Employer is requesting to deduct the salary due to lockdown

This query is : Resolved 
 


Querist : Anonymous (Querist)
04 April 2020

I'm working with a publishing house. The company has not paid me the salary from January and now they have requested the employees to tell the amount of deduction the employees can give due to the lockdown. Also the company has said that they are not sure about April's salary as well.
They have even not deposited our PF amount since October.
What should I do


KISHAN DUTT RETD JUDGE (Expert)
04 April 2020

Dear Sir,
Yourself and you collegues may approach the Labor Commissioner on the basis of following circulars.
=================================================================
.https://labour.gov.in/advisories-covid-19

EMPLOYEE CIRCULARS BY LABOUR DEPARTMENT
Advisories on COVID-19
S No. Subject Dated
1. Extension Of Return Filing (COVID-19)

2. In this critical time of the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, the Ministry of Labour and Employment advises all public and private employers to support their employees and workers.
20/03/2020
3. Advisory to Secretary , Department of Public Enterprises to the employers on Covid-19 outbreak
20/03/2020
4. Advisory to the Chief Secretaries of States and UTs to ease the hardship being faced by workers due to COVID-19 outbreak
20/03/2020
5. Advisory to secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban affairs to ease the hardship being faced by workers due to COVID-19 outbreak
20/03/2020
6. Advisory to all Workers and Employers' Organisations on COVID-19
19/03/2020
7. Preventive measures to contain the spread of COVID-19
19/03/2020



Raj Kumar Makkad (Expert)
05 April 2020

No employee can be deprived off from his legitimate salary includng the period of the lock-down. Government has taken strict stand against such employers adopting the foul game under the garb of the Lock-down.

This is the fittest case even for filing a police complaint and the benefit can be got granted through Labour Court.

For EPF dues, make a written complaint with the Regional Provident Fund Commissioner of your area who shall get lodged FIR and shall recover the said amount with interest from your employer.

Dr J C Vashista (Expert)
05 April 2020

Have you accepted request of your employer for deduction of salary in view of COVID-19? If so, it is your personal decision otherwise, management can not deduct/ retain salary of employee(s) arbitrarily.
Such a decision of employer qua arbitrary deduction of salary of employees is invalid and illegal.

Sudhir Kumar (Expert)
05 April 2020

deducting salary for the lockdown period amounts compelling an employee to come to duty during lockdown and violate the Epidemic and Disaster order.

This way employer is abetting a crime.

relevant sections given below

Sudhir Kumar (Expert)
05 April 2020

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)
05 April 2020

The employer has not paid since January. Lockdown was started in last of March.

You can complaint to FPF department for provident Fund.

If not agreed, do not give consent to deduct pay for lockdown period, pressing for it is not legal.

It seems the house is in Financial crisis try to search another job, if possible.

Raj Kumar Makkad (Expert)
06 April 2020

You have a valid right to get the desired relief through Administrative officers as well as through court. You have option to chose either of the methods.

T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Expert)
07 April 2020

The employer cannot stop your salary for months together.
The lock down is a recent development whereas the employer had not paid your salary since January this year.
He has also not paid the PF amount from October last year.
You can very well resort to legal action demanding your dues by first issuing a legal demand notice and taking appropriate legal action as per law to recover your dues.
You may wait till the current crisis comes to an end because your voice may not be heard by anyone at this critical juncture.

Rajendra K Goyal (Expert)
07 April 2020

Meanwhile please do not give consent for salary deduction for the lockdown period.
Write e-mail for payment of all salary arrears. Keep proper record of the e-mail sent.
Write to EPF department for default of employer.
Claim your lockdown period salary through court / administration.
Meanwhile, try to search for another job.

Raj Kumar Makkad (Expert)
07 April 2020

One more clarification regarding EPF. If you leave the present job, you may apply your EPC accumulations from EPFO till the date of leaving the job and it is bound to pay you with up to date interest which it shall charge from your employer at later stage by the provisions contained in EPF & MP Act.


Querist : Anonymous (Querist)
08 April 2020

Hello,

Please suggest as now they are saying that they'll not pay April's salary and want us to work for them also they are asking us to resign so that they are not liable to give us the salary. But they want us to work full time.
What should I do now. As they haven't mailed us regarding the same.

Sudhir Kumar (Expert)
08 April 2020

You have already been given rule position that the company is committing a crime. It is you who have to act.

Rajendra K Goyal (Expert)
08 April 2020

The Company is not legal in its action. Red slip can be issued only after following the process. If such is done, only a few employees dare to knock the legal door due to limitation, lack of knowledge, courage, lengthy legal process etc.,

It was advised in previous post that the Company seem to be in financial troubles, it would be better to search for another job.

Again request the Company to provide proper infrastructure to start work from home.

Raj Kumar Makkad (Expert)
08 April 2020

You make a written complaint to the District Administration of your area in this regard. Neither tender your resignation nor you are required to do work by attending the office rather you are bound to do office word during the normal office hours from your home as per the guidelines issued by Govt. of India and all State Governments. Who ever insists to resign or to work more than normal hours or threatens not to pay salary is liable for the criminal action apart from paying all dues.



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