New wage code bars bonus for those facing sex abuse charges

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News: According to a provision in the Code on Wages 2019, ‘conviction for sexual harassment’ can be a ground for denying bonus payouts to employees.

 

Facts:

  • What does the code provide? The code says that an employee shall be disqualified from receiving bonus if he is dismissed from service for fraud or riotous or violent behaviour while on the premises of the establishment or theft, misappropriation or sabotage of any property of the establishment or conviction for sexual harassment.
  • What does the current law provide? The current law says that only reasons for which bonus dues can be barred are for fraud, violent behaviour, theft, misappropriation or sabotage and violent conduct.
  • Significance: This will make employees more careful of their conduct and serves as an additional deterrent apart from the Prevention of Sexual Harassment(PoSH) law of 2013.

 

Additional Facts:

  • Code on wages, 2019: It has amended and consolidated four labour laws relating to wages, bonus and related matters which includes:
    • Payment of Wages Act,1936
    • Minimum Wages Act,1948
    • Payment of Bonus Act,1965 and
    • Equal Remuneration Act,1976.
  • PoSH Act,2013: The act aims to prevent and protect women against sexual harassment at workplace and to ensure effective redressal of complaints of sexual harassment.
  • As per the act:
    • Firms are required to form an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) to inquire into complaints.
    • The Committee is required to make recommendations to employers on the action required pursuant to its inquiry in such complaints.If the ICC upholds a complaint, it can be construed as a conviction.
    • ICC also has the powers to decide if someone is guilty and report it further to the police, though not all sexual harassment cases translate into a police case.