Salient Features of Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2020
The state of Haryana has on 02.03.2021 enacted the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2020 the objective of which is to provide seventy-five percent employment of local candidates by Employer in the State of Haryana.
The salient features of the Act are as below:-
- It shall be in force for a period of 10 years and applies to Companies, Societies, Trusts, Limited Liability, Partnership firms, Partnership Firm and any person employing ten or more persons and an entity, as may be notified by the Government, from time to time.
- Employer has been defined to be an entity employing ten or more persons on salary, wages or other remuneration for the purpose of manufacturing or providing any service or such entity, as may be notified by the Government from time to time.
- Local Candidate has been defined as a person domiciled in the state of Haryana.
- Within three months of the Act coming into force, every Employer has to register every employee receiving gross monthly salary or wages of not more than Rs.50,000/- on the designated portal. An employer can hire an employee only after such registration. The Government shall notify the process of portal registration.
- 4 of the Act mandates that an employer shall employ local candidates to at least 75% of such posts where the gross monthly salary or wage does not exceed Rs.50,000/-. It further states that only those local candidates who register on the portal will be eligible to avail of the benefit. However, S.5 provides an exemption to S.4 whereby an Employer can, on the grounds of lack of adequate number of local candidates of the desired skill, qualification or proficiency, can make an application to the Designated Officer, who after evaluating the efforts of the Employer may pass appropriate directions- including training local candidates.
- The Act also mandates quarterly reporting by the Employers of the local candidates recruited, and the authorised officer has the powers to verify the report and pass appropriate orders to satisfy the objective of the Act. The Act provides for an appeal provision against any decision of the Designated Officer.
- In case of any contravention or provisions of the Act, the Act prescribes monetary fines and penalties for continuing breaches depending on the nature of the offence.
- In case of a company, every officer, director, in charge of the company shall be deemed to be guilty of an offence.
A perusal of the Act indicates that the objective of the Act is to ensure employment to local candidates. However, there is some ambiguity in the Act in as much as the Act is silent as to how domicile will be determined. Additionally, the Act also seems to suggest that only those local candidates who register under the portal can avail the benefit of the Act. However, the scheme of the Act makes it an obligation on Employer to hire local candidates rather than granting a right to local candidates to seek preferential employment over non-domicile candidates. Please also bear in mind, that the designated officers have been granted broad powers in terms of determination of compliance/exemption in as much as they have been vested with powers to direct employers to train local candidates. We anticipate that, in view of the said power and the high monetary threshold, Employers have a higher onus to satisfy when it comes to employing non-domicile candidates.
The Act also states that rules will be formulated to give effect to the Act and once the rules are formulated, there could be some clarity on the practical implementation of the Act.