ATHMANIRBHAR Bharat Rozgar Yojana (ABRY) For Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) Registered Employees
The Central Government has launched the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana on 12th November 2020 to incentivize the creation of new employment opportunities during the COVID-19 recovery phase by providing assistance to the employers of establishments registered with EPFO to recruit unemployed persons including re-employment of those from the low wage bracket who were rendered un-employed during the pandemic.
The scheme proposes to incentivize the employers, registered with EPFO for giving employment to new employees and re-employing persons from the low wage bracket who lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Central Government will pay both the employee's and employer’s share of contribution payable under the EPF & MP Act 1952 or only the employee's share depending on the employment strength of the establishment directly to the Universal Account Number (UAN) of eligible employees maintained by the EPFO.
The scheme will be applicable from 1st October 2020 to 30th June 2021 and The benefit shall be available for the period of twenty-four months from the date of registration of the new employee, not later than 30/06/2023 in any case.
REFERENCE BASE OF SCHEME:
The number of employees for whom the employer has remitted the contributions through ECR for the wage month of September 2020 before the commencement of this scheme shall be taken as a reference base number for determining the eligibility of an establishment.
In case the ECR for wage month of September 2020 is filed later than the due date but before 15th December 2020, the reference base of employees will be the number of employees shown in the ECR for September 2020 or the number of employees as per the last ECR (of any month) filed up to 11/11/2020 (i.e., before the announcement of scheme) whichever is higher.
For new establishments getting registered with EPFO between 01/10/2020 to 30/06/2021, the reference base of workers shall be treated zero.
ELIGIBILITY FOR EMPLOYERS:
1. Establishments already registered before the announcement of the scheme shall have to employ, over and above the reference base, a minimum of two (02) new employees (if the reference base of employees is less than or equal to 50) and minimum five (05) new employees (if the reference base of employees is more than 50).
2. Such already registered establishments must continue to employ minimum number of additional new employees as specified above with respect to the reference base of employees for availing assistance under this scheme for any wage month.
3. In addition to maintaining the minimum number of additional new employees, the already registered establishments must continue to retain the number of employees taken as reference base of employees for availing assistance under this scheme for any wage month.
4. For new establishments getting registered with EPFO between 01/10/2020 to 30/06/2021 the reference base of workers shall be treated zero. If any such establishment registers voluntarily with less than 20 employees and continues to maintain less than 20 employees during the validity period of this scheme, such establishment will not be allowed to exit from statutory schemes under the EPF Act and beneficiaries who have received the benefit shall not be allowed to make final withdrawals until the expiry of the period of two years after the validity period of this scheme.
5. Establishments working as contractors engaged in providing manpower to one or more principal employers shall not claim benefit of employers share under this scheme if the same is claimed or received from the principal employer. Any such amount of employers' share claimed under this shall be liable to be refunded to the Central Government.
6. If any establishment being a single legal entity is making compliance under various code numbers obtained from EPFO, then for the purpose of counting the number of 50/1000 employees wherever applicable for eligibility criteria under this scheme, all employees in the establishment as a whole shall be included.
ELIGIBILITY FOR EMPLOYEES:
1. New employee has to be registered for this scheme during the period from 01/10/2020 to 30/06/2021 by employer of eligible establishment.
2. The new employee should have Aadhar seeded Universal Account Number (UAN).
3. The benefit under this scheme shall be paid for the wage month in which he continues to be in employment in any eligible establishment subject to a period of maximum 24 months from date of registration as new employee.
4. Any eligible new employee under this scheme shall become ineligible if his/her monthly wage exceeds Rs.14,999/- at any point of time during this scheme period.
5. It is clarified that if any new employee is already a registered beneficiary and his/her employer is eligible to or is availing benefits of payment of employer’s share by Central Government under Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Prothsahan Yojana (PMRPY / PMPRPY 2016), no such benefit in respect of such new employees shall be available under this scheme.
1. For establishments employing up to One Thousand (1000) employees (contributing EPF members with UAN) in wage month of September 2020, the employer’s and employee’s share of contribution as per statutory rate applicable to the establishment subject to maximum of 24% of wages will be paid by Central Government.
These establishments will however continue to get a subsidy of employer’s share even if the number of contributing EPF members with UAN exceeds 1000 during the scheme period.
2. For establishments employing more than One Thousand (1000) employees (contributing EPF members with UAN) in the wage month of September 2020, only the employee’s share of contribution as per the statutory rate applicable to the establishment subject to a maximum of 24% of wages will be paid by Central Government.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR EMPLOYERS:
1. The eligible employer should first register the establishment under this scheme.
2. The eligible employer shall ensure that the updated ownership return (Form 5A) is already filed with the EPFO.
3. The eligible employer before employing the employee, should obtain a declaration as to previous membership of EPF Schemes and retain such declaration. (Format of the declaration is enclosed).
4. The new eligible employees should be registered under this scheme during the period from 01/10/2020 to 30/06/2021.
5. The scheme benefit will not be applicable for supplementary ECR or revised ECR.
6. The eligible employer should file the ECR within 60 days of the due date of filing the ECR. Interest and damages u/s 14B & 7Q for late payment of EPF dues will be applicable as usual.
7. As the contributions will be paid by Central Government, the eligible employer should not deduct the EPF contributions from salaries of the eligible employees and claim double benefit. Any violation will be treated as breach of trust and render the employer liable for appropriate legal action as per law apart from recovery of such amount.
8. The benefit received will not be liable to be booked as expenditure incurred by the establishment or employer for claiming any rebate or benefit under any law.
9. The benefit will be credited upfront in UAN account of the eligible employees.
10. The contributions of October 2020 and November 2020 already paid before implementation of the scheme shall be adjusted in future share of contributions.
11. Any amount claimed through incorrect or false declaration shall be recoverable besides other action under appropriate provisions of law.
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