Human Resources & Payroll

India’s Public Holidays in 2017

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By Dezan Shira & Associates

The government has announced its holiday schedule for 2017. The schedule is divided across three classifications: gazetted, restricted, as well as state and union territory. Gazetted holidays are mandatory, restricted holidays are optional, and state and union territory holidays are local.

Many foreign human resource managers struggle with India’s holiday schedule. That is no surprise: the federal and state governments have acknowledged a number of holidays every month to accommodate over 1.2 billion people spread over 37 diverse states and union territories.

Although there are many ways to manage this schedule, many businesses in India close offices on the gazetted holidays and grant employees several optional holidays that they may select to observe a non-gazetted holiday of their choosing. Other businesses simply mirror the holiday schedule observed by the management of their office building.

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Introduction to the Social Security System in India

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Editor’s Note: The article was first published in March 2013 and has been updated on January 4, 2017 as per the latest regulations.

By Dezan Shira & Associates

India’s social security system is composed of a number of schemes and programs spread throughout a variety of laws and regulations. Keep in mind, however, that the government-controlled social security system in India applies to only a small portion of the population.

Furthermore, the generally accepted concept of the social security system includes not just an insurance payment of premiums into government funds (like in China), but also lump sum employer obligations.

Generally, India’s social security schemes cover the following types of social insurances:

Remitting Money from India: Procedures and Regulations

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By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Nishant Maddineni

Editor’s Note: This article was first published on January 30, 2015, and has been updated as of December 7, 2016 to incorporate the latest regulatory developments.

CB-illustrationSending money outside of India can often be a daunting procedure for both foreign businesses and expatriates living in the country. There are various schemes and regulations that limit how much money can be remitted and for what purpose. 

Outward remittance generally has to be approved under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999, which regulates all transactions involving foreign exchange. The act is aimed at making external trade and payments easier as part of the country’s economic liberalization in the 1990s. 

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Expecting in India: Employee Maternity Pay and Leave

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Editor’s Note: The article has been updated to incorporate the latest regulatory developments.

By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Rebecca Choong Wilkins

In an interview last year, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw – founder of Biocon, India’s biggest biotechnology company – spoke of the obstacles facing India’s female workforce. Namely, the attitudes of women returning to work after taking a leave of absence, such as maternity leave.

According to Mazumdar-Shaw, women in India tend to backtrack, opting for less ambitious roles which waste their expertise and experience. She identified mentorship and not policy as the means to instigate change. Before this, however, ensuring employers are in compliance with maternity laws can be its own challenge.

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India’s Idle Provident Fund Accounts to Accrue Interest Following Government Notification

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By Pritesh Samuel

India’s labor ministry passed a new regulation on November 11 allowing for inactive employee provident fund (EPF) accounts to accrue interest. As per the notification, EPF accounts that are inactive for 36 months or more will no longer be considered ‘inoperative’ and will continue to earn interest. As such, the EPF account will continue to have an active status irrespective of the employee’s termination, unless the employee withdraws the cash from the account or gets another job within two months with another employer. Moreover, the new regulation will allow for the transfer of an existing EPF account to one under the new employer. The interest payable is notified annually, and for 2015-2016, it was set at 8.8 percent.

Since April 2011, accounts that were inactive did not attract interest. If a person quit, was unable to get a new job, or failed to transfer his/her EPF account to a new employer, the funds in their account were not considered eligible for earning interest. After the new notification, EPF accounts will now be deemed inactive only upon the following conditions: the account holder’s retirement at 55 years, subsequently leaving the country, and not withdrawing from his/her EPF balance within 36 months. The developments bode well for millions of working Indians, especially for those who want to leave jobs for self-employment, start a new business, or work with smaller companies that do not subscribe to the EPF scheme.

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Indian Government Set to Introduce Reforms to Labor Laws

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By Pritesh Samuel

In a sign that the government wants to get serious about overhauling labor laws, India plans to introduce a proposed Wage Code bill that will guarantee minimum wages across the country in the winter session of parliament. The draft bill will also streamline the definition of wages by combining four wage related laws – the Minimum Wages Act, 1948; the Payment of Wages Act, 1936; the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965; and the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976. This is in line with the government’s plan of improving India’s ranking in the World Bank’s annual ease of doing business assessment.

Altogether, the government aims to combine 44 labor related Acts into four codes, which will cover wages, industrial relations, social security, and working conditions. In the existing set-up, aside from a myriad number of labor laws, India does not have a national minimum wage law. Rather, each state decides its own minimum wage law, making it difficult for businesses to ascertain their exact costs. In addition, those in the unorganized sector do not get any social security or health benefits, and implementation of any wage law is lax.

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An Introduction to Overtime in India

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By A&A LAW

Overtime refers to the time worked in excess of ones’ regular working hours which, in India, is eight to nine hours per day and forty eight to fifty hours per week, depending upon the establishment one is employed under. If a person works for longer than the regular working hours, that person is eligible to receive remuneration for that period, which will be twice the persons’ normal wage.

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An Introduction to Doing Business in India 2016 – New Publication from Dezan Shira & Associates

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Doing Business in India 2016 CoverAn Introduction to Doing Business in India 2016, the latest publication from Dezan Shira & Associates, is out now and available to subscribers as a complimentary download in the Asia Briefing Bookstore

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