‘No Work, No Wages’ Does Not Apply During Lockdown, Bombay High Court Says 
A security guard wearing a protective mask sprays workers with disinfectant at an entrance to the factory of Ajit Industries Pvt., a manufacturer of industrial adhesive tapes and die cuts, in Sonipat district, Haryana, India, on Monday, April 20, 2020. Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg

‘No Work, No Wages’ Does Not Apply During Lockdown, Bombay High Court Says 

The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court has held that the principle of “no work, no wages” cannot be invoked during the period of lockdown imposed to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

The High Court directed Osmanabad district collector in Maharashtra to ensure that security guards are paid full wages for the period between March and May, except for food and conveyance allowance.

The Rashtriya Shramik Aghadi, a trade union representing workers, moved the Bombay High Court challenging the restrictions that prevented them from performing their duties as health workers and security guards at the Shri Tuljabhavani Mandir Sansthan in Tuljapur, Maharashtra.

A bench comprising Justice Ravindra Ghuge observed that courts cannot turn a blind eye to the extraordinary situation caused by the outbreak of Covid-19. Workers who are wiling to offer their services as contract labour cannot do so as temples throughout India are closed. “The court cannot be insensitive to the plight of such workers,” the court said in its order.

The central government had in March advised employers to not terminate employees, particularly casual or contractual workers. Various states including Maharashtra also issued similar notifications.

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