Prohibition of Sexual Harassment – Steps

To protect an organization in terms of liability, one should take sexual harassment seriously and follow these steps.
1. Prohibition of Sexual harassment policy
Have a Prohibition of sexual harassment policy in place that defines sexual harassment and provides examples of specific behaviors that constitute harassment. It should state that your organization does not tolerate harassment based on sex (and other protected characteristics). Include the policy in your handbook and communicate/review it with your staff. Discuss the policy with new hires.
2. Prohibition of Sexual harassment training
Provide periodic sexual harassment training to your workforce and supervisors to help them recognize and prevent sexual harassment, and to help managers understand their responsibilities when dealing with issues of harassment. Make sexual harassment training a mandatory training part of a new hire’s orientation.
3. Complaint and/or grievance procedure
Establish a procedure for reporting a complaint of sexual harassment and ideally, alternative methods of filing sexual harassment complaints. Also, more than one individual should be able to take complaints, and they should be accessible. Keep all complaints and grievances confidential.
4. Investigate all complaints
An organization’s liability for sexual harassment can be reduced or eliminated depending on how quickly and effectively it responds to a complaint of harassment. Thorough investigations should be conducted on all complaints immediately following receipt of the complaint. Accurate records of the investigation need to be maintained.
5. Correct the issue and protect the victim from retaliation
Take steps to correct the issue of harassment. If an employee is found guilty of sexual harassment after your investigation, discipline the employee according to the severity of the offense and document the actions taken in writing. And, make sure that no employee who brings a sexual harassment claim faces retaliation

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Categories: Governance concepts

INSIGHT INTO THE GST Bill

 

INSIGHT INTO THE GST Bill

The Goods and Service Tax Bill has consumed up to 3 parliamentary sessions and is yet causing worries to every person recognized as assessee in this bill having office/branches in multiple states. The GST Bill differs from the current VAT/CST Bill in the following ways-

  • GST is destination based tax, i.e. taxes will be paid where consumer is located. Tax is also deposited in state where it is consumed. VAT/CST is origin based and is payable where movement commences.
  • The process of centralized registration under service tax and excise is proposed to be discontinued. The assessee will have to obtain registration certificate wherever it supplies its goods or renders service and will have to maintain separate books of accounts for each state while recording payments (income) and receipts (credit).

GST is collected on value-added goods and services at each stage of sale or purchase in the supply chain. GST paid on the procurement of goods and services can be set off against that payable on the supply of goods or services. The manufacturer or wholesaler or retailer will pay the applicable GST rate but will claim drawback through tax credit mechanism.

But being the last person in the supply chain, the end consumer has to bear this tax and so, in many respects, GST is like a last-point retail tax. GST is going to be collected at point of Sale.

The current tax structure does not allow a business person to take tax credits. There are a lot of chances that double taxation takes place at every step of supply chain. This may set to change with the implementation of GST.

Indian Government is opting for Dual System GST. This system will have two components which will be known as

  • Central Goods and Service Tax (CGST) and
  • State Goods and Service Tax (SGST).

The current taxes like Excise duties, service tax, custom duty etc will be merged under CGST. The taxes like sales tax, entertainment tax, VAT and other state taxes will be included in SGST.

So, how is GST Levied? GST will be levied on the place of consumption of Goods and services. It can be levied on:

  • Intra-state supply and consumption of goods & services
  • Inter-state movement of goods
  • Import of Goods & Services

The rate (percentage) of GST is not yet decided, though it is expected to be around 14-16%.  There might be CGST, SGST and Integrated GST rates. It is also widely believed that there will be 2 or 3 rates based on the importance of goods. Like, the rates can be lower for essential goods and could be high for precious/luxury items.

Certain processes namely GST registrations, tax credit transitions, return reporting, other statutory compliances, managed/ shared services, system changes in ERP, EI tools, other technology tools, compliance with GSTN requirements and for audit, automation, tax credits, payments and accounting, change assessment in accounting entries (including revised chart of accounts, compliance with Indian Accounting standards etc.) etc. are certain core which will require up gradation under the GST regime.

Benefits of GST Bill implementation

  • The tax structure will be made lean and simple
  • The entire Indian market will be a unified market which may translate into lower business costs. It can facilitate seamless movement of goods across states and reduce the transaction costs of businesses.
  • It is good for export oriented businesses. Because it is not applied for goods/services which are exported out of India.
  • In the long run, the lower tax burden could translate into lower prices on goods for consumers.
  • The Suppliers, manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers are able to recover GST incurred on input costs as tax credits. This reduces the cost of doing business, thus enabling fairer prices for consumers.
  • It can bring more transparency and better compliance.
  • Number of departments (tax departments) will reduce which in turn may lead to less corruption
  • More business entities will come under the tax system thus widening the tax base. This may lead to better and more tax revenue collections.
  • Companies which are under unorganized sector will come under tax regime.

The GST Bill proposes an additional tax not exceeding 1% on interstate supply of goods. Industry has expressed some reservation as this levy is cascading and would encourage firms to set up warehouses in all states irrespective of the trade volume.

Challenges for implementing Goods & Services Tax system

 

  • To implement the bill (if cleared by the Parliament) there has to be lot changes at administration level, Information Technology integration has to happen, sound IT infrastructure is needed, the state governments have to be compensated for the loss of revenues (if any) and many more.
  • GST, being a consumption-based tax, states with higher consumption of goods and services will have better revenues. So, the co-operation from state governments would be one of the key factors for the successful implementation of GST. However, on the bright side, this can also mean States will compete with each other to attract business and thus create a healthy platform for the marketplace.
  • The several rates which are in force increase the compliance burden for businesses. Besides this some goods may invite more than one type of tax and there are no clear mechanisms for taking credit where some taxes are already paid. This increases the overall burden on the goods and for businesses who manufacture them.
  • The cascading effect of this non-Vatable tax may be serious only if the goods concerned criss-cross the country extensively. This may not be true in many industries. Automobile plants source components mostly from nearby suppliers so that they can conduct just-in-time operations.

 

Categories: Governance concepts

Format of uniform Listing Agreement

Sebi has  issued uniform listing agreement format incorporating the revised disclosure and regulatory requirements applicable for all listed entities.

The format would be applicable for non-convertible debt securities, non-convertible redeemable preference shares, securitized debt instruments, mutual funds and specified securities (equity and convertible securities on main board, SME platform or Institutional Trading platform) and Indian Depository Receipts ( IDRs) .

The issuer will have to provide information about the company and securities applied for listing in the new prescribed format.

“A listed entity which has previously entered into agreement with a stock exchange to list its securities shall execute a fresh listing agreement with such exchange within six months of the date of notification of Sebi (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations i.e. September 2, 2015,” Sebi said in a circular. 

The new listing regulations allow listed companies to seek shareholders’ approval for related party deals through ordinary resolutions.

Categories: Governance concepts

Legal Amendments in India.

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has issued a General notice for the introduction of New forms AOC-4(Non-XBRL), MGT-7, ADT-2 & SH-9.The Ministry has modified New Form AOC-4 (XBRL) which is available for filing w.e.f  1st Oct 2015.

In Gujarat ,Employer Will Submit The ON-LINE Consolidated Returns Under The Self-Certification Scheme For The Following Acts:

  1. Factories Act, 1948
  2. Minimum Wages Act, 1948
  3. Gratuity Act, 1972
  4. Payment Of Bonus Act, 1965
  5. Contract Labor (R&A) Act 1970.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has specified time period of ninety days for implementing the SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015 (Listing Regulations) which would be effective from 1st  December,2015 . However, two provisions of the regulations, which are facilitating in nature, are applicable with immediate effect from  1st October.

These pertain to passing of ordinary resolution instead of special resolution in case of all material related party transactions subject to related parties abstaining from voting on such resolutions, in line with the provisions of the companies Act, 2013; and re-classification of promoters as public shareholders under various circumstances.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes has ordered that the returns of income and audit reports u/s 44AB due for e-filing by 30th September, 20 15 may be filed, across the country, by 31 st October, 2015

Categories: Governance concepts

PF insurance amount hiked to Rs. 6 lakh

September 28, 2015 Leave a comment

The Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) on Wednesday 16th September,2015 increased the life insurance cover of its subscribers from Rs.3.6 lakh to Rs.6 lakh.

The central board of trustees (CBT), the highest decision-making body of the EPFO, also decided that a subscriber will not be required to work 12 continuous months in a company before becoming eligible for the benefit. CBT is a tripartite body comprising representatives of employers, employees and central and state governments. It is headed by the Union labour minister.

The move under the Employees Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme, 1976, will benefit four crore EPF contributing members. The money will be paid to dependants on the death of subscribers to the scheme.

Categories: Governance concepts

Covering all the construction workers under ESI Scheme

September 23, 2015 Leave a comment

Employees’ state Insurance Corporation of India is now going to cover Construction site Workers under the ESI Scheme thereby enabling them to avail benefits of complete medical care, as well as a range of cash benefits in the event of employment injury, death, disablement, maternity and unemployment. The construction workers are considered to be part of un-organized sector, but keeping in view the fact that they are highly prone to accidents and sickness etc., the Central Government has decided to go ahead for extending the coverage of ESIC’s social security to them.

Categories: Governance concepts

Back Again

September 22, 2015 Leave a comment

Looks like we are back after a hiatus, huh? Naa! There is no hiatus in Sand Legal. So many things have been happening. We’ve moved to a much larger office right in the nerve centre of Gurgaon, the millennium city. Our work now includes a much larger array of services. We’ve signed up with fortune 500 companies, large Indian Companies and Multinational corporations to provide a wide variety of compliance services including outsourced HR compliance, organizational structuring, tax planning, legal research in three different continents, contract management, audits, software solutions and many more assignments.
Its very interesting times for us here at Sand Legal.
So, what we’ve planned is to use this blog to share some of our insights based on the work we do. Which means, you will get a lot of stuff on changes in law, interpretations, legal standpoints in different geographies and lots of other things, all of it related to compliance.
Keep reading.
We are the edge you deserve.
We are Sand Legal !

Categories: Governance concepts