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Government of West Bengal issued guidelines for payment of bonus in view of Durga Puja

 On September 15, 2021, the Government of West Bengal advised all employers of the state covered under the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 and as amended by the Payment of Bonus (Amendment) Act, 2015 ("Bonus Act") to stick to the following guidelines while setting the legitimate dues of workers in respect of payment of bonus, in view of ensuing Durga Puja, for the year 2021:

 (a) keeping in view the need for maintenance of industrial peace and harmony, it is expected that the employers, while taking note of the statutory provisions under the Bonus Act would adopt a flexible attitude on the issue of payment of bonus;

 (b) all establishments where bonus was paid in the previous year are requested to see that the rate of bonus payable this year is not lower than that of the last year. In case, however, where there is a dispute, the same may be settled amicably through negotiations. Employers are also requested to consider payment of an amount of ex-gratia in lieu of bonus as is admissible at the maximum stage, to those workmen and employees who have crossed the eligibility limit as per the Bonus Act;

 (c) all employees, whether in casual employment or re-employed after retirement or employed through contractors and have worked for not less than 30 (thirty) days during the year should be paid bonus;

 (d) the employers who are in default towards payment of bonus for the previous years are also being requested to make such payments this year along with the payment of bonus for the current year;

 (e) all trade unions, and employers' organizations to extend their co-operation in maintenance of a climate of industrial peace and exercise their good offices for peaceful and effective settlement of industrial disputes concerning bonus without any disruption of work;

 (f) Government has noted with concern that in many cases, in previous years, employees of information technology sector, hotels and restaurants, shops & establishments, security workers and some workers in jute mills did not get any bonus amidst Covid19 pandemic situation. It is desired that the situation will not be similar this year and

 (g) all payments of bonus should be made before commencement of Durga Puja, 2021.