June 13, 2019

Maharashtra Proposes Legislation To Enforce Labor Laws At IT, BPO Companies Found To Follow ‘Bonded’ Labor Practices

[ By Bobby Anthony ]


A Maharashtra government committee which was appointed to examine complaints of exploitation of workforce in information technology (IT) and business process outsourcing (BPO) companies, has proposed a special legislation to enforce labor laws in such firms.

The development has come immediately after the committee held its first employees’ grievance redressal meeting in Mumbai recently.

The committee which will meet once a month, has asked the Maharashtra state labor department to issue notices to companies against which it received complaints from retrenched employees who were allegedly sacked unfairly without any notice and without any severance package.

The committee has urged the Maharashtra state labor department to direct IT-BPO companies across the state to stop enforcing unfair bond terms as well as return original bond documents to new recruits within 30 days.

The Maharashtra state labor department also plans to set up an online portal shortly, to enable IT sector employees to file complaints against their employers.

Earlier, the committee had received several complaints from new recruits who were allegedly made to sign bonds with unfair recruitment clauses which mandated that recruits must pay a “penalty” of up to Rs 1 lakh, if they quit before completion of the bond period.

It has been alleged that according to such bonds, a small portion of recruits’ salaries are allegedly withheld by their employers as “deposits” until the end of their bond terms, and they are allegedly not paid their first month’s salary in lieu of such “deposits”.

Incidentally, the 10-member committee is led by Maharashtra Labor Commissioner Rajeev Jadhav and has government nominated members from Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur. There are also representatives on the committee from trade bodies like the National Association of Software and Services Companies as well as the Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture.

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