Karnataka High Court says Daily Wage Workers entitled to 100% DA, paid leave

Karnataka High Court Law InsiderKarnataka High Court Law Insider

Lekha G

The Karnataka High Court has said the employees under the Karnataka Daily Wage Employees Welfare Act, 2012 are entitled to Dearness Allowance (DA) at 100% and Earned Leave (EL) benefit of 30 days annually.

The Court observed, “The soul of the Act being the grant of a better wage and social security on cessation of long public service to a daily wage employee, cannot be reduced to a rope of sand.”

Justice M. Nagaprasanna delivered the judgment while disposing of petitions filed by the federation of all employees appointed under the provisions of the Karnataka Daily Wage Employees Welfare Act, 2012. 

Rules 4 (3) and 4 (4) of the Karnataka Daily Wage Employees Welfare Rules, 2013 and government orders of July 12, 2017, and January 10, 2020, were challenged in the petition.

The Court ruled that, “It is trite that administrative instructions in the form of official memorandum/circular/government order cannot run counter to the Act or in effect control the Act. This, if permitted, would amount to tail wagging the dog and not the dog wagging the tail.”

The Court also held that daily wage employees were also entitled to payment of ex gratia in terms of the Act as determined by the government and it is illegal to take away such benefit on the premise that the employees under the Act have been brought under beneficial legislation, Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972.

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