The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to act tough against private contractors who short-change their employees and violate labour laws by withholding their payments. The contractors will also have to provide bona fide proof that they are paying the contract employees properly by submitting, among other things, receipts of the amount they have deposited in the provident fund (PF) accounts.
The civic body’s decision comes after an internal inquiry revealed that contractors who provided manpower to carry out various civic projects often violated labour laws. An order, issued by Additional Municipal Commissioner Rubal Agarwal, stated that the civic body’s employees’ union had pointed out the violations.
According to the union’s report, the contract employees at the Ghole Road ward office, as well as in the departments of Mandai, Roads, Gardens and Hostels were paid their monthly salaries in cash or cheque, instead of directly transferring the money to their bank accounts. The union also noted that the number of employees receiving provident fund deposits from their employers, the private contractors, was less than the total number of contract employees deputed at the ward offices in Nagar Road, Ghole Road, Kothrud, Warje, Yerawada and Tilak Road.
As many as 140 contract employees in the Mandai department, 110 in the garden department, 40 in the cultural centre department and four in hostels department had not even been issued PF account numbers, stated the report, adding that in many departments, the contract employees were not given their monthly salary slips.
The union also reported other instances of labour law violations, such as contract employees not being provided the requisite safety equipment while carrying out sensitive works.
After civic officials held a meeting with representatives of the employees’ union over the issue, Agarwal also issued directives to respective civic departments to ensure that the private contractors carrying out their projects didn’t violate any labour laws.
“It has been decided that the contractor should not pay salaries or any other allowance to contract employees in cash or cheque and the payment should be made directly to their bank accounts,” she said.
The civic body also said the contractor has to deduct the PF amount and employees’ state insurance and deposit it with the appropriate authority, pay the salary before the 10th of every month and give a salary slip to every contract employee. The employees also have to be provided with the necessary uniform and safety equipment, said Agarwal.
“It will be the responsibility of respective civic departments to ensure that the contractor follows the directions of the PMC and doesn’t violate labour laws. If we find that the rules and laws are not being followed, then the in-charge of the concerned civic department will also have to face action,” she said.