The Narendra Modi government has issued an advisory to both private and public companies to not lay off employees or cut their salaries, in the wake of the COVID-19 or novel coronavirus crisis.
Concerned about likely job losses and pay cuts due to the coronavirus crisis, the Ministry of Labour & Employment on Monday asked all the employers of public/private establishments to not cut salaries or resort to layoffs of their employees.
कोरोना वायरस (COVID-19) महामारी के इस विकट समय में श्रम एवं रोजगार मंत्रालय सभी सार्वजनिक और निजी नियोक्ताओं से अपने कर्मचारियों और कामगारों का सहयोग करने की सलाह देता है। pic.twitter.com/YiHM4ZbvVK— Ministry of Labour (@LabourMinistry) March 23, 2020
The move has come days after the televised address by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the outbreak on Thursday when he urged the business community not to cut staff salaries.
The Ministry in its advisory said the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) requests all employers not to cut salaries of employees who are unable to work.
The advisory asks employers not to terminate their employees, particularly casual or contractual employees, from their jobs or reduce their wages. The letter states that the catastrophic situation due to the outbreak of coronavirus is a challenge to the society and these challenges can only be neutralised by the coordinated efforts of all.
The advisory further states that in view of the coronavirus pandemic and the consistent efforts of the government requesting the citizen to remain at home and not venture out, will constraint the worker or the employee to report for work.
There may be instances that on this pretext, the employer may dispense with the services of the employees or may force them to go on leave without wages or salaries.
As per the advisory, if any worker takes leave, he or she should be deemed to be on duty without any consequential deduction in wages for this period. Further, if the place of employment is to be made non-operational due to coronavirus pandemic, the employees of such unit will be deemed to be on duty.
The advisory also realises that the termination of the employee from the job or reduction in wages in this scenario will further deepen the crises and will not only weaken the financial condition of the employee but also hamper their morale to combat their fight with this epidemic.
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