COVID-19 Update: Bombay HC on the principle of ‘no work-no wages’ during COVID

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The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court, on May 12, 2020, held that the principle of ‘no work, no wages’ will not apply during the lockdown that has been imposed to cope with the COVID-19 outbreak.

The case was filed by a contract workers’ union, who raised a plea that despite being willing to offer their services, they were precluded from working due to the lockdown. Considering the submissions, the Court observed that the contractors had paid the contract workers a meagre amount for April, 2020 and less than gross salary for March, 2020. Accordingly, the Court ordered the principal employer (i.e., the entity at whose premises the contract workers were deployed) to ensure that the contractor pays full wages to the concerned employees for the months of March, April and May, 2020. For employees who were not required to report for work, it allowed allowances such as food and conveyance to be deducted.

The matter is next listed on June 9, 2020 or any later date when the Court conducts hearing.

Date:May 15, 2020