The Economy of Work from Home and Legal IssuesOn December 1, 2022 by Arundhutee Bhattacharya
Corona disease (COVID-19) is spreading worldwide for the virus namely ‘Corona’. Since last December this virus is spreading globally. As per reports are concerned (the news), the first case was found in China, and now it is worldwide. And we all are middle of this crisis, lots and lots of people are dying due to this virus.
Most people who are infected with coronavirus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and will get recovered without any special treatment. Still, older people who are facing this or people with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, and cancer are more likely to have a more serious illness.
It is said that people of age 18 to 30 are more likely to recover fast due to their strong immunity system, but people of more age or kids are more likely to get the disease faster and they will face difficulties while recovering from the disease. Henceforth it’s very important for us to stay healthy during this period or during this emergency or crisis.
The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to have proper knowledge about coronavirus, everyone needs to know, whether this virus is harmful or not. Or what are the preventive steps? Or how this virus spreads?
People without having proper knowledge may spread several rumours which will make the situation worse. So It’s advised to have proper knowledge about the disease and then to make any kind of command regarding COVID-19.
Governments of all countries are spreading awareness regarding this disease (COVID-19) and they are making people aware of the coronavirus. And it’s advised and requested to everyone to cooperate with their respective governments. In this situation, we all should help each other and cooperate with each other in order to overcome this situation or crisis.
We should take proper precautions to overcome this emergency. We need to take care of ourselves, and we need to protect ourselves from infection by washing our hands or using an alcohol-based rub frequently and not touching our faces.
The coronavirus spreads mainly through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s very essential that we also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).
There are no specific vaccines or treatments for COVID-19. Though there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments. WHO (World Health Organization) will continue to provide updated information as soon as clinical findings become available.
And it’s advised to everyone to stay indoors, not to go out without any urgent need because in order to protect ourselves we need to avoid public places in order to avoid much public contact. As this virus spreads through public touch or contact to need to try to minimize the chance of public contact and henceforth we should stay in our homes.
Several governments have declared lockdowns in their countries, to stop normal working life, in order to stop or minimize the chance of public contact and henceforth to take a preventive step against this disease.
Schools, colleges, and workplaces are all shut or closed due to the increasing number of coronavirus cases. And in other countries, total bans on study abroad activity are being enacted, or postponements are being suggested.
South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Bahrain, and UAE have also joined the list of nations that have suspended in-school studies.
Italy is the latest country to join the Asian shutdown, as the outbreak grows rapidly in the country.
“Member schools have been placed in a situation where they have had to adapt and respond to a situation that is changing on a daily basis”, said a spokesperson for FOBISIA, which represents 70 British-style education providers in Asia across 14 countries.
“Some schools, particularly those located in countries or hotspots considered high-risk, have been directed to close, which has resulted in them utilizing their home-school learning platforms.”
“Although some very tough decisions have had to be made, the amount of goodwill and understanding to work together to safeguard students and staff has been extremely effective and impressive” added FOBISIA’s CEO, John Gwyn Jones.
In France & Italy have put a ban on school trips overseas, with reports of coach parties of students and they are stopped or prevented from leaving France.
In the United States Of America (USA), the Center for Disease Control & Prevention has published guidance suggesting or advising higher education institutions to consider postponing or cancelling foreign exchange programs for Americans.
“Given the global outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) institutes of higher education (IHE) should consider postponing or cancelling upcoming student foreign exchange programs. he should consider asking current program participants to return to their home country,” it states.
One study abroad provider, FIE, emailed its customer to say that the programs to the United Kingdom (UK), Ireland and Jordan were presently still running.
Education in China is decided at a provincial level which means different areas will have different approaches to returning students to their respective schools.
Areas that are comparatively less affected by coronavirus than other areas or places that may be regarded as comparatively safe as others are expected to resume normal life faster than other places. This follows the loosening of restrictions in some areas and henceforth comparatively more people returning to work, as evidenced by the pollution levels beginning to creep back to their levels.
The Human Resource Development Ministry (HRD) thinks about a new policy to regulate the working of international, and national schools and colleges. Due to the spreading of coronavirus across India, it has become the main topic for the debate within HRD ministry on whether to bring any kind of new regulation or rule, or policy for such establishments to cope with this crisis or emergency. India has approximately has with more than 1.5 million schools and 900 universities and 40,000 colleges. As of now, all educational institution is closed until further information.
To continue the academic year many schools and colleges have initiated online classes. As we are not yet sure when this crisis period is going to end and when we will be able to get back to our normal life, so at least we should try to utilize as much as we can, henceforth schools and colleges are continuing their academic session by taking online classes and taking assignments and tests. And as the students are concerned this will benefit the students too! This will help them to cope with their studies by sitting back at home. This time won’t be a waste for them; they can do productive work by indulging themselves in studies and also in other co-curricular activities, this time is like a golden opportunity for everyone to work on their skills and to improve them.
Henceforth all the educational institutes have suspended their regular classes but they are trying to keep the students involved in studies through several online classes or giving them several assignments or taking up tests.
Now coming to talk about the condition of different companies and how they are trying to cope with this situation.
Well, most of the workplaces have shut down and henceforth regular employees or workers can’t come and work during this crisis period. Thus companies, that are able to complete the work the employees do online are assigning them their tasks. But the workplaces which can’t conduct so or if the workings are not possible to work online are remained closed during this period.
But what about the people who work in low positions or the daily workers? Those who won’t be paid for the day if they don’t work for the day! They are losing their jobs, and thousands and thousands of people have lost their job!
On the other hand, the economy of the country is deteriorating every day! Which way is this leading, what’s going to be our future? How are we going to need to get back to normal life? How to provide food for every people who fall below the poverty line? How to boast our economy? All the people who have lost their job when will they get back their job?
There are several questions on our minds but to answer them we need to understand the current condition of the country’s economy!
Well, we all know that each and every country’s economy have gone down but for better analysis, we will be taking up one country at a time and we will be talking about their economic condition and also we will be talking about the methods (work from home) that the companies are taking to cope up with the situation.
So let’s first talk about India and her current condition:
India is facing one of the biggest economic crises in decades; a country of 1.5 billion populations is currently facing economic recession, millions of job losses, and possible starvation among poor citizens.
“It is said India reforms only in crisis,” Raghuram Rajan, the ex-governor of the Reserve Bank of India, wrote in a LinkedIn post.
Though India has a history or can be regarded as a record to take up reformative steps during the period of crisis. We can take examples of 1991-92, 1997-98, and 2014.
But India’s economy hasn’t been this bad in 42 years. Estimates for the financial year ending on 31st of March, the economy’s inflation growth rate at 5%, and 3rd year of slowdown. And even this estimated figure could be optimistic.
Not only is the current fiscal year’s 7.5% growth the worst since 1978, but it’s also lower than the 12% expansion the government had pencilled in when projecting taxes.
Then what should be done in order to normalize the current situation? Maybe the Central of India should buy all the assets from the non-bank financial sectors, which will help shadow financiers deal with their large overhang of loans and open up the clogged funding arteries of the economy.
The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic in India has been greatly disruptive. India’s growth for the fiscal year 2021 is downgraded by the World Bank and credit agencies, with the lowest figures India has seen in the last few decades.
The ex-economic adviser of the government of India has suggested or predicted that India needs to get prepared for a negative growth rate in the fiscal year 2021.
However, the International Monetary Fund for India for the fiscal year of 2021 is 1.9% GDP growth, which is said to be the highest among the G-20 nations.
Within a month, unemployment increased from 6.7% on 15th March to 26% on 19th April. Henceforth we can understand the rapid rise of unemployment. Thousands of people have lost their jobs and lots of people are going to lose their job in near future. This will increase poverty in India, and lots of people will die due to starvation.
As we mentioned earlier that working from home is not possible for everyone, and every job can’t be done online. Sometimes physical presence is needed or physical work is needed. And due to current economic conditions companies are not able to afford to keep all of their employees, and even to pay full salaries to each and every employee, so they removing workers who are not needed at this point in time. As a result, unemployment is touching the sky, India was already facing problems regarding unemployment every year and now due to the current situation more specifically, the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the issue is also every day.
Now the question remains the same, how is the government going to tackle or handle the current growth of unemployment which will rather give rise to more and more people living below the poverty line and eventually dying due to starvation?
The Indian economy was expected to lose over US$4.5 billion, every day during the first 21 days of the complete lockdown, which was declared after the outbreak of coronavirus.
Now let’s talk about the work-from-home scenario in India-
Many companies suggest working from home can be really useful in the long term. Well about 1.4 mn ITBPO workforce has moved to work from home model. This new normal can turn into a standard practice, and for some employees even after this crisis situation is resolved. And it’s even said or rather assumed that some companies will permanently shift to work from home.
And as working from home is comparatively more flexible, convenient, cost-saving, and productive, it can be very much useful in the long run. And the women, those who are housewives, for them doing regular jobs is not convenient, but as of work from home is concerned it’s very convenient for them, as it provides flexible working hours, and they can also manage their household too, therefore the participation or the involvement of the women has increased to a huge number, even many agencies are recruiting part-time employees for work from home and the number of working women is increasing. This work-from-home can be kept permanently. But unfortunately, not all companies are using this new technology or they may be facing several issues.
Now let’s talk about the economic condition and work-from-home scenario of the United States of America–
The coronavirus outbreak has made several changes in the current state of the US economy; there will be more challenges than ever before.
Coronavirus can be regarded as an external shock, and it has heavily affected the US economy. The GDP falls by more than twice the amount of the average postwar recession but hopefully will recover by late 2020 as hopefully, the disease will be under control. The GDP has fallen by 8.3 per cent in 2020.
Though a bit slow but surely work from home is becoming in the United States of America. After the invention of computers, it was predicted that our jobs will be eventually emancipated from the office and home will be the thrilling future of work. Well with the outbreak of coronavirus, companies are making new rules and regulations to cope with the situation. Previously there were travel restrictions on the employees but with the first death from the disease, companies have started using work from work as a method or way to protect ourselves as well as carry on the workings. After all who wants sick employees to come to their workplaces and stay the disease? Surely no one wants it! So it’s obviously better to stay back at home, and this will prevent the spread of the disease. More than 5% of employees are working from home in the USA.
Telecom giant AT&T has instructed their employees to work from home. Wall Street banks along with Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan have already informed New York City employees to work from home because the number of cases is increasing in the state.
No sector remains unaffected; Hollywood postponed the release of the upcoming films. Across Silicon Valley workers are told to work from home as Apple, Facebook and others have moved to minimize the spread of the virus.
Henceforth we can say that like other countries the United States of America is also facing economic downfall and is also giving emphasis on working from home, to prevent the disease to spread any further.
Now let’s talk about the economic condition of Italy and how work from home is emerging in recent days-
We all that Italy faced rather is still facing lots of trouble due to the spreading of coronavirus, thousands and thousands of people have died and still dying, and the government is working hard to bring the situation back to normal. Still, as we know Italy does not have a population like China or India still they are having devastating conditions. And we hope for the speedy recovery of the country.
The coronavirus is devastating the Italian economy. The coronavirus is causing enormous upheaval in Italy’s economy; the European Union’s third largest. The crisis is revealing the terrible plight of millions of men and women now in dire financial straits because they have had to stop working after the lockdown imposed by the government to combat the pandemic and protect lives.
The country’s economy was already in serious difficulty before the pandemic hit; it is now in even worse condition.
In this nation of 60 million people, a country with the oldest population in the world after Japan and a negative birth rate, millions are no longer earning wages because almost all nonessential economic activity has been stopped.
It’s difficult to make an estimate, but the number of people working from home may have reached 8 million (among 13 million total Italian employees) during the lockdown. The present outbreak created an extreme condition, in which nobody chose to work remotely but everybody was forced to do so and proved it can still be effective.
In Italian law, autonomous work was regulated in 2017 allowing staffers to gain some degree of freedom. According to the Digital Innovation Observatories of Milan’s Polytechnic University, there were 570,000 “smart workers” last autumn (20% up from 2018).
Difficulties can be counterbalanced by lasting positive effects. With a sharp increase in workers who need a good connection at home, along with students not going to school but following classes online, networks are currently under pressure.
Saying that working from home is not sustainable because houses will have to be heated during the day is a bit unwise, as offices would have been heated instead. For sure, smart working has a positive energy impact, mainly driven by a drop in transport.
Lots of live events have been cancelled, but culture doesn’t stop. From Genoa to Turin, from Palermo to Milan, and Parma, theatres have found alternative channels to communicate with their audience.
Besides mutual help on Facebook groups, there’s no shortage of public and private initiatives aimed at helping teachers bridge their skills gap in the digital sector. The national TV broadcaster, for instance, has launched a new section on the “Learning” channel of RaiPlay, with short educational pills for teachers.
Henceforth now we can summarize the economic condition of Italy by saying that there is no doubt that the coronavirus has immensely affected the Italian economy and thus the country is facing lots and lots of economic problems or issues. And due to this lockdown period, work from home has also increased to a great extent just like in other countries but as Italy is one of the most affected countries by the coronavirus so it will take some reasonable time to recover from the current situation and to get back to normal life.
Now let’s talk about China, the country where the first coronavirus-positive patient was found, without any doubt it’s obvious that China has faced and facing huge troubles and problems, countries economy has gone down due to this pandemic and now let’s study the country’s economic condition and the growth of work from home-
As is said that China has faced lots of issues, it has faced lots of death; china has lost lots of its citizens due to coronavirus. There are 83000 confirmed cases, 78302 recovered, and 4634 death cases.
Henceforth the figure shows to what extent coronavirus is affecting the country. And this is affecting the economic condition to great extent.
Coronavirus slams brakes on China’s economy. Everyone knew the coronavirus outbreak was hurting China’s economy. But the latest data show just how bad the pain has been and could continue to be for some time.
China’s economy shrank for the first time since at least 1992 in the first quarter, as the coronavirus outbreak paralyzed the economy of China, raising pressure on authorities to do more to stop mounting job losses.
As per several reports, gross domestic product (GDP) fell from 9.8 per cent in the month of January to March.
On the other hand, China has succeeded to manage to get large parts of its economy up and running.
China’s jobless rate in February was 6.2 per cent and in March was 5.9 per cent thus the country is improving and is on the way to getting back to a normal or stable life.
However, industrial output was down by 1.1 per cent in March from a year earlier, reflecting that factory activity or work was restarting faster than previously or initially expected.
Now let us talk about the new adaptation of work from home in China-
Due to this pandemic, lots of workplaces were shut down, henceforth working from home became the only solution, to face this emergency or crisis. But, in China, working from home is much less common than in the West. But since 3 February, when local governments and companies across the nation encouraged workers to stay at home, millions of Chinese have been experiencing the pros and cons of the home office for the first time.
With normally busy streets in major cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou eerily quiet, this mass experiment in working from home has led to a surge in demand for video-conferencing apps such as Tencent’s WeChat Work and Alibaba-owned DingTalk. US Company Zoom, another video-conferencing provider, has seen its stocks rise, counter to overall trends as coronavirus fears drag down the market.
Chinese workers have had mixed reactions to the experiment. Some complain of intrusive bosses who cannot believe their employees can be trusted to work from home; some are distracted by family members or find it difficult to focus, while others are embracing the experience, enjoying improved productivity; some even report improved love lives.
The United Kingdom, one of the most powerful countries in the world, is also facing a real hard time due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
In the United Kingdom, there are 272,826 confirmed cases, 2,445 new cases, and 38,376 deaths.
And due to this situation, the government of the United Kingdom is now taking several measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus across the nation, like stopping non-essential contact with people, this is basically more important for people who are above 70 years of age or people with some serious medical condition or pregnant women, they need to take some special care during this pandemic due to their low immunity power to fight with the virus. Hence they need some special care during this emergency.
And the government has given the order to shut down pubs, restaurants, and other such places, the government is advising everyone to stay back home, and here comes the importance of working from home, it’s the only option to carry on with work during this emergency.
Henceforth here we can see the importance of working from home, which is the only remedy for this crisis period, in order to save us all need to avoid public contact as much as possible plus we also need to carry on with our jobs or work, so working from is the only solution in this period. Thus this is the reason for the rise of working from home. And this is helpful too.
Now coming back to the economic condition of the United Kingdom (UK) due to coronavirus, this goes without saying that there is a great downfall in the economy of the United Kingdom due to coronavirus and just like other countries, the UK is also hugely affected by this pandemic.
This week the first official estimate of economic activity (GDP) partially covering the country’s lockdown was released. In the first three months of this year, the UK experienced the sharpest economic contraction since the peak of the financial crisis (Q4 2008). That’s despite the lockdown officially only starting on the 23 March. The 5.8 per cent single-month fall in March was the biggest on record (since 1997), and with the lockdown coming into full force only in the final week of March, that single-month fall suggests a GDP contracted by around 20 per cent during the lockdown period. The contraction of 2 per cent in 2020 is larger than that anticipated by the average of HM Treasury’s panel of independent forecasters, though smaller than included in the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Report last week.
GDP will fall much further as the UK looks set to be on full or partial lockdown throughout. Reliable timelier indicators, such as the Purchasing Managers’ Index, have already confirmed that activity has fallen much further in April. The low level of economic activity is likely to persist throughout May and June; the Bank of England and OBR scenarios pencil in falls of 25 per cent and 35 per cent respectively.
Henceforth we can say that just like other countries the United Kingdom has also faced and faced several problems and difficulties during this pandemic.
We have already talked about a few countries and their current condition, how they are managing themselves, and what are their plans to recover or what steps, they are majorly taking to overcome this situation. Henceforth now already have an idea of the current condition of the world. We are in the middle of a crisis, everyone from every country is facing several troubles and we hope if we all corporate then we will surely overcome this situation and soon we will be back to normal life.
Then we talked about the scenario of working from home in some countries, how they are adopting this new method of work, well as it is the only solution to carry on with the working of the companies during this pandemic (COVID-19). Well, countries like- India, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and Italy are emphasizing on work from home, they are encouraging this new form or method of work, which seems to them as the only solution to avoiding unwanted people contact and hence this method will help in preventing the spread of coronavirus. In contrast to it countries like- China, have not really adopted this method to that extent.
Well by now we know the plus point of working from home, is that it prevents the spread of coronavirus and is flexible too, which is worker friendly, now we will be discussing, how this work from home is benefiting the nation or basically emphasizing the economic site of work from home.
The exact size of the digital economy isn’t easy: The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development estimates a range of 4.5% to 15.5% of global gross domestic product. While that varies by country, it’s clear the companies and nations which can migrate the most commerce online will go some way to cushioning the damage.
Cheaper internet connectivity has enabled explosive growth in online tools, allowing many white-collar roles to be done at home and keeping managers and business owners in touch with their staff.
Users of Microsoft Teams soared to a new daily record of 2.7 billion meeting minutes in one day, a 200% increase from 900 million on March 16, the company said on April 9. Even amid security concerns, Zoom has gone from being used by 10 million office workers a day to more than 200 million people.
Already some companies have made some plans to continue with work from home, at least in some sectors of their companies, as per their viewpoint, working from home is cheaper and flexible and they will change operations even when the virus dissipates. Some are looking at cutting expensive travel and real estate budgets in favour of investing in better technology and home office setups.
Another big reason why India Inc. is seriously considering WFH as a new constant is that it involves cost savings, convenience, and productivity gains if implemented correctly. Outside Mumbai’s central business districts, a barebones office space that can seat 500 people can cost `10 crore in annual rent, which is `2 lakh per employee. And the cost of staff transportation, air-conditioning, and ventilation, furnishing, and cafeteria.
Working from home will give companies more flexibility to move according to business needs. Employees could be compensated based on transactions, and the more productive someone is, the more they will be compensated. The average cost of an employee in analytics & BPO companies is $24,000 in office, which could decline to $18,000-20,000 in work from home. Singh of PolicyBazaar.com says that working from home has worked brilliantly for their employees. They plan to make it functional for at least 20-30% of their staff once things normalize. The fully loaded cost for PolicyBazaar.com, which has 13,000 employees, tends to be around 1.25-1.5x of the employee’s salary. This money can come down drastically if work-from-home is implemented.
Nasdaq-listed BPO and analytics firm EXL Service, which has about 70% of its 32,000 employees in India, expects some of its staffers to work from home on a long-term basis. Insurance aggregator PolicyBazaar.com also sees a similar trend. CEO Sarbvir Singh says, “The current situation has paved the way for a paradigm shift. It will allow us to distribute the workforce across the country.”
About two-thirds of the 4.3 million ITBPO workforces across the country have moved to a work-from-home model to keep services uninterrupted during the lockdown. Experts say some companies are likely to move to WFH permanently.
Not only work from home is being economic for companies, but if we look at the other side, like the educational site then we can see that institutes are giving more emphasis on online courses as it’s more flexible, student-friendly, time savers, economical, one student can do more than one course at a time.
This crisis has also increased a lot of online readers throughout the world. Lots of people are doing online reading, like on kindle. Poorer children have been hardest hit, where families either have to share devices or don’t have them at all. Families, where parents have to leave home for work and cannot supervise their child’s learning, have had it tougher still.
School closures affect 90% of the world’s students, or more than 1.5 billion people according to UNESCO. That has forced teachers to scramble online courses with little warning, with knock-on consequences for the wider economy as parents are forced to adapt their working schedule around their children’s needs.
The shift online has been a crucial safety net or is very important or the only solution for a collapsing world economy and will change how we study, work, and play even when the virus passes, said Chua Hak Bin, senior economist at Maybank Kim Eng Research Pte. in Singapore.
But on the other hand-
Not all companies, however, are gungho about WFH. At least the heads of two of the largest technology services players in the country have flagged up an issue. The CEO and MD of Tata Consultancy Services, Rajesh Gopinathan, highlighted the need to restrict WFH for those who support critical and confidential functions of global clients. In a LinkedIn post, he said: “We power the financial backbones of several countries, support some of the largest healthcare and pharmacy companies in the world, run technology for governments and public services organizations.” Infosys’ CEO Salil Parekh also shared a similar concern, adding that “we continue to be guided by advisories from local governments in the 46 countries we operate in.”
Apart from security and regulatory issues, WFH also has a human challenge
So, we have already discussed the response that we have got about working from home, there are lots of companies, who are supporting working from home and they hope that they will continue this work from home in the future too when the situation will get normalized. Even as per a few reports working from home is helping to pull up the economy.
Henceforth we can conclude by saying that working from home is helping pull up the country’s draining economy. And it’s also helping students to carry on with their education during this crisis. And as is already said that some companies are planning to continue with work from home, even after this pandemic gets over. Henceforth this says that working from home has benefited them. Thus we can say that working from home has been profitable. And in the future, we will surely see more use of this method for work purposes and educational purposes too. And it was said before that this is helping women to participate while staying back at home and doing household work. And people, who used to stay pretty away from their workplace or college, are really enjoying this work from home is benefiting them to a great extent.
Well as we all know that due to this crisis or emergency, people are losing jobs, there is a food shortage, people are not only dying due to coronavirus but also due to starvation, and the daily wage worker is facing serious problems due to this lockdown period. Thus this will increase legal issues or problems, people will be demanding food and money from the government because this pandemic has made caused serious damage to several people. And we also know about the downfall of the economy in every country, those are facing this crisis.
And also due to the new method of work, that is working from home, what are the regulations needed to make for this new way and the legal issues caused by working from home?
Then what are majorly the issues faced by ordinary people, several companies, and also for working from home? What rights and government policies are already there to face this situation? What is the solution to this crisis? How will the demands of the people be fulfilled by the government?
Now we will be discussing the legal issues that are coming up due to this crisis or emergency. And we will also be discussing the most relevant solutions that can be used to face this situation.
First, let’s talk about the legal issues; those are coming up now-
Several companies have demanded, the current labour law needs to be revisited to provide the industry with the flexibility to enable working hours and shift timings. Moreover, the role of the employer with respect to safety and health measures at the workplace will require a rethink as the home becomes the new workplace.
HCL Technologies CEO C Vijayakumar said that, the government should look at some of the regulations, and how that will play out as labour laws and tax laws.
There is also a demand of reviewing the income tax provisions.
The covid-19 pandemic and consequent lockdown have led to hard decisions, with companies cutting expenditures by downsizing their workforce and reducing/deferring payment of salaries. An understanding of applicable employment laws is key in such times.
The industry bodies suggested a slew of measures and sought relaxations such as increasing working hours to 12 hours per day from the existing 8 hours per day to help them revive operations, according to a release by the Labour Ministry. In India, the industry bodies suggested a slew of measures and sought relaxations such as increasing working hours to 12 hours per day from the existing 8 hours per day to help them revive operations, according to a release by the Labour Ministry.
The release said the industry associations suggested “suspending the labour laws for the next 2-3 years except for provisions like minimum wages, bonus and statutory dues, to help the industry come out of the present crisis”.
The suggestion follows the Uttar Pradesh government’s move to bring an ordinance on Thursday to suspend all labour laws barring some provisions for the next three years to give relief to the industry hit by the existing lockdown.
Employers’ bodies suggested that a program may be formulated for the return of this migrant labour to work by providing counselling to alleviate their fears about COVID-19, providing financial help for their transportation, and providing free groceries for about six months.
As we already that lots of people have lost their jobs, salary has been reduced this all are happening due to the outbreak of coronavirus, and this is destroying the economy thus people are losing jobs and salaries are getting reduced.
And there are already issues of food shortage and poverty.
So this is majorly the issue faced by the employees and common people. Now let’s talk about the provisions that are already to face such a situation.
Taking up the Indian constitution we will the provision or rights which are already there for employees-
The Industrial Disputes Act, of 1947 defines “lay-off” and “retrenchment” in Sections 2(kkk) and 2(oo) respectively. The term “workman” is also widely defined and includes those performing any “manual, unskilled, skilled, technical, operational, clerical or supervisory work, but excludes those employed mainly in a managerial/administrative capacity and those employed in a supervisory capacity drawing wages greater than ₹10,000.” “Retrenchment” refers to the termination of service for any reason except as a punishment for any disciplinary action, with an obligation to pay compensation calculated as 15 days’ average pay for every year of continuous service. Other States provide a similar mechanism.
Now, let’s what are the steps government is taking to cope with the situation-
On March 29, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued an order under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 directing that during the lockdown period, employers shall make wage payments on the due date without any deductions. On April 27, in response to a batch of writ petitions challenging the validity of the order, a three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court directed the Centre to ‘place its policy’ on record. Henceforth we can see that the government is trying to make provisions to help the workers or the employees cope with the current situation.
Though many countries face huge challenges during the lockdown period, India’s challenges owing to its large informal sector are daunting. The sheer number of people whose livelihoods are suddenly snatched away from them is huge. Economists have argued that this is the time to use the JAM (Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile) trinity and make immediate transfers to people who live hand-to-mouth. And many companies are unable to pay salaries to their workers, so government should come up and help these small businesses so that they can pay their workers.
And it’s not only about India, in each and every country, but this is also the situation and this is the responsibility of the government to come up with monetary help for the people.
We are amidst of a pandemic, people are losing jobs, poverty is increasing, and people are dying off not only because of coronavirus (COVID-19) but also due to starvation.
So it’s time to help each other and stand by their side.
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