Salary cut due to coronavirus lockdown: The Supreme Court has stayed the order to give full salary to the employees of companies and small industries even during the lockdown to deal with the corona virus crisis. The apex court has ordered the central and state governments not to take any action against the companies till next week if they do not pay their salaries. The central government has sought a week’s time to file a reply in the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court has given this order while hearing several applications, including a petition filed by the Ludhiana Hand Tools Association. Private institutions had said in their application that this order of the Ministry of Home Affairs is one-sided and ignored the financial health of the companies. Not only this, private companies had argued in their application that the government is putting full burden on the employers, but no efforts were made on its behalf for the interests of the workers.
The application said that the employer has the right not to pay without work. Private institutions had argued during the last hearing in the apex court that such a huge amount was lying in the provident fund, which has no claimant. Apart from this, a large amount of ESIC is also deposited with banks. If the government wishes, it can use this amount to help the workers during this period.
The Ministry of Home Affairs had ordered that private companies must pay their employees full salary during the lockdown. If they do not do so, legal action can be taken against them. PM Narendra Modi himself, while announcing the lockdown for the first time, appealed to the companies not to expose the employees during this period nor to cut the salary. After this, on March 29, the Home Ministry issued a circular in this regard. Not only this, it was said in the order that if a company does not give full salary then it will have to face legal action.