What Are the Rights of An Employee Terminated At The Time Of Covid19? The pandemic situation affected the employment market, and to control that, the government took certain strict measures to ensure the safety of those affected.. The protection of employees on termination rights are made more stringent, and steps were taken to secure the existing employment. Unemployment has always been...
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What Are the Rights of An Employee Terminated At The Time Of Covid19?
The pandemic situation affected the employment market, and to control that, the government took certain strict measures to ensure the safety of those affected.. The protection of employees on termination rights are made more stringent, and steps were taken to secure the existing employment.
Unemployment has always been an issue in India, which got triggered by the economic slowdown caused due to the lockdown worldwide. The Covid situation has changed the working scenario to a huge extent, such as the introduction of work from home, some companies including certain big names who have declared work from home to be continued forever.
Along with this, for some employees, it has been a terror - due to pay cut, extended working hours, more work pressure, uncertain termination etc. Out of all the reasons, the uncertain termination became a matter of mental agony, thereby pushing them to live with tension what if they wake up with an email from the office that the employee has been terminated?
Can a company lay off an employee without notice?
The definition of 'lay off' is explained under Sec. 2(kkk) of the Industrial Dispute Act which implies the failure, refusal or inability of the employer on account of the hamper in the business or manufacturing activity or any other relevant reason, can reduce the salary, subject to certain conditions.
The pay-cut cannot be made more than 50% of the basic salary and the dearness allowance at the time of lay off.
In case the lay off is extended more than 45 days at a stretch, the employer can take the policy of retrenchment or terminate some employees. However, the retrenchment policy requires to follow the prescribed procedure of giving a reasonable notice period, payment of compensation of retrenchment, gratuity and leave encashment must be paid off. Moreover, there is no such provision that in any situation these rights of an employee can be waived off, except the company gets insolvent and closes down.
Even if at the event of closing down, the employees shall be treated as creditors, and the due salary shall be treated as debts to be repaid by the company.
As the number of arbitrary termination and salary cut became a big issue, the judiciary intervened in the matter and issued certain guidelines for the employers to comply with at the time of termination, which should be the last resort when there is no other option is available.
What is the legal provision relevant to the termination at the time of Covid 19?
Following the advisory of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, the employers are advised not to terminate the employees unless there is no other option left in the hand of the employer. It further advises that if any organization is not in operation, it shall deem that its employees are still on duty, therefore the termination must be conducted following the existing rules of termination of employment, not otherwise.
Moreover, keeping in mind the requirement, the government has introduced a clear framework of the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process, where the insolvent acquisition became helpful in securing employment as the existing business operations are maintained even on acquisition.
What are the provisions available to the employees on termination?
Labour law is quite specific about the regulations related to termination. If the employer has complied with all the specified rules and terminated the employee for a valid reason, paying the compensation for termination (usually one month of the notice period and an extra onemonth salary, depending on the policy of the company and the law in practice).
In case, the employer has terminated an employee without complying with the prescribed regulation or there was an alternative that could be adopted to avoid the termination, the affected employee can proceed to the labour court.
Compensation To Covid Infected Employee?
As per the Indian labour law, the employer is obliged to pay compensation if the employee dies in the course of his employment or any activity relevant to the course of the employment. For example, if an employee gets infected in the office, or from anywhere he was travelling in pursuance of his official work, and unfortunately dies, then the employer is entitled to compensate in such a situation. Moreover, it can also be drawn that the employee who is covid infected in course of his employment, the office must reimburse the treatment cost.
However, it is subject to evidence that the infection has occurred in the course of employment.