Employers get one month’s time to deposit their share in EPF

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 15, 2020

Employers will get one more month (by May 15) to deposit their share of Employee Provident Fund (EPF) for the month of March.

“Considering the unprecedented situation created by Covid-19 and lockdown announced by the Central Government from March 24 midnight onwards to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the due date for filing of Electronic Challan Cum Return (ECR) for wage month March, 2020 is extended up to May 15 for employers who have paid wages to their employees for March, 2020,” Labour Ministry said in a statement.

This means the employers disbursing the wages for March 2020 not only get relief of extension of due date for payment of EPF dues for that month but also avoid liability of interest and penalty, if they remit on or before May 15.

EPF is a post-retirement scheme, where industrial units with a certain number of workers need to contribute a part of their salaries (basic plus dearness allowance) to the corpus. There are two rates of EPF contribution: 12 per cent and 10 per cent. The 12 per cent rate is applicable for all units where the number of employees is more than 20; the 10 per cent applies to units with a lower number of employees. In both the cases, a matching contribution is made by the employer.

The employer is required to deposit his/her share by 15 of next month. Now, as stated by Labour Ministry, deferment will benefit about 6 lakh establishments to file ECRs without default by paying salary to about 5 crore employees.

ECR is an electronic monthly return to be uploaded by the employers on a portal. The return has member wise details of the wages and contributions; including basic details for the new and existing members (members who have joined or have left service in the wage month for which the return is uploaded).

The approval of uploaded ECR results in the generation of a Challan using which the employer has to remit the dues in the designated banks.

This government decision aims is to support and provide relief to employers of establishments which have disbursed wages for March 2020 to its employees and an incentive to employers for wage payment to employees during Covid-19 pandemic.

The move is in keeping with the objective of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana to prevent disruption in employment and ensure wages to employees to help them fight the pandemic.

Published on April 15, 2020

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