Can PF dues be held up for some dispute
I was working in a public organization as an outsourced employee (on the rolls of a manpower contractor). I resigned in May 2014 and was selected through a competitive interview process to join the same organization on its payroll on a 3 year contract. I have not received the formal letter of acceptance of my resignation so far. The contractor, around 4 months after my resignation, also raised a demand of refund of few days salary which they claim has been overpaid to me. The contractor raised this after the principal organization deducted the amount from their payment to the contractor based on calculations of my leave. I have disputed their calculation, since I was forced to be on leave during the notice period before resigning (on verbal advice of the Head of the organization) since the principal organization could not assign me a proper office due to its own internal problems. The contractor has now held up my application for claiming PF dues. When I raised it with the HR of the principal organization, I was advised to clear the dues. Can the principal organization or its contractor link payment of my PF dues with the dispute? Do I have to pay back the amount, since the period of leave in question was taken due to organization's problems? Even if I have to pay, then whom should I pay - the contractor or the principal organization? What are my legal options?
Asked in Civil Law from Kolkata, West Bengal
1) how much is the amount involved?
2) the fact you were on leave is not in dispute .
3) it is your case that based on oral instructions from head of organisation you went on leave
4) you dont have any such documentary evidence that you did so as per your boss instructions . better settle issue amicably
5) have you filled in form 19 and submitted to your employer on your resignation . employer has to sign it and you have to submit your application for with drawal of PF dues .
6) It is the duty of the employer under the Act & Scheme to help Employees’ Provident Fund organisation to settle the Provident Fund dues of his employees. He has to complete the prescribed application within 5 days of receipt forms & hand over it to the member when he leaves the service. When a member finds difficult to get the form attested by the employer, he can get the attestation of any of the following officer & send to the Provident Fund office
i. Manager of a bank.
ii. By any gazetted officer.
iii. Member of the Central Board of Trustees./ committee/ Regional Committee (Employees’ Provident Fund Organization).
iv. Magistrate/ Post/ Sub Post Master/ President of Village Panchayat/ Notary Public.
Do u have anywhere written that the leave was obtained due to organisation problem? If not then you may have to clear the dues. However the PF cannot be linked with the non clearing of dues. Hence it is advisable to raise a complaint before the Provident Fund officer against the employer if u have submitted the required FORM for clearance of PF.
The employer or the contractor cannot hold your application seeking refund of PF dues to you. It is an earned right. If the employer/contractor is not signing the application, you may report this matter to RPFO with proper details or issue a legal notice to the person who is unnecessarily holding your application and demanding the dues holding the application which can be termed as blackmail.
About leave in lieu of notice period is not a logical claim for not paying the dues by you to the company. The oral instructions will not come as n evidence to support your claim.
1. You can not prove that you were forced to go on leave for few days since you were instructed verbally,
2. So, it will be easily proved that you were paid extra which they can claim back,
3. However, the contractor can not hold back your application for claiming PF dues,
4. However, you can continue to have your said PF account and after you join the organisation directly, you can ask them to deposit your PF deduction to the said PF account,
5. However, it will be prudent to settle the matter amicably with your employer.
1. The PF has no nexus with the dues which you may be liable to pay.
2. You can issue a lawyer's notice to the contractor as well as the organization to release your PF. If he does not accept your demand you may go to the civil court.
3. If you are liable to repay the amount then you should repay it to the organization.