Industries cannot be forced to pay wages: panel
MPs’ committee sees COVID-19 lockdown as natural calamity, says units not responsible for lay-off must not be affected
- In case of natural calamities, payment of wages to the workers until the re-establishment of the industry may be unjustifiable.
- The Industrial Code makes it incumbent upon the employer to pay 50% wages to the workers/employees who are laid off due to a shortage of power, coal, raw material and such instances for 45 days.
- The committee has, however, expressed reservation on payment of the prescribed percentage of wages to the workers in the event of closure of an establishment due to “natural calamity”.
- In case of natural calamities like earthquake, flood, super cyclone etc. which often result in closure of establishments for a considerably longer period without the employer’s fault, payment of wages to the workers until the re-establishment of the industry may be unjustifiable.
‘A helping hand’
- The basic idea about our recommendations is that the industry should also not be forced when the situation is beyond their control.
- The law has to be reasonable. It is for the government to step in and extend a helping hand for the industries.
- Given the present situation where the entire nation is fighting against monstrous attack of novel coronavirus and when every ordinary citizen has been shouldering the risk beyond his/her capacity.
- The Industrial Relations Code, 2019 is an amalgamation of three laws — the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, the Trade Unions Act, 1926, and the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946.
- The law was introduced in the Lok Sabha in November in the year 2019 and referred to the Standing Committee on Labour in December.