Coronavirus | Don’t lay off workers or cut salaries, says Labour Ministry
EPFO issues instructions on timely pension payments
The Union Labour and Employment Ministry has been reaching out to employers, both the public and the private sector, asking them not to lay off workers or cut salaries due to the ongoing lockdown owing to COVID-19 outbreak.
In letters to the secretaries of Central Ministries, State Chief Secretaries and employers’ associations, sent over the last few days and on Monday, the Ministry said employers were asked to “extend their cooperation by not terminating employees” in this “challenging situation”.
The Ministry said if any worker takes leave during this period, they should be “deemed to be on duty without any consequential deduction of wages”. The same should apply to those working in an establishment that is ordered to shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, the letter said.
“The termination of employee from the job or reduction of wages in this scenario would further deepen the crises and will not only weaken the financial condition of the employee but also hamper their morale to fight the epidemic,” the letter stated.
Sharing a copy of one of the letters, the Ministry tweeted on Monday: “Seeing the Coronavirus pandemic, advisory has been issued by the Labour Ministry to all the employers of public/private establishments to coordinate by not terminating their employees, particularly casual or contractual workers from job or reduce their wages.”
The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation, which disburses monthly pensions to 65 lakh people, said in a statement on Monday that it had instructed all its field offices to generate and reconcile the pension amounts and details for the current month by Wednesday. The Central PF Commissioner said these details should be sent to banks in advance so the pensions are credited in March itself.