THE PAYMENT OF BONUS ACT, 1965
The practice of paying bonus in India appears to have originated during First World War when certain textile mills granted 10% of wages as war bonus to their workers in 1917. In certain cases of industrial disputes demand for payment of bonus was also included. In 1950, the Full Bench of the Labour Appellate evolved a formula for determination of bonus. A plea was made to raise that formula in 1959. At the second and third meetings of the Eighteenth Session of Standing Labour Committee (G. O.I.) held in New Delhi in March/April 1960, it was agreed that a Commission be appointed to go into the question of bonus and evolve suitable norms. A Tripartite Commission was set up by the Government of India to consider in a comprehensive manner, the question of payment of bonus based on profits to employees employed in establishments and to make recommendations to the Government. The Government of India accepted the recommendations of the Commission subject to certain modifications. To implement these recommendations the Payment of Bonus Ordinance, 1965 was promulgated on 29th May, 1965. To replace the said Ordinance the Payment of Bonus Bill was introduced in the Parliament.
The key provisions of the Act are-
An Act to provide for the payment of bonus to persons employed in certain establishments on the basis of profits or on the basis of production or productivity and for matters connected therewith.
Eligibility for bonus.—Every employee shall be entitled to be paid by his employer in an accounting year, bonus, in accordance with the provisions of this Act, provided he has worked in the establishment for not less than thirty working days in that year.
Disqualification for bonus.—Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, an employee shall be disqualified from receiving bonus under this Act, if he is dismissed from service for —
(a) fraud; or
(b) riotous or violent behavior while on the premises of the establishment; or
(c) theft, misappropriation or sabotage of any property of the establishment.
Payment of minimum bonus.—Subject to the other provisions of this Act, every employer shall be bound to pay to every employee in respect of the accounting year commencing on any day in the year 1979 and in respect of every subsequent accounting year, a minimum bonus which shall be 8.33 per cent of the salary or wage earned by the employee during the accounting year or one hundred rupees, whichever is higher, whether or not the employer has any allocable surplus in the accounting year:
Provided that where an employee has not completed fifteen years of age at the beginning of the accounting year, the provisions of this section shall have effecting relation to such employee as if for the words “one hundred rupees”, the words “sixty rupees” were substituted
Payment of maximum bonus.—(1) Where in respect of any accounting year referred to in section 10, the allocable surplus exceeds the amount of minimum bonus payable to the employees under that section, the employer shall, in lieu of such minimum bonus, be bound to pay to every employee in respect of that accounting; year bonus which shall be an amount in proportion to the salary or wage earned by the employee during the accounting year subject to a maximum of twenty per cent, of such salary or wage
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