Gratuity – Continuous service interpretation for Technology / IT / BPO companies
The continual years of service eligibility for gratuity mandate a minimum of five years which is unaltered (status quo remains) per the Payment of Gratuity Act.
The legal interpretation for continuous working days to be applied with a difference between “under the ground” (mining, under the sea, plantations) which is further interpreted as “hazardous job nature”; whereas “above the ground” (other) establishments represents “unhazardous job nature” - the key differentiator for the purpose of deciding the “no of days” of continuous service.
190 days or less than 6 days working per week represents an “employment in hazardous working / occupational hazard jobs by nature” and hence a resultant reduced gratuity eligible days/working days.
This is the intent of the legal scriptt notified under section 2A, 2 (i) within the same clause; if the “number. of working days at less than 6 days” was purported for “any industry” the clause would have been carefully differentiated.
So, any wrong ideation to isolate the clause of “less than 6 working days” is irrational to relate to “above the ground” non-hazardous jobs – Technology / IT / BPO companies fall under this category, they provide “safe jobs” as much five days working was intended for a lifestyle balancing amongst such industry as a “best practice” and not for any occupational hazard-related.
Hence, for Technology / IT / BPO companies, from a computation point of view, any consecutive 8 worked months period post 4 years of continuous service shall make the employee eligible for gratuity. The consecutive eight months computes to 240 paid days.
Note: So far, there has been no case laws notified for the above 190/less than 6 days work week for Non-hazardous jobs (scenario) in both HC / SC; the last being a mandate to adhere to 4 years and 240 days as minimum criteria.
Hope, hereon, all legal intellectual forums, social media forums ensure depth interpretations and not a mislead maneuvers.