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Contractual employees to get same PF benefits as permanent employees

The Supreme Court, in a recent judgement, has taken a significant decision, which will benefit contractual employees working in government, semi-government and private organisation. The top court has said that contractual employees will get same provident fund (PF) benefits as permanent employees. As a result, contractual employees working in a municipal corporation, zila parishad, railway,
LIC, airport authority, metro, government, semi-government offices, local semi-government organizations, PSUs will also get PF benefits in line with permanent employees.

The apex court has ruled that all the contractual employees of Public Sector Undertaking (PSU), Pawan Hans Limited, be enrolled in provident fund. "We modify the direction of the High Court to grant the benefits under the EPF Act, and direct that the members of the Respondent ­Union and other similarly situated contractual employees be enrolled under the Pawan Hans Employees Provident Fund Trust Regulations so that there is uniformity in the conditions of service of all employees of the Appellant ­Company," the Supreme Court said in a December 17, 2019 judgment.

In particular, the Supreme Court has stated that the responsibility of paying the PF of employees working on a contractual basis, based on section 6 (2) of 'Employees Provident Fund and Other Provisions Act 19', was given in this judgment.

Therefore, it is the responsibility of the employees of the Provident Fund Organization (EPFO), whether it be permanent or contractual, government, sub-government offices, institutions, to ensure that PF contributions are deposited in their accounts. 

Worth mentioning here is that many private companies, local self-government organizations, government-sub-government offices employ contractors for various activities. The companies hiring such contractors are called the main owners. These contractors are responsible to deposit the PF amount of their employees to the EPFO ​​office, the Maharashtra Times said in a report.

It has been seen that contractors often refrain from paying employees' PF contribution. In such a situation, it is the responsibility of the concerned agencies to deposit the PF of the employees, the Maharashtra Times quoted the PF office as saying.

The Provident Fund Act is in the interest of employees and, even if the employee is a contractor, he or she must be given benefits within the framework of the law. Therefore, all government, semi-government offices should be careful to check whether the 'PF' of the employees, appointed on a contract basis is regularly collected. For this, the PF office has started to follow up with the respective local offices.

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