Include provisions to protect rights of outsourced staff: Govt to states

Govt has expressed concern about underpayment of contractual workers engaged in State/UT offices through outsourcing agencies due to unauthorized deduction in wages of such workers by hiring agencies

Press Trust of India New Delhi

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The Centre has asked states to incorporate certain provisions in the contracts of outsourced workers to protect their rights amid concerns about underpayment of wages and other benefits.

The Ministry of Labour and Employment recently incorporated six statutory obligations on GeM (Government e Marketing) portal in the contract of hiring manpower through outsourcing agencies in Government of India offices in order to protect the interest of the contractual workers, a labour ministry statement said.

Of late in a letter addressed to Chief Secretaries/Administrators of all States/UTs, Union Labour Secretary Arti Ahuja has expressed concern about the underpayment of contractual workers engaged in State/UT offices through outsourcing agencies due to unauthorized deduction in wages of such workers made by the manpower hiring agencies.

Further, she also expressed concern of the delayed payment of monthly wages to such workers by the agencies and low deposit of EPF (Employees Provident Fund) and ESIC (Employees' State Insurance Corporation) contributions of the workers.

In order to avoid such exploitation to the workers engaged through outsourcing agencies in State/UT Government offices, Ahuja has advised Chief Secretaries/ Administrators of all States/UTs to incorporate certain statutory obligations in their contract so that the rights of the workers could be protected.

These obligations include mandatory contribution of EPF and ESIC by the agencies in timely manner.

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States are also asked to provide in the contract that service provider/contractor shall be responsible for paying wages to contract labour at rates not less than the minimum wages as notified by the Appropriate Government.

Another provision is that the service provider/contractor shall not make any unauthorized deductions from the wages of the contract labour.

As per the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act,1970, the service provider/contractor shall be responsible for ensuring that wages are paid to the contract labour ontime, she also suggested.

The principal employer/buyer shall ensure that the wages are paid on time to the contract labour by the service provider/contractor.

In case the service provider/contractor fails to pay the wages on time or makes short payment, the principal employer/buyer shall be liable to pay the wages to the contract labour directly and recover the amount from the service provider/contractor, is another provision.

The service provider/contractor shall be responsible for paying bonus to contract labour in the manner prescribed by the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 & shall get reimbursed from the buyer, was also suggested.

The service provider/contractor shall be responsible for paying proportionate gratuity to contract labour who have rendered continuous service as per the provisions of the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972, was also provided.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Apr 19 2023 | 9:04 PM IST

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