The Cochin Chamber organised a Virtual Meeting on Practical Issues in administering Social Security and the New Social Security Code, 2020 on Friday, 30th October 2020. Mr. Madhu Damodaran, Group Head – Legal & Compliance of Quesscorp, India’s largest private sector employer, was the Guest Speaker.
Mr. V. Venugopal, President of the Cochin Chamber delivered the Welcome Address and introduced the Guest Speaker.
Mr. Madhu Damodaran in his opening remarks said that the Social Security Code, 2020 which has received Presidential assent on September 28, 2020 has been enacted to amend and consolidate the laws relating to social security with the goal to extend social security to all employees and workers in the organised, unorganised and other sectors.
Mr. Damodaran, continued his talk with the Employer-Employee issues vis-à-vis On-boarding of new employees, PF Member and Employee transactions and Exit of employees. He also shared his experiences as a large private sector employer on handling practical issues and suggested proactive solutions to some of the common issues faced by HR & Compliance practitioners.
He said that the EPFO’s decision in 2017 to make it mandatory to link the Aadhaar with their Universal Account Number (UAN) in order to On-board a new employee from the age- old paper based documentation was a welcome step. However, the failure of verification even with the linking of the Aadhar and the UAN proved to be extremely difficult for employers nationwide, as it prevented remission of contributions from the Employer’s side and any transactions being made by the member employees. He further suggested tips to the participants to ensure on-boarding of new employees and their EPFO Account creation simultaneously.
The session on the Wages Definition and how wages or allowances need to be structured when it comes to both PF and ESIC schemes was noteworthy. Mr. Damodaran explained the importance of the approach to Dispute with Authority for Companies is for all organisations with some examples from his personal experience. He explained how important it is to manage documentation in connection to the allowances and align it with the organisational policies to ensure compliance. He also discussed some scenarios where PF related Notices, Inspections and Hearings need to be dealt with judiciously.
Mr. Madhu Damodaran spoke of how the Social Security Code, 2020 subsumes the 9 acts namely Employees’ Provident Fund Act, Employees’ State Insurance Act, Employment Exchange Act, Payment of Gratuity Act, Employees’ Compensation Act, Maternity Benefit Act, Building Workers Act, Cine Workers Welfare Fund Act and Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act.
He said, the new Social Security Code expands the scope of social security by providing for registration of all types of workers including gig workers, unorganised workers and platform workers. He also spoke on the salient features of the new Code and the significant changes that are expected with the enactment of the Code. He also explained the upcoming changes like Registration of Establishments and Cancellation, Employment Information and Monitoring, Maintenance of Records and Registers, Gratuity, Maternity Benefit to name a few.
Mr. Venugopal thanked Mr. Madhu Damodaran for all his efforts in making the Session extremely useful for the participants and the wonderful deliberations that followed, inspite of his busy schedule.
The programme came to an end by 12:45 pm and had a participation of around 40 participants.