The government clarified on Thursday that employers would be penalised only for "negligence" or "cognisance" if an employee working with them is tested positive for novel coronavirus. This clarification came over concerns on the MHA guidelines that sought to penalise employers if employees were tested positive. The consolidated revised guidelines were issued on April 15, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the extension of the lockdown till May 3.
"#FactCheck. Claim: MHA (ministry of home affairs) Guidelines prescribe penal action against company directors & management if employees test positive for #COVID-19. Fact: MHA Guidelines misinterpreted. Penalties under DM (disaster management) Act 2005 applicable if the offence occurs with consent, cognisance or negligence of the employer," a government spokesperson said.
#FactCheck— Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs (@PIBHomeAffairs) April 22, 2020
Claim: MHA Guidelines prescribe penal action against company directors & management, if employees test positive for #COVID_19
Fact: MHA Guidelines misinterpreted. Penalties under DM Act'05 applicable if offence occurs with consent, cognisance or negligence of employer https://t.co/j9DTmIJr00
Labour Secretary Heeralal Samariya also said on Wednesday agreed with the industry that employers should not be booked by law enforcement agencies if their workers get COVID-19. He also said he would take the matter at the highest level.
Talking about labour reforms, he said the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour had given its report on the Code on Industrial Relations and it would soon submit a report on the Code on Social Security. He ruled out appropriating funds of the Employees'' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) for payment of wages to workers or to employers to meet their salary bill during the coronavirus lockdown.
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in India have jumped to 21,393, according to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. These include, 16,454 active cases, 4,257 cured/discharged, 1 migrated and 681 deaths. Maharashtra remains the worst-affected state with 5,652 confirmed coronavirus cases and death toll at 269, which is also the highest in the country.
With PTI inputs