Punjab: Government issues advisory to employers against firing workers and slashing wages
29 March 2020: The Punjab government has issued an advisory to industries and commercial establishments in the state, asking them not to terminate employees or deduct their wages, as non-essential factories remain shut due to Centre imposed lockdown. The advisory states that Any employee who takes leave due to the COVID-19 pandemic should be treated on duty as also the workers of factories or units made non-operational by any government order over coronavirus.
Labour Ministry amends EPF Scheme allows withdrawal of 3 months of pension amount
28 March 2020: The Labour Ministry has amended Employees’ Pension Fund Scheme 1952 permitting pensioners a non-refundable withdrawal not exceeding the basic wages and dearness allowance for 3 months or up to 75 per cent of the amount standing to the credit of their EPF account, whichever is less. The amendment has been put in place in the wake of the lockdown imposed by the Centre in an attempt to contain the outbreak of COVID-19 which has left many workers and pensioners stranded without work or pay.
Centre imposes nationwide lockdown, workplaces to remain shut
22 March 2020: In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic the central government imposed a nationwide lockdown starting midnight 23 March 2020. All manufacturing units and services to remain shut barring essential services such as hospitals, milk booths and grocery stores. All transport services have been discontinued and interstate borders have been sealed.
Meghalaya: Government proposes legislation for regulation of migrant workers
14 March 2020: Government has proposed Meghalaya Identification, Registration (Safety & Security) of Migrant Workers Bill, 2020, which also seeks to prevent the commission of offences of harassment, intimidation, discrimination and any other act of omission that could affect the safety and security of migrant workers. The Act will be applicable to all establishments in the state irrespective of the number of migrant workers engaged or employed.
Every migrant worker will have to register and obtain a separate registration card. It will be the duty of every person employing a migrant worker to ensure the registration of the migrant worker failing which the owner of any establishment will be liable to a fine which may extend to Rs 5,000.
Any person who intimidates, threatens or in any manner discriminates and threatens the safety of a migrant worker, obstruct his/her avenues of employment, restricts him/her from carrying out duties while in employment, forces or causes him/her to leave house, obstructs or prevents him/her from practising any profession, trade or business or employment, imposes or threatens a social or economic boycott will be punishable with simple imprisonment for a term not beyond three months or with a fine, which may extend upto Rs 5,000 or both. On a second offence, the imprisonment will be for term of one year or with a fine of Rs 10,000 or both.