ESOP Has SEBI Put an End to ‘Sell All’ Method of Cashless Exercise

Employee stock options are frequently used as an employee incentivisation and retention tool, given the benefit accrued over time. An ESOP-wrapped compensation is attractive because the gains from the shares acquired on exercise of employee stock options are much higher than the exercise price paid for the options. While the maximum or minimum price payable on exercise of the options is not prescribed by the law – which only lays down the requirement for the price to be accounting-standard compliant –  the price typically ranges from the face value of the share to the fair market value of the share.

Continue Reading ESOP: Has SEBI Put an End to ‘Sell All’ Method of Cashless Exercise?

The Curious Case of Co- Lending Model

The Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector plays a crucial role in enhancing and ensuring India’s socio-economic development. The sector has gained significant importance due to its contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and exports.[1] A survey by International Labour Organisation indicates that MSMEs account for more than 70% of global employment and 50% of GDP[2].

Continue Reading The Curious Case of Co- Lending Model

Widened scope of ‘employee under the New SEBI ESOP Regulations

Background:

The Securities and Exchange Board of India had notified the SEBI (Share Based Employee Benefits and Sweat Equity) Regulations, 2021 (“New SEBI ESOP Regulations”), on August 13, 2021. The New SEBI ESOP Regulations govern all share-based employee benefit schemes dealing in securities, including employee stock options, employee share purchase, stock appreciation rights, general employee benefits and retirement benefits (“Share Based Benefit Schemes”). The New SEBI ESOP Regulations also include regulations on sweat equity shares.

Continue Reading Widened scope of ‘employee’ under the New SEBI ESOP Regulations

Vocal for Local - Overview of the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act 2020

Introduction

The Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Bill, 2020 (“Bill”), which was passed by the Legislative Assembly of Haryana on November 5, 2020, received the assent of the Governor of Haryana on February 26, 2021. The Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2020 (“Act”), has been published for general information in the extraordinary gazette of Haryana on March 2, 2021, and will come into force, once it is notified by the Government of Haryana (“Haryana Government”). The Act is applicable to (i) all companies, societies, trusts, limited liability partnerships, partnership firms, (ii) persons employing 10 (ten) or more persons and (iii) any entity as may be notified by the Haryana Government and will be operational for a period of 10 (ten) years from the date of its commencement. The Act does not apply to the Central or the State Government or any organisation owned by either of them. The draft rules under the Act are currently awaited.
Continue Reading Vocal for Local: Overview of the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2020

Claw back clauses in Employment Contracts - A new tool to fight corporate misfeasance

The 2008 financial crisis made it possible to revisit contractual clauses of employees, especially those governing remunerations of executives in financial institutions. One of the clauses that gained prominence was the clause pertaining to ‘clawback’. Broadly speaking, clawback clause refers to an action for recoupment of a loss. It means the refund or return of incentive or compensation after they have been paid. The purpose of such a clause is to claim back unfair enrichment that has happened to an employee. Such a clause acts as a form of insurance and was originally applied in cases of misstatement of financial results or fraudulent acts by employees, but over time, the scope of this clause has gradually expanded.
Continue Reading Claw back clauses in Employment Contracts: A new tool to fight corporate misfeasance

Does the relaxation on PF contribution rates really benefit employers

As part of the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (Self-Reliant India) campaign, which is the Central Government’s initiative in its war against the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Labour and Employment (“EPF Amendment”) through a notification dated May 18, 2020, has introduced an amendment to the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 (“EPF Act”).

The EPF Act is the key social security legislation in India, under which both the employer and employee are required to contribute a certain percentage of the employees’ salary to the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (“EPFO”) (or to a trust in case of exempted establishments). Pursuant to the EPF Amendment, read with the FAQs dated May 20, 2020 issued by the EPFO (“FAQs”)[1], the statutory rate of provident fund (“PF”) contributions under the EPF Act, for both employers and employees, has been reduced from the existing 12 percent to 10 percent, for the months of May, June and July, 2020. The EPF Amendment is applicable to all establishments except: (i) Central/State Public Sector Enterprises; (ii) establishments owned or controlled by the Government; and (iii) establishments covered under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (for whom the Central Government is already contributing both the employer’s and employee’s share – at the rate of 12percent – for the period from March to August 2020). The EPF Amendment is expected to benefit more than 40 million members of the EPFO and more than half a million establishments.
Continue Reading Reduction in the rate of PF contributions: Some practical considerations

Introduction

In order to reduce the impact of termination of employment and to provide security to employees from sudden loss of job in the private sector, a private member bill, namely the Terminated Employees (Welfare) Bill, 2020 (“Bill”), was introduced by BJP MP Mr. Rakesh Sinha on February 07, 2020, in the Rajya Sabha. In the absence of any specific law imposing an obligation on employers to provide post-employment benefits for the period of unemployment, this Bill provides pecuniary benefits to dismissed employees to overcome the general economic hardships resulting from loss of employment. The key provisions of the Bill are summarised below:
Continue Reading Analysis of the Terminated Employees (Welfare) Bill, 2020- Good intentions but is it feasible?

Coronavirus - COVID19- Faqs

The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 as a “pandemic” on March 11, 2020.

The outbreak and the rapid spread of COVID-19 has sent shock waves across global markets. It has disrupted supply chains, leading to the closure of several manufacturing facilities globally; serious disruption of air and sea traffic and closure of vital air routes, like the one between the US and Europe. This is turn has led to the collapse of stock markets around the world, leading to the loss of billions of dollars, which got wiped out in a matter of days. A combination of all these factors has led to a decline in the overall volume of global economic activity, forcing the world economy towards a possible recession. It is forcing Boards across the globe to confront a host of difficult questions on how business should be conducted during a global public health crisis.
Continue Reading COVID-19 : OFFICIALLY A PANDEMIC

KARNATAKA-GOVERNMENT’S-LEGISLATIVE-ATTEMPT-TO-TACKLE-COVID-19-OUTBREAK

The Karnataka Government is reported to have notified the Karnataka Epidemic Diseases, COVID-19 Regulations, 2020 (“COVID Regulations”), on March 11, 2020, late evening, as an attempt to contain the outbreak and spread of coronavirus, COVID-19, which was incidentally declared as a ‘pandemic’ by the World Health Organisation the same day. Issued with immediate effect and for a period of 1 (one) year from its notification, the COVID Regulations empower the district administration to put in place containment measures and also ensure the public takes special measures to prevent the outbreak and spread of the potentially fatal disease, as fears around its ramifications have reached a feverish high worldwide.

Continue Reading Karnataka Government’s Legislative Attempt To Tackle Covid-19 Outbreak

EPFO tightens norms around Provident Fund inquiries under Section 7A

The Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has recently issued Guidelines for Initiation of Inquiries under Section 7A (“Guidelines”) of the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 (“EPF Act”)[1]. Section 7A is the provision under which PF commissioners (who are vested with the powers of a civil court), can initiate an inquiry, by order, to determine (i) the applicability of the EPF Act to an establishment in case of a dispute; and (ii) to determine amounts due from any employer under the EPF Act and its schemes.

The EPFO has recognised that currently, assessing officers are following different yardsticks for initiating inquiries under Section 7A, which often leads to inquiries being initiated for wholly insufficient and untenable grounds, causing general resentment among the employers on one hand and prolonged pendency of inquiries on the other. The Guidelines have been issued to prevent such deleterious effect.
Continue Reading EPFO tightens norms around Provident Fund inquiries under Section 7A