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Labour Lawyer: The SC holds that the off-site worker is also covered by the EPF act.

Supreme Court of India

Justice Indu Malhotra and Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre

The SC {The Officer in-charge Sub Regional Provident Fund Office and another versus Godawari Garments Limited} was considering the appeal by the PF authorities against the judgement of the Bombay High Court, whereby HC, held that the respondent is not liable to pay provident fund for its employees.

Allowing, the appeal today, the SC holds that the fact, the women workers stitched the garments at home would make no difference, while deciding applicability of PF, as the women workers were paid wages directly by the respondent company on per piece basis for every garments stitched. It was further held that the EPF act is a beneficial social welfare legislation, which was enacted by the legislature for the benefit of the workmen. Therefore, provisions under the EPF act have to be interpreted in a manner which is beneficial to the workmen. It was further held that merely because the women workers were permitted to do the work off-site would not take away their status as employees of the respondent company. Accordingly, the judgement of the Bombay High Court was set aside, and the respondent company was directed to deposit the amount assessed by the appellant towards provident fund.



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