Retrenchment is the termination of an employee by an employer for reasons other than a punishment meted out by disciplinary action. Employees terminated in such a manner are financially compensated by the employer. This kind of compensation is known as retrenchment compensation. This article strives to educate the reader on some of the key aspects of the compensation.
Eligibility for the Compensation
An employee will be considered eligible for retrenchment compensation on the satisfaction of the following conditions:
- The employee must be a workman.
- The employee must have offered continuous service for a period of 240 days in the previous 12 months, which will be calculated as a year of continuous service.
Continuous service means performance of service without any interruptions. It may be noted that sickness, authorized leave, legal strikes, lock-outs and work-stoppages (where the worker is not at fault) cannot be considered as interruption of service. The retrenched employee must be provided with 15 days of average pay for a year of continuous service or any part thereof in excess of six months.
As already observed, an employee must be provided with 15 days of average pay for a year of continuous service or any part thereof. He must be compensated in the manner as described below:
- If the workman is being paid on a monthly basis – on the basis of three calendar months.
- If the workman is being paid on a weekly basis – on the basis of four completed weeks.
- If the workman is being paid on a daily basis – On the basis of the last 12 working days.
What is not Included?
Retrenchment doesn’t cover the following:
- Voluntary retirement of the employee.
- Employee’s retirement at the age of superannuation.
- Termination due to non-renewal of the contract.
- Termination owing to continued illness.
The employer must comply with the following regulations in the event of a retrenchment:
- The workman must be informed of the decision of retrenchment through a notice. The notice must be issued a month before the decision is implemented.
- The notice must state the reason for infringement.
- The workman must be compensated at the time of retrenchment and not after it.
Components of Calculation
Retrenchment compensation must be calculated considering the allowances such as basic wages, dearness allowance, all allowances for attendance, house rent, conveyance etc. In addition to it, value of housing provided and value of amenities provided along with housing should be considered.
Least of the following will be exempt from tax:
- The amount of average pay provided to the employee
- Rs 5,00,000
- The actual amount received
If compensation exceeds the above limits, it will be treated as salary or profit in lieu of salary. However, compensations of such nature will incur relief in accordance with the regulations of the Income-Tax Act. Click here to file income tax return.