Employees May Get Full Day Paid Leave to Vote on October 21

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Sumit Singh

Pune, October 14, 2019: The voting for the Maharashtra Assembly Elections 2019 will be held on October 21. And the Deputy Commissioner of Labor, Vikas Panvelkar, today informed that the Election Commission of India (ECI) has ordered that people working in various private establishments should be given paid leave on the day of voting so that they exercise their right to vote.

The order is applicable to all workers, employees of establishment of shops, hotels, eateries, theaters, trade, industrial enterprises or other establishments, information technology companies, shopping centers, malls, retail, etc.

People who work outside their constituency should be given paid leave to exercise their right to vote. In exceptional cases, two to three hours of break can be given if full day holidays are not possible. For this, prior permission of the District Election Officer (Collector) will be required by the owners.

The Deputy Commissioner of Labor, Pune has appealed that the concerned workers should contact the department if there is any complaint in this regard.

The section 135(B) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 which provides for the grant of paid holiday to the employees on the day of poll. The Section 135(B) is reproduced below:- “135B – ¬†Grant of paid holiday to employees on the day of poll. (1) Every person employed in any business, trade, industrial undertaking or any other establishment and entitled to vote at election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of a State shall, on the day of poll, be granted a holiday. (2) No deduction or abatement of the wages of any such person shall be made on account of a holiday having been granted in accordance with sub-section (1) and if such person is employed on the basis that he would not ordinarily receive wages for such a day, he shall nonetheless be paid for such day the wages he would have drawn had not a holiday been granted to him on that day.

The above provisions require that all the electors who are employees of establishments and shops including those which work on shift basis shall be granted a paid holiday on the day of poll in the constituency where the General Elections are to be held. Further, there may be cases where a person is ordinarily resident of the constituency and registered as an elector, may be serving/employed in an industrial undertaking or an establishment located outside the constituency having election. It is clarified that in such a situation, even those electors including casual workers working outside the constituency concerned would be entitled to the benefit of a paid holiday extended under the section 135B(1) of the Representation of the people Act, 1951 .