The Employees’ Enrolment Campaign, 2017 (“PF Campaign”) has been introduced to encourage employers who have defaulted in making provident fund (“PF”) contributions (which also includes pensions), to voluntarily enroll their employees under the Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme, 1952 (“PF Scheme”) without incurring any legal liabilities. However, Such benefit under the PF Campaign shall apply only with respect to employees who are Indian nationals and does not apply to international workers.
The PF Campaign shall be in force for 3 months starting from January 1, 2017. The benefits of the PF Campaign can be availed by those employers who have failed to enroll their employees for the period from April 2009 to December 2016.
Pursuant to the PF Amendment Scheme, 2016, the Employees Provident Fund Organization (“EPFO”) has issued directions to all employers to avail the benefits under the PF Campaign to ensure (a) enrolment of their employees who are eligible to provident fund (“PF”) benefits but have not been enrolled under the PF Scheme for whatsoever reason and (b) enrolment of the eligible employees of contractors/sub-contractors engaged through them.
The provision not only benefits the employees but also grants amnesty to the employers without being penalized. Further, the FAQs released by the EPFO have also clarified that the benefits of the PF Campaign can be availed by those employers against whom a complaint has been made, provided that no proceedings under the PF Act