Lok Sabha passes Factories Amendment Bill, 2016 to increase overtime hours for workers

The Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (“Bill”) was introduced to increase the overtime limit of factory workers in Lok Sabha on 10th August, 2016 by the Minister for Labour and Employment, which was passed by Lok Sabha on the same day.

As per the amendment the total number of hours of overtime must not exceed 100 hours for a quarter as against the limit of 50 hours as provided earlier and the total number of hours of overtime work in a quarter if the factory has higher work load must not exceed 125 hours as against the limit of 75 hours as provided earlier.  (more…)

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Cabinet approves special package for employment generation and promotion of exports in Textile and Apparel sector

The Union Cabinet has on 22nd June 2016, approved a special package for employment generation and promotion of exports in Textile and Apparel sector. The package includes measures which are labour friendly and would promote employment generation, economies of scale and boost exports.

Salient features of the package announced are detailed below:

  • Employee Provident Fund Scheme Reforms:
    Government of India shall bear the entire 12% of the employers’ contribution of the Employers Provident Fund (“EPF”)Scheme for new employees of garment industry for first 3 years who are earning less than Rs. 15,000 per month. At present, 8.33% of employer’s contribution is already being provided by Government under Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Protsahan Yojana. Ministry of Textiles shall provide additional 3.67% of the employer’s contribution. EPF shall be made optional for employees earning less than Rs. 15,000 per month.

  • Increasing overtime caps:
    Overtime hours for workers shall not exceed 8 hours per week in line with International Labour Organization norms.

  • Introduction of fixed term employment:
    Fixed term employment to be introduced for the garment sector. A fixed term workman will be considered at par with permanent workman in terms of working hours, wages,allowance and other statutory dues.

  • Additional incentives under ATUFS:
    The package breaks new ground in moving from input to outcome based incentives by increasing subsidy under Amended Technology Up-gradation Fund Scheme from 15% to 25% for the garment sector as a boost to employment generation. A unique feature of the scheme will be to disburse the subsidy only after the expected jobs are created.

  • Enhanced duty drawback coverage:A new scheme will be introduced to refund the state levies which were not refunded so far. Drawback at All Industries Rate to be given for domestic duty paid inputs even when fabrics are imported under Advance Authorization Scheme.

  • Enhancing scope of Section 80JJAA of Income Tax Act:Looking at the seasonal nature of garment industry, the provision of 240 days under Section 80JJAA of Income Tax Act would be relaxed to 150 days for garment industry.

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Changes in the EPF Withdrawal Rules from EPF Scheme, 1952

The labour ministry with effect from 10th February 2016 made changes in the Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme, 1952, (“EPF Scheme”) which are mainly related to early withdrawals from Provident Fund (“PF”).

The amendments made to the EPF Scheme are detailed as under:

  1.  Full EPF balance cannot be withdrawn before attaining the retirement Age:
    The EPF contribution by the employer can’t be withdrawn before the retirement. Only at the age of 58 years an employee can withdraw own contribution and interest accrued thereon. (more…)
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EPFO’S withdraws grace period of 5 days for depositing the dues

The Employees Provident Fund Organization (“EPFO”) grants employers the concession of grace period of 5 days in each month in addition to statutory period of 15 days for depositing the contribution and other dues towards the settlement of provident fund of their employees. (more…)

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Payment of Bonus (Amendment) Act, 2015 notified

The Payment of Bonus (Amendment) Bill, 2015 which seeks to amend the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 was introduced in the Lok Sabha by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment on 7th December 2015 & was passed by the Lok Sabha on 22nd December 2015 and subsequently Rajya Sabha passed it on 23rd December 2015. (more…)

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