Karma together with HR Shapers and PEERS fabulously presented the first ever HR conclave at Hotel Tunga International, Andheri, Mumbai Saturday 16th July 2022 on the burning subject of Wage Code – boon or bane!
The registrations were overwhelming with over 450 registrations pouring in, however, confirmation of registrations had to be restricted to about 250 given the infrastructure and limited seating capacity at Hotel Tunga which was followed by a delicious dinner.
Noticeably, this was found to be very interactive since there was no end to the questions being raised and the instant responses given by the panel members which in a way benefited the entire audience since there was a lot of sharing and learning to be taken home by the audience.
Two of the industry stalwarts anchored the conclave. At the same time, Pratik Vaidya, the MD, and CEO of Karma Management Global Consulting Solutions Pvt. Ltd. took the audience by storm with his insights on the labour law code on wages, the other anchor, Ashish Gakrey who mesmerized the audience with his witty inputs on HR especially Rewards and Recognition, in equal measure contributed to the overall texture of this conclave.
The Founder of Karma Management Global Consulting Solutions Pvt. Ltd., Mr. Kishor Vaidya, opened the conclave by inviting Shri Advocate Sundeep Puri ji to set the ball rolling who indeed gave a prologue along with the introduction of the panel topics and the speakers, and it was Shri Advocate AshwiniKumar Kakatkar who set the context by taking us back to the pre-independence development of labour laws in India and how they came into existence.
This was followed by the session on wage code, with the elitist panel members like Shri Advocate Ravi Paranjape, Shri Vijay Dalvi, and Shri Suman Paul with moderation by Shri Pratik Vaidya, who were pouring their hearts out on listing out the benefits and shortcomings of the wage code, and its far-reaching implications on the industry.
Of significant interest was the prolonged discussions on the 50: 50 ratio of how will you encompass salary and allowances within the 50% salary and what all you will include in the remaining 50% of the salary where the wage definition excludes the payment of the following amounts or allowances from the inclusion part as wages.
- a) Any bonus payable under any law for the time being in force, which does not form part of the remuneration payable under the terms of employment.
- b) The value of any house accommodation, or of the supply of light, water, medical attendance, or other amenity or of any service excluded from the computation of wages by a general or special order of the appropriate Government.
- c) Any contribution paid by the employer to any pension or provident fund, and the interest which may have accrued thereon.
- d) Any conveyance allowance or the value of any traveling concession.
- e) Any sum paid to the employed person to defray special expenses entailed on him by the nature of his employment.
- f) House rent allowance.
- g) Remuneration payable under any award or settlement between the parties or order of a court or Tribunal.
- h) Any overtime allowance.
- i) Any commission payable to the employee.
- j) Any gratuity payable on the termination of employment.
- k) Any retrenchment compensation or other retirement benefit payable to the employee or any ex gratia payment made to him on the termination of employment, under any law for the time being in force.
What is the interpretation?
The definition could be divided into 3 parts
- The first part covers every payment paid when terms of employment are fulfilled and specifically includes Basic, DA & Retaining Allowance.
- The Second Part excludes 11 types of payments or allowances including components like bonuses, and commissions which are variable in nature and depend on future events.
- The third part is the first proviso which mandates that if the excluded components from (a) to (i) exceed 50% of all the remuneration calculated under this clause, such excess should be added back to wages or deemed as remuneration. This remuneration word and remuneration calculated under this clause are also causing conflict and different interpretations by the experts.
The other part is the second proviso which mandates to consider components referred in (d), (f), (g), and (h) – Conveyance Allowance, HRA, Remuneration under any award or settlement or order of a Court, Overtime Allowance for the purpose of equal wages to all genders and for the purpose of payment of wages.
The next part is the wages in kind. Even though section 15 of the Code on Wages 2019 mandates payment of wages in current coin or currency notes or by cheque or by crediting the wages in the bank account of the employee or by the electronic mode, the explanation of the wage definition section in all the Codes provides scope for payment of wages in kind and when such remuneration is paid in kind, which does not exceed 15% of the total wages payable to the employee, shall be deemed to form part of the wages of such employee
The second-panel discussion was on Rewards and Recognition which Shri Ashish Gakrey moderated with panel members consisting of Smt. Megha Goel and Smt. Neha Bakshi and both the panelist dwelled at length on the terms like compensation, rewards, benefits, perks, remuneration, taxation, precisely what constitutes rewards and what is exactly meant by benefits, and listed out several industry practices and what is the uniqueness that should go into the rewards pattern of structuring salary with reference to the kind of attritions that are taking place and dearth of talent.
The end of the conclave was explosive with a question and answer sessions with clear-cut pointers given by all the panelist members to the audiences which had a far-reaching effect on the minds of the audiences especially the youngsters who had made their way to the conclave braving the rains to get into the understanding of the bursting winds of changes in the labour code.
With the kind of response and success that this conclave received, the audience left with a feeling to have many more of such kinds of conclave in the future, leaving the matter in the able hands of Shri Pratik Vaidya, the MD and CVO of Karma Management Global Solutions Pvt. Ltd. to see how many more events could be lined up in the future.