Continental Clothing Company Ltd, Nudie Jeans Co., Manroof GmbH, Epona Ltd, Complaint 279

Legally binding employment relationship

The complainant stated that eight months after joining the factory, he/she took one month’s leave for private reasons. When he/she returned to the factory, management asked him/her to join as a new worker and told him/her that the PF (social security) would be registered separately. After working for a total of three and a half years, the complainant left the factory in May 2017. He/she received INR 22,000 as a PF settlement. However, the complainant doubts that the PF has been calculated properly, based of the fact that his/her friend who was working in the packing section for only one and a half years received INR 25,000 as a PF settlement. The complainant believes management did not compensate him/her for the initial eight months of work.

Before filing a complaint with FWF, the complainant informed the assistant HR manager. According to the complainant, the assistant HR manager said that this problem was very minor and that he had more important matters to worry about. The complainant has now filed a complaint with the hope of getting a clearer understanding of the PF settlement.

The complainant claimed that he/she had been working in this factory for three and a half years with a weekly salary of INR 3,200 (after ESI and PF deductions). The rate was INR 295/shift, and he/she normally worked one and a half shifts every day. The complainant claims he/she did not receive any appointment letter upon entering employment at this factory. When he/she joined the first time, his/her ID number was 4043 (no PF settlement received). When he/she joined the second time, his/her ID number changed to 4399 (received PF settlement of INR 22,000).

Findings and conclusions

In December 2017, FWF's complaints handler in India received a complaint from a former factory worker who claimed that he/she had not received the correct PF settlement upon leaving the factory. The complainant claimed that he/she worked in this factory two times with two different IDs. The PF amount for the second period was settled albeit not fully and the for the previous ID no PF amount given. FWF declared this complaint admissible and informed Continental Clothing Company Ltd, Epona Ltd and Nudie Jeans Co., the FWF member brands sourcing at this factory. The brands reached out to the factory management who stated, and shared documents to support their argument, that the PF amount paid for the the second duration was actually INR 26663 instead of INR 22000 as claimed by the complainant. For the work done under previous ID the factory had made PF contribution for two months (reflected in documents) and not for eight months as claimed by the worker. Since the complainant did not have a proof of employment he/she agreed to claim two months of due PF. When the worker approached the factory they assisted him/her in completing the PF withdrawal formalities and the due amount was paid. The complainant confirmed that he/she had received the remaining 2 months PF settlement.

Overview of the complaint investigation

2017-12-18 Investigation

The brand was informed about the complaint who in turn got in touch with the factory for explanation. FWF looked into factory's explanation, pay slips, PF contribution document, appointment letter and screen shots of PF settlement acknowledgement from PF Department sent by the factory as part of the investigation.

2018-01-24 Conclusion of the investigation

It is concluded that the factory made the due payment to worker for the period worked in the recent past. The actual PF amount paid to the complainant was INR 26663 instead of INR 22000 as claimed by the complainant.

For the previous duration of work under a different ID number the factory claims that the worker was employed only for two months and reflected through document that the due PF contribution was made. According to the factory the complainant can come anytime and apply for the withdrawal of the amount.

FWF contacted the complainant to inform him/her about two month's of PF available under his/her old ID, which he/she objected to. But since he/she did not have a proof of employment for that (previous) duration it was difficult to refute factory's claim which is supported by documentation. The complainant agreed to go to the factory to claim his/her dues.

2018-03-21 Remediation

It is recommended that once the worker approaches the factory for PF settlement they assist him/her in completing the formalities for PF withdrawal and help him/her receive the dues swiftly.

2018-03-21 Verification

FWF contacted the complainant to verify the PF payment and he/she confirmed that he/she has received the amount for two months.

2018-03-21 Evaluation of the complaint

The complainant agrees to take PF payment for two months for the work done under the previous ID although the initial claim was that of eight month's PF was due. Since he/she did not have a proof of employment for that (previous) duration it was difficult to refute factory's claim which is supported by documentation (PF contribution slip)

2018-03-21 Resolved

The complainant received the PF payment of two months for the work done under his/her previous ID.