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Nasscom seeks tweak in policies to enable longer work-from-home

National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) has reportedly requested the government’s support for making some changes in policies that allow all its member entities for a longer Work-from-Home (WFH) term.

Nasscom has asked the government to abolish other service providers (OSPs) under the Department of Telecom (DoT), which does not permit certain kinds of work (like voice calls) to be shifted to the employees’ home. Abolition of OSPs will aid in longer WFH scenario, which several firms like Tata Consultancy Services have already spoken about, as stated in a Business Standard report.

The government has, as of now, given an extension in relaxation of the OSP norm until July 31. However, the industry believes that the OSPs need to be abolished altogether if WFH will be a new normal.

Keshav Murugesh, CEO of WNS Global Services told the publication, “Nasscom is already working with the government to leverage this crisis and create new models of engagement, including changing labour laws.”

However, complexities will arise while asking for changes that fall under a state’s jurisdiction. The key assumption in labour laws is that workers go to a physical workplace located in a given state.

Rishi Agrawal, co-founder and CEO of Avantis Regtech, said, “Labour laws are on the concurrent list of the Constitution, and hence regulatory requirements differ from state to state. For example, professional tax is a state subject. If I am an employer in Pune and my employees are working from home in Lucknow, Chennai and Indore, then would I have to get a professional tax registration and pay the same in all four states?”

Agarwal further added that 18 states having a professional tax requirement, 16 allow the filing of tax electronically, while Gujarat and Tamil Nadu have a manual process. This means that companies will have to ask consultants to file professional taxes manually in each district for employees working in different districts. Similarly, Labour Welfare Fund and minimum wages are state subjects.

—Money Control

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