No action against employers unable to pay full wages
The Supreme Court has directed employers to to negotiate with workers on the matter – regardless of Ministry of Home Affairs’ (MHA) directives on payment of full wages during the lockdown period.
The courts asked employers and employees to negotiate on wage payments for the 54-day lockdown period mutually
The Center was given four weeks to file its reply on the question of legality and validity of the home ministry’s 29 March notification
In a relief for private employers, the Supreme Court today said no coercive action can be taken till the end of July against private employers who have not paid wages to workers during the coronavirus lockdown.
The top court said states must facilitate negotiations between employees and employers over wage payment, and file their reports with the labour commissioners concerned.
The centre has been given four more weeks by the Supreme Court to file a reply on the legality of the March 29 notification that had ordered mandatory payment of full wages during the lockdown.
In a huge relief to private companies, the Supreme Court on Friday said no coercive action can be taken against employers who fail to pay full wages to employees during the lockdown that was implemented to control the spread of covid-19.
The courts asked employers and employees to negotiate on wage payments for the 54-day lockdown period. The bench observed that both labourers and the industry need each other and should make efforts to solve the dispute mutually.
The court gave a slew of directions to states’ labour departments to facilitate these negotiations. State governments needs to facilitate, initiate the process of settlement and submit a detailed report to the labour commissioners regarding this.
The petitioners had blamed the government of passing such orders “without due care and deliberation on the financial implications for the employers”.
The centre had argued that the Home Ministry notification was to “mitigate financial hardships” of crores of workers and that it had been withdrawn, with the employers having to pay wages for only 54 days.