Employees’ Provident Funds (Fifth Amendment) Scheme, 2017

In the Employees’ Provident Funds Scheme, 1952 (hereinafter referred to as the said Scheme), in paragraph 68J,-

(a) sub-paragraph (2) shall be omitted;
(b) proviso to sub-paragraph (3) shall be omitted;
(c) for sub-paragraph (6), the following sub-paragraph shall be substituted, namely;-
“(6) No advance shall be granted to the member under sub-paragraph (1) or sub-paragraph (3) unless
he produces a self-declaration to that effect.”.
3. In the said Scheme, in para 68N, for sub-paragraph (2), the following sub-paragraph shall be substituted,
namely:-
“(2) No advance shall be paid to the member under sub-paragraph (1) unless he produces a self declaration
to that effect.”.

Amendment of Maternity Benefit Act needs reconsideration

The amended provisions of Maternity Benefit Act as notified in the official gazette dated 28.3.2017 in its section 11A provide that every establishment having fifty or more employees shall have the facility of creche within such distance as may be prescribed, either separately or alongwith common facilities.  Provided that the employer shall allow four visits a day to the creche by the woman, which shall also include the interval for rest allowed to her.
In context with above, it is not clarified as to whether there should be 50 women employees for providing of creche facility.    In this context, reference is made to section 48 of the Factories Act wherein it clearly stated that there should be 30 women employees for providing of creche facility.  By giving effect to the provisions of amended section the authority may insist to provide creche facility by an employer who is employing 50 or more employees but there are only 4 women employees.  Needless to reiterate that the creche facility calls for heavy expenditure and a separate room with additional requirements.  (Read more in the attached article) Click here

ESI has already extended revised Maternity Benefit

ESI HAS ALREADY EXTENDED REVISED MATERNITY BENEFIT

An establishment covered under ESI will not be liable to pay Maternity Benefit Act since the Ministry of Labour and Employment has by a notification dated 20.1.2017 has already implemented the amended provisions of the Act.  However, the benefit of ESI will be available to those insured employees drawing upto Rs.21,000 pm and the qualifying period for claiming benefit will be not less than 70 days in the immediately preceding two consecutive periods.  Thus the employers will be liable to extend Maternity Benefit Act upon the employees other than insured employees under ESI Act.

If you have not renewed your subscription for Labour Law Reporter, kindly renew the same irrespective of the fact whether you have received a reminder or not.  Needless to reiterate that the Labour Law Reporter comprising more than 1500 knowledge packed wages will cost less than one week salary of an employee to get the Reporter for 12 months.

Punjab Minimum rates of wages increased wef 01.03.2017

As per the information provided by the office of Labour Commissioner, Punjab, Chandigarh, vide Circular No.7179 dated 5th April, 2017, there is an increase of Rs.109.96 in the minimum rates of wages of each category (Unskilled, Semi-Skilled, Skilled and Highly Skilled) of employees working in scheduled employments in the State of Punjab with effect from 1stMarch 2017.  For Daily Wage employees the increase is of Rs.4.24 and for hourly wages the increase is of Rs.0.53 paisa only. Accordingly, the monthly minimum rates of wages for unskilled category of employee is now Rs.7,568.52, daily wages shall be Rs.291.51 and hourly wage will be Rs.36.43.  A comparative table of rates of wages as on 1.3.2016, 1.9.2016 and 1.3.2017 for all categories of employees is given below:

Sr.No. Category  Type of wages  1.3.2016 (Rs.)  1.9.2016 (Rs.)  1.3.2017 (Rs.)
1 Unskilled Monthly 7210.52 7458.56 7568.52
Daily 277.72 287.27 291.51
Hourly 34.71 35.90 36.43
2 Semi Skiled Monthly 7990.52 8238.56 8348.52
Daily 307.72 317.27 321.51
Hourly 38.51 39.70 40.23
 

3

 

Skilled

Monthly 8887.52 9135.56 9245.12
Daily 342.22 351.77 356.01
Hourly 42.81 44.00 44.53
 

4

Highly Skilled Monthly 9919.52 10167.56 10277.52
Daily 381.92 391.47 395.71
Hourly 47.81 49.00 49.53

Official Notification dated 1.3.2017 is attached below:

 

Maternity Leave extended to 24 weeks

By a notification dated 31st March, 2017 the amendment to Maternity Benefit Act has been implemented w.e.f.  1st April, 2017.  However, where nature of work assigned to a woman could be carried her own home the employer be allowed her to do so after availing the maternity benefit will be effective w.e.f. 1.7.2017.

SALIENT FEATURES OF THE AMENDMENT

Duration of benefit

The maximum period for which any woman shall be entitled to maternity benefit shall now be 26 weeks of which not more than 8 weeks shall precede the date of her expected delivery.  However, a woman employee having two or more surviving children shall have the benefit of 12 weeks of which not more than 6 weeks shall precede with the date of expected delivery.

Creche Facility

Every establishment having 50 or more employees shall have the facilities of creche within such distance as may be prescribed, either separately or alongwith common facilities.  It is provided that the employer shall allow four visits a day to the creche by the woman which shall also include the interval for rest allowed to her.

Note : The word ‘employee’ though not defined under section 3 of the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 or even in the amended Act, but it would be construed as ‘woman employee’.  In this context it is pertinent to refer to section 48 of the Factories Act, 1948 inter alia providing as under :

48. Creches.- (1) In every factory wherein more than thirty women workers are ordinarily employed there shall be provided and maintained a suitable room or rooms for the use of children……

Obligation of employer

The amended Act provides that every establishment shall intimate in writing and electronically to every woman at the time of her initial appointment regarding every benefit available under the Act.