The High Court of Judicature at Bombay (Aurangabad Bench) on May 12, 2020, held that in the present time of extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, the principle of "no work- no wages" cannot be made applicable by the employers to deny salary to the employees.
Order to this effect directing the Tuljabhavani Mandir Sansthan Trust at Aurangabad to ensure that all its contract labourers are paid their wages in full till the month of May this year was passed by Justice Ravindra V. Ghuge. The petitioner union Rashtriya Shramik Aghadi had contended that members of their Union are willing to offer their services as security guards and health workers with Shri Tuljabhavani Mandri Sansthan Trust at Tuljapur, but due to COVID-19 lockdown, they are precluded from performing their duties.
The Advocate appearing for the petitioners had drawn the attention of the Court to the fact that employees had been paid their usual wages for the month of January-February, 2020 but for the month of March 2020, it was reduced and for the month of April 2020, only paltry amount was paid. The Court asked the District Collector, Osmanabad, who is the President of the Trust to ensure that full wages except for food and conveyance allowance are disbursed by the contractors to the concerned employees for the month of March, April and May 2020 and remarked that the Principle of “no work-no wages” shall not be invoked until further orders in the instant petition. [Read Order]