Labour Department makes a U-turn on issuing notice to employers on wages

In another U-turn, the Labour Department, which on Wednesday had decided to issue notice to employers for not paying salary or full wages for April, stopped execution of this order within less than 24 hours after it received more than 700 complaints from workers.

The decision not to issue notice to employers came apparently after Labour Minister A. Shivaram Hebbar directed officials on Thursday not to. Sources said that by then, the department had received 730 complaints from aggrieved workers on its helpline.

Labour Secretary P. Manivannan had taken to Twitter on Wednesday night to announce that the Labour Minister had directed officials to issue notice to employers who had not paid the salary/full wages to workers for the month of April. He urged those in distress to report to the department helpline. However, on Thursday, the Minister directed officials not to issue notice to industry units. Sources said the Minister’s direction came under pressure from industry bodies.

This is the second time the Labour Department has made a U-turn on its decision to implement mandatory payment of wages. In the second week of April, an order making payment of wages mandatory and no retrenchment of workers was withdrawn in haste after industry bodies met senior officials.

Task force meeting

Meanwhile, the 16-member task force set up last week to deal with wage and retrenchment issues, which met on Thursday for the first time, also deliberated on the matter. One of the task force members said that the industry representatives had promised to look into the issue and ask for wages to be paid by employers. “Since the task force is a body comprising both industry and trade union representatives, it is easier to coordinate on such issues,” a source said.

To reduce complaints of non-payment of wages or retrenchment in the MSME sector, the members urged the State government to announce a package that can be used for payment of wages. “The MSME sector, which has been affected for nearly three years now, has to be financially strengthened,” a source said.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2020 12:07:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/labour-department-makes-a-u-turn-on-issuing-notice-to-employers-on-wages/article31530083.ece

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