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Management can deduct wages of employees who remain absent where there is no lock down or partial lifting of lock down   Apr 30, 2020

In a Petition filed before the Bombay High Court, Aurangabad Bench, challenging the orders dated 29th March 2020 issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs for payment of wages to employees during the lock down period, the Hon'ble High Court has declined to interfere with the impugned orders and has has stated that it expects the employers to pay gross monthly wages, except conveyance & food allowance for workers who are not required to report for duties. 

The Hon'ble High Court has further held that in the event workers, who are required to report for work,  voluntarily remain absent, the Management would be at liberty to deduct their wages for their absence subject to the procedure laid down in Law while initiating such action.

The payment of wages for the period of lock down has been made subject to the outcome of the Petiton.

Patagraphs 6 & 8 of the Order are reproduced below:

"6.  I am of the view that as the Hon'bble Apex Court is dealing with a similar cause of action, I would not be inclined to interfere with the impugned order and would expect the petitioners to pay the gross monthly wages to the employees, save and except conveyance allowance and food allowance, if being paid on month to month basis in the cases of those workers who are not required to report for duties."

" 8. It is clarifed that since the State of Maharashtra has partially lifted the lock down recently in certain industrial areas in the State of Maharashtra, the workers would be expected to report for duties as per the shift schedules subject to adequate protection, from Corona Virus infections, by the employer. In the event such workers voluntarily remain absent, the Management would be at liberty to deduct their wages for their absence subject to the procedure laid down in Law while initiating such action. This would apply even to areas where there may not have been a lock down. " 

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