The Supreme Court said that no coercive action should be taken against the employers unable to pay full wages. The Supreme Court extended the effect of its May 15 order till June 12. The Order is directing the Government not to take coercive actions against the employers and companies which are unable to follow the Circular of March 29 on payment of full wages to the employer during the lockdown.
Previously, the Ministry of Home Affairs passed a circular dated March 29. The Circular made it compulsory for the employers and company to pay full wages during the lockdown period. The employers should pay to their workers without ant deduction in pay even during their establishments are closed.
The secretary of Labour & Employment Ministry wrote to the secretaries of state for advising employers not to terminate their employees. They further cautioned not to reduce the wages during the lockdown. The Government passed the circular for safeguarding the interest of the employees from the impact of Coronavirus Pandemic.
Supreme Court Order
A bench consisting of Justices Ashok Bhushan, MR Shah & SK Kaul raised concern over the circular. MHA’s Circular made 100 percent payment of wages to workers mandatory The Circular had also made it clear that the employers failing to full pages will be prosecuted. However, the employers also faced the genuine problem of not able to pay the total wages.
The Bench said that we have reservations concerning the Circular. The Bench further said that the correct way of finding a solution is discussion. Also, there should be a balance between mandatory payment of full wages and the inability of the employers to pay total wages. There should be a balance between paying capacities of companies and the protection of employees from the impact of lockdown in the result of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
The Supreme Court asked the Central Government on May 15 not to take any coercive action against the Companies and Employers unable to pay full wages to the workers during the lockdown. The Bench was adjudicating the matter between the Small Scale Industrial Manufacturers Association and the Central Government.