No coercive action against employers, says SC on Centre’s order on wages
New Delhi, June 04: The Supreme Court has reserved its verdict on a batch of petitions challenging the Centre's March 29 order asking employers to pay full wages to employees for the lockdown period.
The court said that no coercive action will be taken against any employer for violating the order of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Earlier the Centre told the Court that payment of wages to workers during the lockdown period is a matter between the employers and the employees.
The Centre also said that it would not want to interfere in the matter. The submission comes days after the Centre had said that it had directed the full payment of wages during the lockdown.
The Centre told the court that it had ordered the full payment of wages to stop the exodus of workers to their homes from their workplaces. We want the economy to restart and it is for employers to negotiate with employees as to how much wage could be paid during the lockdown period, the Centre represented by Attorney General K K Venugopal told the court.
Earlier the court pointed out that the March 29 notification wanted small industries to pay 100 per cent wages to workers during the lockdown period. You are trying put money in the hands of the industries for them to re-start, but you want them to pay workers 100 per cent wages too. Some negotiations need to be held, the court also observed.
A balance has to be struck between wage payment to workers for the lockdown period and protecting industries period and protecting industries. State may have to give small industries owners a hand.
Representing the industries, senior counsel, Vishanathan said that this is a global pandemic. It has affected all. Let this not be considered to be a bonanza for some ruin it for the others. Let the March 29 notification be quashed and the let the parties start the negotiations with a clean slate, he also submitted.