In their continuous efforts of improving the business environment of the country, the government of India has taken necessary steps to ease the nature of doing business. The Government has been keenly observing the initiatives and benchmarks set by the ‘Doing Business Project of the World Bank.’
Launched in 2002, the Doing Business project provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement across 190 economies and selected cities at the subnational and regional level.It looks at domestic small and medium-size companies and measures the regulations applying to them through their life cycle.
To honor their commitment to promoting development led growth in India, the Ministry of Labour & Employment have taken proactive measures to promote ‘Ease of Doing Business’ through transformative reforms across both legislative and governance. By making an extensive use of technology, the ministry has strived in providing a better range of services to the various businesses in the country.
Here’s how the Labour Law Compliances have been made easy
1) Registration Process for EPFO and ESIC
The process of registration for the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation(EPFO) and Employee’s State Insurance Corporation(ESIC) are now online fully. The entire process is done on a real-time basis and is free of any charge for the registration.
The process of Registration Number allotment for both EPFO and ESIC is also fully online with no manual intervention for any employer. After a successful submission of the application, the registration number that is allocated is shown immediately within a few minutes.
All the relevant documents need to be uploaded by the employer itself at the time of application submission. This makes the process more simple and automated as no manual visit is required by the EPFO and ESIC personnel for documentation.
The Registration for EPFO can be independently done at the OLRE Portal of the EPFO. The same can be done for the ESIC at their website. For EPFO, the need for furnishing bank account details has been made optional and there is no such need for ESIC.
Note: An employer can register for both EPFO and ESIC through a common registration form available at the eBiz portal of DIPP (which has been made available since 9th March 2016).
Common Registration Service on the DIPP e-biz Portal:
The Common Registration Service has been launched by the Ministry on the e-biz Portal of the DIPP under 5 central Labour laws. Those are:
(i) The Employees Provident Fund & Miscellaneous Provisions Act,1952
(ii) The Employees State Insurance Act, 1948
(iii) The Building & Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment & Conditions of Service) Act, 1996
(iv) The Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act, 1970, and
(v) The Inter-State Migrant Workmen(Regulation of Employment & Conditions of Service) Act, 1979
2) Unified Web Portal for Labour Law Compliances
In order to bring accountability and transparency to the enforcement of labour laws and ease the complexity of the compliance process, a unified web portal has been launched. Known as the ‘Shram Suvidha Portal’ under the Ministry of Labour, this portal caters to four major organizations.
They’re as follow:
- a) Office of Chief Labour Commissioner (Central),
- b) Directorate General of Mines Safety,
- c) Employees’ Provident Fund Organization; and
- d) Employees’ State Insurance Corporation.
3) Returns under Labour Laws
Since 24th April 2015, a Single Online Common Annual Return has been made operational on the Shram Suvidha Portal. This has been done under 9 Central Labour Acts to simplify the filing of Single Online Return by the establishments instead of filing separate returns. The Acts are as follows:
- Payment of Wages Act, 1936
- Minimum Wages Act, 1948
- Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970
- Maternity Benefit Act, 1961
- Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Condition of Service) Act, 1996
- Payment of Bonus Act, 1965
- Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and conditions of Service) Act, 1979
- Industrial Disputes Act, 1947
- The Mines Act 1952
A Common Electronic Return cum Challan (ECR) has been available independently for both EPFO and ESIC. The Filing & Payment of contribution can also be made online without any need for documentation. An Online filing of returns by Exempted Establishments has also been provided in the case of EPFO.
Note: A common ECR for both EPFO and ESIC can be filed online through the Shram Suvidha Portal.
4) Register and Form Simplification
On 21st February 2017, the Ministry of Labour & Employment has notified the Ease of Compliance to maintain Registers under the various Labour Laws Rules, 2017. Since effect, this move has replaced the 56 Registers/Forms under 9 Central Labour Laws and Rules made thereunder into 5 common Registers/Forms.
This will save efforts, costs and lessen the labour law compliances burden by various establishments. These Rules are available on the Website of this Ministry at the link: http://labour.gov.in/whatsnew/ease-compliance-maintain-registers-under-various-labour-laws-rules-2017
The Ministry has also simultaneously undertaken to develop a software for the 5 common Registers. After the development of the software, the same will be put on the Shram Suvidha Portal of the Ministry for free download with an aim to facilitate maintenance of those registers in a digitized form in accordance with the provisions made in the above said notification/Rules.
For more details on Labour law compliances, talk to our experts at Integra Books.