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  • Anmol Singh

Labour & Employment Laws - Newsletter | August 2023

This labour & employment law newsletter provides a brief summary of the developments and updates in the month of August, 2023 through judgments, notifications, circulars, and other updates in the labour & employment sector in India.

Principal Employer is not liable for interest/penalty on delayed compensation for accident or death of Contractor’s employee

The Bombay High Court held that on failure to comply with the statutory obligation on the part of the employer, he can be saddled with the additional liability to pay interest and penalty, however, the principal employer, who is made liable to pay compensation by extended arm under Section 12 of the Employee’s Compensation Act cannot be mulcted with the liability to pay the interest and penalty. Such liability would remain on the employer (i.e., contractor) only for his default.

[Chief Executive Officer, Zila Parishad, Ahmednagar Anr. vs. Suraiyya Rafik Khalifa & Ors. 2023: BHC-AUG: 15725]

Maternity Benefits must be granted even if the period of benefit overshoots the term of contractual employment

The Supreme Court of India observed that the provisions of the Maternity Benefits Act, 1961 do not lead to an interpretation that maternity benefits cannot survive or go beyond the duration of employment of the applicant. The expression employed in the legislation is maternity benefits [in Section 2(h)] and not leave. The Apex Court concluded that once the appellant fulfilled the entitlement criteria specified in Section 5(2) of the Act, she would be eligible for full maternity benefits even if such benefits exceed the duration of her contract.

[Dr. Kavita Yadav vs. Secy, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Civil Appeal/5010/2023]

Refusal of Paternity Leave to the father would amount to a violation of the child’s right to life under Article 21

The Madras High Court while granting relief to a State Police officer who went absent from his service as he had to take care of his wife who was expecting a child, observed that the child’s right to live, survive, health and development of childhood which flows from Article 21 of the Constitution of India, guarantees the petitioner’s right to seek paternity leave to attend his wife’s delivery.

[B. Saravanan vs. The Deputy Inspector General of Police, Tirunelveli Region, Tirunelveli & Ors. WP(MD)/19561/2023]

Women are entitled to maternity benefits equally across organisations, irrespective of the nature of employment of the female worker

The High Court of Delhi held that the nature of employment shall not decide whether a woman employee would be entitled to maternity benefits. It further observed that the social welfare legislation of the Maternity Benefit Act certainly does not discriminate on the basis of the nature of employment of the beneficiaries. The Court relied upon the Supreme Court’s judgment in Municipal Corpn. of Delhi v. Female Workers (Muster Roll), (2000) 3 SCC 224 to grant relief to the woman employee.

[Annwesha Deb vs. Delhi State Legal Services Authority 2023:DHC:6049]

In a disciplinary proceeding, the question of burden of proof would depend upon the nature of the charge and explanation of the employee

The Supreme Court of India reiterated that It is well settled that, in a disciplinary proceeding, the question of burden of proof would depend upon the nature of the charge and the nature of the explanation put forward by the respondent-employee.

On the aspect of judicial review in disciplinary proceedings, the Supreme Court held that the scope of judicial review against a departmental enquiry proceeding is very limited. It is not in the nature of an appeal and a review on merits of the decision is not permissible. The scope of the enquiry is to examine whether the decision-making process is legitimate and to ensure that the findings are not bereft of any evidence. If the records reveal that the findings are based on some evidence, it is not the function of the court in a judicial review to re-appreciate the same and arrive at an independent finding on the evidence. This lakshman rekha has been recognized and reiterated in a long line of judgments of this Court.

[State Bank of India vs. A.G.D. Reddy 2023 INSC 766]

Definition of ‘Basic Wages’ under the Employees’ Provident Fund & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 (“EPF Act”) cannot be equated to ‘Minimum Wages’ under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 (“MW Act”)

The Supreme Court of India held that once the EPF Act contains a specific provision defining the words ‘basic wage’ (under Section 2b), then there was no occasion for the appellant to expect the Court to have travelled to the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, to give it a different connotation or an expansive one, as sought to be urged. Clearly, that was not the intention of the legislature.

[Assistant Provident Fund Commissioner vs. M/S G4s Security Services (India) Ltd. & Anr. C.A. 9284 of 2013]

Madras High Court urged the policy-makers to recognise the right to paternity leave/parental leave to the biological/adoptive parents

The Madras High Court while delivering a judgment to grant relief to a police officer who went on paternity leave, shows its concerns over lack of any law in India mandating the private sectors in India to provide paternity leave for working fathers. The Court further observed that as on date, a majority of countries have establised legislative provisions to protect and support maternity and paternity. The Court in its judgment observed that “This case marks the need for paternity leave legislation in India.”

[B. Saravanan vs. The Deputy Inspector General of Police, Tirunelveli Region, Tirunelveli & Ors. WP(MD)/19561/2023]

Haryana Government revised minimum wages for the State of Haryana with effect from 01.07.2023

The Labour Department of Haryana has revised the minimum wages vide its notification dated 23.08.2023 which is to be applicable in the State of Haryana retrospectively from 01.07.2023.

Minimum monthly wages for unskilled workers have increased from Rs. 10,532 to rs. 10,661 whereas for semi-skilled workers, it has grown from Rs. 11,059 to Rs. 11,194. For skilled workers, minimum wages are now between Rs. 12,341 to Rs. 12,858. The notification also provides for minimum wages for other categories for general staff, security, etc.

The notification dated 23.08.2023 can be accessed here.

This newsletter was authored by Kushank Sindhu (Counsel), Anmol Singh (Associate Counsel), Apali Kaushal (Associate Counsel) and Sanya Singh (Associate Counsel). The authors may be contacted at


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