonment for 2 years, or fine, or both—Cognizable—Bailable—Non-compoundable.

IPC/Section 271. Whoever knowingly disobeys any rule made and promulgated 1[by the 2[* * *] Government 3[* * *] for putting any vessel into a state of quarantine, or for regulating the intercourse of vessels in a state of quarantine with the shore or with other vessels, or for regulating the intercourse between places where an infectious disease prevails and other places, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Imprisonment for 6 months, or fine, or both—Non-cog¬nizable—Bailable—Non-compoundable.

EPIDEMIC DISEASES ACT, 1897

Section 3. Penalty.—Any person disobeying any regulation or order made under this Act shall be deemed to have committed an offence punishable under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).

IPC /Section 188. Whoever, knowing that, by an order promulgated by a public servant lawfully empowered to promulgate such order, he is directed to abstain from a certain act, or to take certain order with certain property in his possession or under his management, disobeys such direction,
shall, if such disobedience causes to tender to cause obstruction, annoyance or injury, or risk of obstruction, annoyance of injury, to any persons lawfully employed, be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month or with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees, or with both;
and if such disobedience causes or trends to cause danger to human life, health or safety, or causes or tends to cause a riot or affray, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Para I
Punishment—Simple imprisonment for 1 month, or fine of 200 rupees, or both—Cognizable—Bailable—Triable by any Magis¬trate—Non-compoundable.

Para II
Punishment—Imprisonment for 6 months, or fine of 1,000 rupees, or both—Cognizable—Bailable —Non-compoundable.


Rajendra K Goyal (Expert)
27 March 2020

Send e-mail to your employer that you are ready to work from home as required but in spite of request infrastructure could not be provided till date.

Keep print/ do not delete the e-mail from your mail box.
May send reminder after 1-2 days.

If Company deduct your salary, move legally as advised by the experts.

P. Venu (Expert)
27 March 2020

There need to be collective action involving all the employees. What is their stand?

T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Expert)
27 March 2020

The government asked public and private establishment employers not to cut salaries or lay off employees during the coronavirus pandemic. In view of Covid-19, there may be incidents where services of employees or workers may be dispensed with on the pretext of the disease or employees may be forced to go on leave without pay, the ministry of labour and employment said. In the backdrop of such a challenging situation, all employers of public or private establishments may be advised not to terminate their employees, especially casual or contractual workers, or reduce their wages, the ministry said.

Workers taking leave should be deemed to be on duty without any consequential deduction in wages and if the place of employment is made non-operational due to Covid-19, the employees of such organisations shall be deemed to be on duty, it said.

The termination of an employee or a cut in salary will only further deepen the crisis and will not only weaken their financial condition, but also hamper their morale to combat this epidemic, the advisory said.


T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Expert)
27 March 2020

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said in a public address on Thursday that employers should allow employees to ‘work from home’ as much as possible and appealed to them to not deduct their wages during this period, especially those in the unorganised sector.
The government’s advisory stated that the companies may look to terminate the contract of workers “on the pretext” of the COVID-19 coronavirus or may force their employees to go on leave without pay.

“The termination of employees from the job or reduction in wages in this scenario would further deepen the crises and will not only weaken the financial condition of the employee but also hamper their morale to combat their fight with this epidemic,” the labour ministry’s letter stated.
Union labour and employment ministry joint secretary Kalpana Rajsinghot said in a letter dated March 20 sent to employers’ associations, adding, “If any worker takes leave, he should be deemed to be on duty without any consequential deduction in wages for this period.”


A labour ministry official explained that if workers are considered to be ‘on duty’, they will be entitled to wages and other benefits.

T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Expert)
27 March 2020

Companies in the organised sector have the option of laying off their workers, which is a form of temporary retrenchment, after giving them statutory dues. But in India, around 90 per cent of the workers are in the unorganised sector and do not come under the purview of the labour laws related to social security.

You may approach labor court or high court for getting your grievances redressed if the company do not accept your demands for pay for being told to work from home.

Raj Kumar Makkad (Expert)
27 March 2020

Ministry of Labour and Employment issues an advisory to the employers asking them not to cut salaries or resort to layoff of their employees. ... Ministry of Labour and Employment. salary cut. You can take benefit of this advisory which is mandatory to be followed by all companies.

Raj Kumar Makkad (Expert)
27 March 2020

The advisory from the Ministry of Labour and Employment, dated March 20 reads: “In the backdrop of such challenging situation, all the employers of public/ private establishments are advised to extend their coordination by not terminating their employees, particularly casual or contractual workers from job or reduce their wages. [sic]”

By quoting the aforesaid advisory, make a representation to your employer and after the things go smooth, approach to the Labour Court by engaging your counsel.

Raj Kumar Makkad (Expert)
27 March 2020

You cannot be treated from unorganized sector and thus cannot be described having no umbrella of law protecting your labour rights. I completely differ with the advice of one of the lawyers as posted above.

Sudhir Kumar (Expert)
27 March 2020

better he should tell his HR that he is being encouraged by the company to do criminal act of overlooking Govt orders on epidemic and this in itself a criminal offense

difference

civil offense lies against corporate and fought by the company. All officials sellp home quitely with family.

but

criminal liability is of the individual officer and criminal case is always registered against :-

Mr/miss/Mrs __________ s/d/w of _________ age___________ community ________ address ____________ .


This case has to be fought by the individual and has to would and pay hard to be with family. Even his spouse/siblings/parents also come to court for his bail.

Raj Kumar Makkad (Expert)
27 March 2020

None can defy the orders of lock-down as promulgated by Central as well as State Governments who so ever he may be and if any one persuades for that, he should care for his bail rather to the sufferer.

N.K.Assumi (Expert)
28 March 2020

Learned members have made the statements of laws very clear on the current issue facing all the Mankinds of this planet. The present social distancing is purely to protect the individual and the community and the world at large.As far as the statues are concerned, we have Section 188 IPC, which has to be read with the Epidemic Disease Act of 1897, The Disaster Management Act of 2005, and the Essential Commodities Act of 1955. On top of this our Hon'ble Prime Minister has made the position of the Government very clear to the Nation, as well as in recent 20 G summit.

Rajendra K Goyal (Expert)
28 March 2020

Observing lockdown in the present scenario is social / moral / national / joint responsibility and in such a situation the stand and attitude of your employer is strange / unacceptable. Post e-mail in humble but firm words regarding all this in view of the advices from experts.

Raj Kumar Makkad (Expert)
28 March 2020

As per section 3 of THE EPIDEMIC DISEASES ACT,,1897, Any person disobeying any regulation or order made under this Act shall be deemed to have committed an offence punishable under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.(45 of 1860). So your employer can be got punished accordingly. You may mention this fact in your notice.

T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Expert)
28 March 2020

Well explained by all experts
Hope there is nothing more to add especially when the author resorted not to revert, till now.

Raj Kumar Makkad (Expert)
29 March 2020

I do agree with expert T. Kalaiselvan Sir.


Querist : Anonymous (Querist)
29 March 2020

I thank all the experts for sharing your valuable expert advises for which I am highly obliged to each and every one here. I had already sent the email to my employer with the request to not deduct the salary nor the leaves considering the present situation, I have already given confirmation about work from home at the very initial stage and have also mentioned in that email that I am ready to work from home but they are not able to provide the required infrastructure till now. In response to my email, I have got clear reply from the manager that the deduction would be done as they have taken decision on organisational level.

Sudhir Kumar (Expert)
29 March 2020

It is the HR manager who has conveyed illegal order

you are free to give online FIR to the police station where you are located or the police station where office is located.

Rajendra K Goyal (Expert)
29 March 2020

Take action when your pay is deducted after joining.
reply the e-mail of the HR that you are ready to work from home, please provide me facility / infrastructure.
Any deduction of pay would be against govt. instructions hence need reconsideration.

P. Venu (Expert)
29 March 2020

In my understanding, public pronouncements by authorities, however high or supreme or plenary does not constitute law or regulation or even an instruction. Please note that it is the settled legal position that even the Budget Speech by the Hon'ble Finance Minister, though made on the floor of the Parliament, is not Law; it is only the provisions of the Finance Bill introduced to give effect to the said pronouncement in the Budget Speech, and duly approved by the Parliament, alone amounts to Law.

Rajendra K Goyal (Expert)
29 March 2020

Public announcements by the Government are the guidelines and enforceable, official announcement need to be referred before moving.

P. Venu (Expert)
29 March 2020

Today, Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs has issued directions under the Disaster Management Act that:

"All the employees, be it in the Industry or in the shops and commercial establishments, shall make payment of wages of their workers, at their work places, on the due date, without any deduction, for the period their establishments are under closure during the lockdown"

"If any landlord is forcing labourers and students to vacate their premises, they will be liable for action under the [Disaster Management] Act"

The queriest may bring the instructions to the notice of the management so that they can revise their decision. The directions could be accessed at https://mha.gov.in/media/whats-new


Raj Kumar Makkad (Expert)
29 March 2020

Mr. Venue! The instructions have already been issued and today the same have been repeated. The author has every right to get his salary after re-joining. Routine salary shall go on to be paid as usual.


Querist : Anonymous (Querist)
30 March 2020

Thank you again to all the experts here on this forum. your guidance has given a confidence and has provided a sense of assurance. I will keep you all posted further on this.


Rajendra K Goyal (Expert)
30 March 2020

You are welcome, may revert in case of need.


Querist : Anonymous (Querist)
06 April 2020

The company provided the computer system to start work from home, however, it is not in working condition. This is immediately reported to the management. I have also requested for the replacement of the system to start the work. However, the management is unable to delivery the replacement system till now. I have also sent emails to my manager about this at regular interval along with the request to not deduct salary and leaves. Manager called me once to check about the system problem. However, regarding the non deduction of salary and leaves, I have not got any confirmation from the manager on the email that it wont be deducted. I guess their intentions are to deduct the salary and leaves for the period that I am not able to work. In this case, what options I am left with?

Rajendra K Goyal (Expert)
06 April 2020

If the salary is deducted, it is proof. Company may not give in writing at present. Wait till the payment is released or salary is deducted. Try to cooperate the management, try to bring the system in operating condition. If possible try to use your system / laptop till then.


Querist : Anonymous (Querist)
06 April 2020

I have been co-operating with the management since first day. In fact, I am the one who is contacting my managers and following it up continuously to get this done. Moreover, we are only allowed to use the company allotted system to work. Our personal laptops/desktops are not allowed to be used for company's work.

Rajendra K Goyal (Expert)
06 April 2020

You should request the company to allow you to use your laptop as the system provided by the office is not working, repairs is not possible.



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