The MHA Order issued under the powers granted to it by the Disaster Management Act, 2005, among other things, clearly spells out the responsibility of the employer towards its workers during the lockdown caused by COVID-19 crisis which include paying of wages. Based on the interpretation of the MHA Order released in the first lockdown, if the employees are earning wages, they cannot be terminated in light of the MHA Order and shall continue to be employed and paid until the lockdown continues or until any other time prescribed by the Government in this regard. No one-party amendment to an employment contract is possible, unless it is specifically stated in the employment contract between the employer and employee. If the employment agreement or the manual does not set out any such powers to the company, it will need to obtain the employees consent, implied or express, before such a change is affected, which affects their employment terms.
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