Saturday, October 13, 2007

Bonus Act_Practical Problems_2

An employer had been paying to his employees every year at the time of Deepawali one month's basic wages as Deepawali bonus for the last 10 years in addition to the bonus payable under the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965. The bonus had been paid even in those years when there were losses. The employer now wants to adjust Deepawali bonus paid by him for the current accounting year against the bonus payable by him under the Act, for the current accounting year. State with reference to the provisions of the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, whether it is possible for the employer to make the above adjustments.

Section 17 of the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 provides that if in any accounting year, an employer has paid any Puja bonus or other customary bonus to any employee, then he (the employer) shall be entitled to deduct the amount of bonus so paid from the amount of bonus payable by him to the employee under this Act in respect of that accounting year. The employee shall be entitled to receive only the balance. Payment of customary bonus over a period of time is immaterial. It does not create a statutory right.

Hence, employer, in the given case, shall be entitled to adjust the Deepawali bonus against the bonus payable under the Act.

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