This blog is written by Mr. Abdul Hafeez. Please read this blog and provide your valued comments
The Government of Punjab has promulgated on December 13th, 2019, The Punjab Workers Welfare Fund Act 2019 (PWWF Act) whereby every establishment is required to pay to the fund in accordance with following conditions:
Section 4: Mode of payment by, and recovery from establishments.— (1) Every establishment or a part thereof, the total income of which in any year of account commencing on or after the date of closing of accounts on 30th of June or 31st of December, as the case may be, is not less than rupees five hundred thousand, shall be liable to pay to the Fund in respect of that year a sum equal to two percent of its total income.
The term “establishment” has been defined in PWWF Act as follows:
“Establishment” shall have the same meanings as assigned to it in section 2 of the Punjab Industrial Relations Act 2010 (XIX of 2010);
Section 2 clause (ix) of the Punjab Industrial Relations Act 2010 (XIX of 2010) defines “establishment” in following manner:
“establishment” means any office, firm, factory, society, undertaking, company, shop, premises or enterprise in the Punjab, which employs workmen directly or through a contractor for the purpose of carrying on any business or industry and includes all its departments and branches, whether situated in the same place or in different places having a common balance sheet and except in section 25 includes a collective bargaining unit, if any, constituted in any establishment or group of establishments;
The term establishment is very broad and includes any office for purpose of carrying business situated in Punjab Province which employs workmen.
Workmen has been defined in the Punjab Industrial Relations Act, 2010, Section 2 Clause (XXXI) in the following words:
“worker” and “workman” mean a person not falling within the definition of employer who is employed (including employment as a supervisor or as an apprentice) in an establishment or industry for hire or reward either directly or through a contractor whether the terms of employment be express or implied, and, for the purpose of any proceedings under the Act in relation to an industrial dispute includes a person who has been dismissed, discharged, retrenched, laid-off or otherwise removed from employment in connection with or as a consequence of that dispute or whose dismissal, discharge, retrenchment, lay-off, or removal has led to that dispute but does not include any person who is employed mainly in managerial or administrative capacity.
Thus, any person employed by the employer other than person employed mainly in managerial or administrative capacity falls in the definition of workmen.
Computation of Payment to Fund:
Rate: 2% of total income if total income exceeds Rs 500,000 in a financial year
Time of payment: Within 30 days from end of financial year
Every establishment is required to pay to fund contribution @ 2% of total income by July 31st for a financial year ending on June 30th if total income for FY 2019-20 exceeds Rs. 500,000.
Notwithstanding to above, Honorable Supreme Court of Pakistan in the Worker’s Welfare Funds and others versus East Pakistan Chrome Tannery (Pvt) Ltd and others [PLD 2017 Supreme Court 28] held that amendments to non-finance related statutes have to be enacted by way of regular legislative procedure as prescribed under the Article 70 of the Constitution, which requires the assent of both houses of parliament.
In the light of decision of Supreme Court, the charge of PWWF can be challenged before High Court as and when any enforcement action is taken by the provincial authorities that would provide cause of action to invoke writ jurisdictions of the High Courts. Any challenge prior to existence of such cause of action may be premature
August 31, 2020