The Labour Laws (Exemption from Furnishing Returns and Maintaining Registers by certain Establishments) Amendment Act, 2014

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The Labour Laws (Exemption from Furnishing Returns and Maintaining Registers by certain Establishments) Amendment Act, 2014 (Act no. 33 of 2014), was enacted with the view to amend the provisions of Original Act, i.e. The Labour Laws (Exemption from Furnishing Returns and Maintaining Registers by certain Establishments) Act, 1988 (Act no. 51 of 1988). The Amending Act of 2014 was assented by the President of India on 9th December, 2014. The Original Act of 1988 makes provisions as to exemption from furnishing returns and maintaining registers under certain labour laws, of the Employer of establishments, who are employing small number of persons. However, this long title of the Original Act is amended by the provisions of this Amending Act of 2014, where a new long title is provided as, the Act is provided for simplifying the procedure of furnishing returns and maintaining registers relating to the establishments where small number of employees or persons are employed.  Similarly, the short title of the Act as has been explained under section 1, sub section (1) of the Original Act is also amended by providing the word ‘Simplification of Procedure for‘, in place of the word ‘Exemption from’.

Further, the Amending Act amends the definition of the term ‘Small establishment’ where, originally, provided that, the if an establishment having appointed therein not less than 10 and not more than 19 persons in the preceding year, then such establishment to be called small establishment, however, by this Amending Act, the maximum number of persons is extended to 40.

Moreover, the Section 4 of the Original Act of 1988 is amended by this Amending Act by providing a new section in that place. The Original Section 4 was making provision for exemption as to filing of returns and maintenance of registered required under certain labour laws. It was clearly provided that after the commencement of the Original Act, the employer concerned with the small establishments or even with very small establishment should not be required to furnish the returns or even maintenance of registers which are required under certain labour laws, as were scheduled under that Act, need not be done by such employers. However, that provision was requiring the employers to furnish Core Returns in the Form A (provided under the original Schedule) in lieu of those returns. And also was requiring those employers to maintain Registers provided in Form B, C, D and E as per the nature of their establishments. And also it was provided that, the other provisions of those Acts scheduled under that Original Act, were to be remained applicable to such filing of returns and maintenance of registers by such Employers.

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However, so far as amendment of original Section 4 is concerned, the Amending Act provides for new section, specifying that after the commencement of this Amending Act of 2014, the employer connected with small or very small establishments to which the new schedule Acts applies, need not to furnish returns or to maintain registers as has been required to furnish or maintain under those Act being scheduled. But, they are required to furnish such returns in the Form I and maintain registers in Form II and III. And also it is given that, the other provisions of those Acts scheduled under this Act, should be remained applicable to such filing of returns and maintenance of registers and also issuing slips of wages, etc. by such Employers.

Further, the Amending Act provides for new Schedules (being First and Second Schedules) in place of original ones, which were provided as annexed with the Original Act. The Schedule first, in the Original Act was enlisting 9 Acts. The list now has been enlarged by this Amending Act, by providing more 7 enactments therein. Similarly, the Second Schedule annexed with the Original Act was proving certain Forms regarding Core Returns, Register of wages required to be maintained by small establishments, Muster Roll to be maintained by small establishments, Monthly register showing welfare amenities to be maintained by small establishments and Monthly register of muster roll-com-wages required to be maintained by very small establishments. However, the Amending Act provides for different forms including Annual Return form, Register of persons employed cum employment card and muster roll cum wage register.

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by Faim Khalilkhan Pathan.