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Government order on Payment of full wages during Lockdown - The Disaster Management Act, 2005

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India has issued an order dated 17th May 2020 providing for certain relaxations and guidelines with respect to the fourth phase of the COVID-19 lockdown, which will be in effect till May 31, 2020.

Through the order issued on May 17, the MHA has ceased all its previous orders, including the March 29 order that mandated payment of wages to employees during the lockdown period.

Please note that the Order dated 29th March with respect to payment of wages has not been withdrawn or quashed. It will cease to have effect from 18.05.2020 onwards. This would mean that the restrictions on termination of employment and salary reductions imposed by the MHA Order dated March 29, 2020 will no longer be applicable. Any such action would need to be in accordance with applicable labour laws.

Also clarify that until 17th May 2020, the Order dated 29th March stands valid ( as of now), and therefore, the employer will have to pay full salary up to 17th May 2020.

This is the present update. We still have to see whether the supreme court quashes the Order dated 29th March with respect to mandatory payment of full wages.

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