Employers must pay for the damages due to delay in payment of EPF contribution, rules SC

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Tt is the responsibility of the employer to compulsorily deduct the provident fund (PF) and deposit the same in the employee’s account in the EPF office, SC clarified.

Employers must pay for damages due to delay in payment of EPF contribution, rules SC

The Supreme Court, on Wednesday clarified that damages for delay in payment of the contribution of Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) of an employee will be paid by the employer.

“Employees Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act is legislation for providing social security to employees working in any establishment engaging 20 or more persons,” a bench of Justice Ajay Rastogi and Justice Abhay S Oka said per news agency PTI.

The apex court added that under this law it is the responsibility of the employer to compulsorily deduct the provident fund (PF) and deposit the same in the employee’s account in the EPF office.

“We are of the considered view that any default or delay in the payment of EPF contribution by the employer under the Act is a sine qua non for the imposition of levy of damages under Section 14B of the Act 1952 and mens rea or actus reus is not an essential element for imposing penalty/damages for breach of civil obligations/liabilities,” the bench added.

The SC’s verdict, delivered while hearing a plea filed against the decision of the Karnataka High Court, will affect more than 60 million EPFO subscribers.

The Karnataka HC had ruled that if the employer delays the contribution to EPF, then it will be his responsibility to compensate it.

 

(With inputs from PTI)


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