Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
News Updates

'Employers Exploited This Unprecedented Situation': Madras HC Seeks Report On Workers Laid Off Due To Covid-19 In Violation Of Labour Laws

Aaratrika Bhaumik
29 Oct 2021 5:13 AM GMT
Employers Exploited This Unprecedented Situation: Madras HC Seeks Report On Workers Laid Off Due To Covid-19 In Violation Of Labour Laws
x

The Madras High Court on Wednesday observed with concern that many employees or workers who were laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic were not subsequently reinstated despite the relaxation of lockdown regulations and resumption of business and commercial activity. Justice M.S Ramesh remarked that many employers had taken undue advantage of the pandemic by violating express labour...

The Madras High Court on Wednesday observed with concern that many employees or workers who were laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic were not subsequently reinstated despite the relaxation of lockdown regulations and resumption of business and commercial activity.

Justice M.S Ramesh remarked that many employers had taken undue advantage of the pandemic by violating express labour laws.

"Some of the employers seem to have exploited this unprecedented situation and have effectively disengaged the services of some their workers/employees, without following the procedure for such disengagement under the Labour Laws", the Court observed.

The Court acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic has been a disaster that affected the conditions of workers and employees as well as the activities of industries, factories and other labour establishments.

However, it was underscored that employers cannot be allowed to exploit the situation by laying off workers in flagrant violation of labour laws.

"Though the Covid-19 pandemic situation could be termed as a misfortune, the employers cannot be permitted to make a fortune out of this misfortune. This Court has not come across any Government Orders or notifications addressing this crisis, whereby countless numbers of workers/employees have been retrenched/laid off by violating the legal procedures for such retrenchment/lay off", the Court opined.

The observations were made while adjudicating upon a petition moved by Labour Liberation Front, a trade union, which had highlighted that some of its members had not been reinstated despite relaxation of the lockdown.

Accordingly, the Court directed the Secretary of the Labour Welfare and Skill Development Employment, Tamil Nadu to submit a detailed report with containing particulars of the conditions of service and non-employment of workers or employees in Tamil Nadu. It was also directed that the report must have a comparative analysis of the situation before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic situation and the post-lockdown situation.

It was suggested that information on the situation prevailing on January 1, 2019 could be compared to the situation as on October 27, 2021.

"As an illustration and for the sake of convenience, the number of workers on the rolls of any industrial establishment as on 01.01.2019 could be compared with the numbers that exists as on date (i.e.) 27.10.2021 in that particular industrial establishment, together with explanation of that industrial establishment for the reduced number of workers/employees, if any," the order read.

The interim report was directed to be submitted on the next date of hearing i.e. on November 29.

Case Title: Labour Liberation Front and Ors v. State of Tamil Nadu

Click Here To Read/Download Order 


Next Story