Rights of Employees & Employers during Coronavirus Pandemic
COVID-19 is still prevalent in many countries around the globe, and it seems to have a long-lasting impact on economies of many nations. In the wake of COVID-19 lockdown there are number of employment-related issues faced by both employees and employers. Everyone is interested to safeguard their economic interests. There are many questions about what are the rights and obligations of employers and employees during the time of this lockdown and social distancing. Read on to know more.
Salaries during Coronavirus Pandemic
An often asked question during this time is, whether employers have a continued obligation to pay salaries or not. As per government, if an employer can afford to pay salaries at the same rate they’ve been doing before lockdown, then they should do so. However, it is also true that for most employers it will be not viable to continue paying salaries because of the nature of the industry. In this case, it is advisable for both parties to decide mutually and come up with a solution. However, any reduction in salaries has to be as per minimum guarantees provided under the law. But as per latest development, some states are looking to suspend minimum pay legislation to help companies recover coronavirus losses. More clarity on this is expected to come in a couple of days.
Like we said, it depends on the kind of industry. If an organization can continue rendering services and its employers can work from home, then this way both parties will have to bear losses.
Termination during Coronavirus Pandemic
As mentioned above, termination or layoffs should be avoided as much as possible. And it is advisable to mutually decide the course of action. However, in extreme circumstances employers are permitted to terminate employees. But in order to do so, they would need to follow the mandates provided by law for these actions.
Insurance Obligations during Covid-19
In the wake of COVID-19 situation, the government has extended the contribution period towards Employees State Insurance or ESI. From March, 2020, a relaxation has been given by government that instead of the usual 15 days’ time period for depositing the ESI Contributions, a more relaxed time period of 45 days is provided. Also, employees have been assured that they will be able to use their Insurance entitlements, even if the illness or death has happened due to COVID-19. The Life Insurance Council of India (LIC), by a press release, has confirmed that all COVID-19 related death claims shall be honored. Similarly, the government has also stated clearly that employees shall be entitled to use their ESI Contribution entitlements for illness or death caused due to COVID-19.
Work from Home option during Coronavirus Pandemic
Following the spread of epidemic, to ensure social distancing norms – all commercial and industrial establishments which are not engaged in giving essential services were instructed to be closed. However, wherever possible employers have a right to ask employees to Work from Home. But remote working environments has their own risks. Employers may end up giving personal access to the Confidential Data and Trade-related secrets of the company. Hence it goes without saying that all clauses of maintaining confidentiality of company data would be strictly applied to all employees who are working from home.
It goes without saying that during this difficult time, as a moral obligation, we all should do whatever is in the favor of humanity and working ethics. We will keep you posted with latest developments of government in this regards.
Hope we Answered Rights of Employees & Employers during Coronavirus Pandemic