Supreme Court on Friday passed the Following interim directions on the issue relating to the payment of wages during national lockdown amid Covid-19 pandemic.
i) The private establishment, industries, employers who are willing to enter into negotiation and settlement with the workers/employees regarding payment of wages for 50 days 3 for any other period as applicable in any particular State during which their industrial establishment was closed down due to lockdown, may initiate a process of negotiation with their employees organization and enter into a settlement with them and if they are unable to settle by themselves submit a request to concerned labour authorities who are entrusted with the obligation under the different statute to conciliate the dispute between the parties who on receiving such request, may call the concerned Employees Trade Union/workers Association/ workers to appear on a date for negotiation, conciliation and settlement. In event a settlement is arrived at, that may be acted upon by the employers and workers irrespective of the order dated 29.03.2020 issued by the Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs.
ii) Those employers’ establishments, industries, factories which were working during the lockdown period although not to their capacity can also take steps as indicated in direction No.(i).
iii) The private establishments, industries, factories shall permit the workers/employees to work in their establishment who are willing to work which may be without prejudice to rights of the workers/employees regarding unpaid wages of above 50 days. The private establishments, factories who proceed to take steps as per directions (i) and (ii) shall publicise and communicate about their such steps to workers and employees for their response/participation. The settlement, if any, as indicated above shall be without prejudice to the rights of employers and employees which is pending adjudication in these writ petitions.
iv) The Central Government, all the States/UTs through their Ministry of Labour shall circulate and publicise this order for the benefit of all private establishment, employers, factories and workers/employees.
In event, any settlement is entered between the employers and employees in the establishments which are before us, an affidavit giving details shall be filed by next date of hearing.