Aadhaar seeding: Firms face issues in depositing share with EPFO

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 14, 2021

June 15 is the due date for remitting the share for May

Many employers are in fix over remitting their share for a section of employees to the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) for May. June 15 is the due date for remitting the share for the month of May, failing which interest at the rate of 12 per cent will be levied on employers.

Core of the issue is the message sent out by EPFO to employers. The message reads: “Dear Member, with the coming into force of the Section 142 of the Code on Social Security, 2020, the ECR (Electronic Challan cum Return) shall be allowed to be filed only for those members, whose Aadhaar numbers are seeded and verified with the Universal Account Number, w.e.f., 01.06.2021.” Now the problem is that a section of employees are yet to get their accounts seeded with UAN. There are various reasons for that, including alleged concern about privacy in terms of usage of Aadhaar card.

Employers say that due to local lockdowns, establishments, either closed or without functions/operations or functioning with minimum and skeleton manpower, are finding it impossible to get Aadhaar details of all employees, especially those not coming for work or gone to their native like those residents out of the State as also to cause its seeding with UAN.

Due date extended

Last April, the Labour Ministry had extended the due date for filing of ECR for wage month March 2020 up to May 15, 2020 for employers who had paid wages to their employees for March 2020. This means that employers disbursing wages for March 2020 not only get relief of extension of due date for payment of EPF dues for March, 2020 but also avoid liability of interest and penalty, if they remit on or before May 15. Later, the Ministry also separated filing of monthly ECR payment of the statutory contributions reported. However, payment was to be deposited within the extended timeline.

Meanwhile, various employers’ associations have moved to courts for relief. Two pleas have been filed with the Delhi High Court and the Kerala High Court, seeking urgent hearing and deferment of the Aadhaar seeding directive.

The Karnataka Employers’ Association has written letter to the Labour Ministry and EPFO for deferring the implementation of directive related with Aadhaar seeding.

Government officials said when Aadhaar is mandatory at the time of withdrawal, why is there an issue with seeding. “It is better if for there (seeding Aadhaar to be seeded with UAN) at the time of deposit, so that there is no hassle when withdrawing,” a senior official said. He also mentioned that the problem of not seeding pertains mainly to is mainly concerned with employers and not employees.

Published on June 14, 2021

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