The Lok Sabha has unanimously passed the Employee’s Compensation (Amendment) Bill, 2016 to reduce litigation in cases of disputes arising over compensation to workers.
The Bill seeks to amend the Employee’s Compensation Act, 1923. This law provides payment of compensation to employees and their dependents in the case of injury by industrial accidents, including occupational diseases.
Key Features of Bill
- Duty to inform employee of right to compensation: Mandatory for employer to inform the employee of his right to compensation under the parent Act.
- Such information must be given in writing in Hindi, English, or the relevant official language at the time of employing him.
- Penalty for failure to inform: If employer fails to inform his employee of his right to compensation he will be fined penalty between Rs. 50, 000 to Rs. 1 lakh.
- Appeals from the Commissioner’s order: Any dispute related to an employee’s compensation will be heard by a Commissioner (with powers of a civil court) only if the amount in dispute is ten thousand rupees. It allows Union Government to further raise this amount.
- In parent Act, appeals related to a substantial question of law from the Commissioner’s order will lie before the High Court.
- Deletion of withholding payments pending appeal provision: Earlier in the parent Act, any payments towards the employee can be temporarily withheld if an employer has appealed against a Commissioner’s order in High Court. This provision has been deleted.