Blogs

Gratuity



Author: Richa Virmani
Published On:March 26,2018

Gratuity Act is a statutory benefit paid to the employees who have rendered continuous service for at least five years. It is a lump sum amount paid to an employee based on the duration of his total service. The benefit gratuity is payable to an employee on cessation of employment (either by resignation, death, retirement or termination, etc) by taking the last drawn salary as the basis for the calculation. Gratuity is an important form of social security and is in the form of a gratitude provided by the employer to the employees in monetary terms for the services rendered by them to the organization. It is a defined benefit plan and is one of the many retirement benefits offered by the employer to the employee upon leaving his job. Gratuity payment liability of the employer tends to increase with an increase in the salary and tenure of employment.  

Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 provides for a scheme for the payment of gratuity to employees engaged in factories, mines, oilfields, plantations, ports, railway companies, shops or other establishments. The Payment of Gratuity Act is administered by the Central Government in establishments under its control, establishments having branches in more than one State, major ports, mines, oil fields and the railways and by the State governments and Union Territory administrations in all other cases.  

The Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 is applicable to the following:

·  Every factory, mine, oilfield, plantation, port and railway company;

· Every shop or establishment within the meaning of any law in which ten or more persons are employed, or were employed, on any day of the preceding twelve months,

· Such other establishments or class of establishments, in which ten or more employees are employed, or were employed, on any day of the preceding twelve months, as the Central Government may, by notification, specify in this behalf.

Penalties-

Failure to comply with the Payment of Gratuity Act 1972 entails certain penalties (Sec. 9) [xxvi], which are the following:

·  For avoiding any payment knowingly makes any false statement or representation shall be punishable with imprisonment up to 6 months or fine up to Rs. 10,000.00 or both.

· Failure to comply with any provision of the Act or Rules Shall be punishable with imprisonment up to 1 year but will not be less than 3 months or with fine, which will not be less than Rs. 10,000.00 but may extend up to Rs. 20,000.00 or with both.

· Any offence relating to non payment of gratuity under the Act Employer shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than 6 months but may extend to 2 years, unless the court for reasons recorded decides for a lesser term of imprisonment or fine.

We aim to answer the most frequently asked questions pertaining to eligibility criteria for gratuity, taxability of gratuity and all about gratuity calculation. 

What is Gratuity?

Gratuity is a sum of money paid to an employee by the employer for the services rendered to the company. However, gratuity is paid to only employees who have completed 5 years or more in the company. Gratuity is an important form of social security provided by the employer in monetary terms for the services rendered to the organization.

1. Is the payment of Gratuity applicable to all establishments?

As per the Payment of the Gratuity Act of 1972, Gratuity is applicable to all establishments including NGOs, educational institutions and hospitals with an employee size of 10 or more.

Once the Payment of Gratuity Act 1972 becomes applicable to an establishment, the Act would continue to remain applicable despite the fact that the team size has reduced to number less than 10.

2. Why is Gratuity part of the CTC?

It is the company’s choice to make gratuity part of the employee’s CTC structure. Usually, most companies do make gratuity as part of the CTC structure.

CTC means Cost to Company and signifies the total cost incurred by the company for employing a person. Since Gratuity is a fixed contribution from the company’s side, it is shown as the part of the CTC components.

3. Who is eligible for receiving gratuity?

There are a few instances that mark the eligibility for gratuity for an employee.

4. How do I apply for gratuity?

The employee must make the application for Gratuity in written to the employer within 30 days from the day gratuity becomes payable. 

5. How is gratuity calculated?

Gratuity is dependent upon the total number of years served in the company and the last drawn salary.

If A is (number of years of service in a company) + B is (last drawn salary) {Basic Salary+ Dearness Allowance}

Then, Gratuity = A*B*15/26 ; 15 being wages for 15 days and 26 being the days of the month.

For example – Khushal has worked for QC Associates for 10 years and his last drawn salary (Basic + Dearness Allowance) is Rs 30,000.

Hence Khushal’s gratuity amount would be – 10*30,000*15/26 = Rs 1,73,076

6.Can an employee claim Gratuity before his/her completion of 5 years?

An employee can claim gratuity before completion of 5 years only in two instances i.e. occurrence of death or occurrence of disability due to illness or accidents. In the instance of Death the claim would be transferred to the assigned nominee.

7. Is Gratuity taxable?

Taxability of gratuity is dependent on which sector does the employee belong to. Gratuity amount is not taxable in case of government employees. Non-government employees can also get a Tax exemption on their gratuity amount. Although, there is an upper limit of Rs 10 lakhs for the tax concessions.

8. Can an employer forfeit gratuity amount of the employee?

Employer can forfeit gratuity even if the employee has completed the required 5 years of service in the following cases –

It must be noted that above act should have been committed by the employee during his employment. A proper enquiry must be held after which employee was proved guilty for misconduct and a termination note must be issued to employee describing about his/her misconduct.

9. Is there a cap to the amount I receive as gratuity?

Yes, the employer cannot pay you more than Rs 10 lakhs irrespective of the number of years you have completed. This limit is also applicable to gratuity you would receive from different employers during your lifetime.

10. How many days does it take for the employer to remit the gratuity amount?

The government mandates employers to pay the gratuity amount within 30 days. Usually, the gratuity is released along with the full and final settlements of the employee. If there is a delay in payment, the employer has to pay a simple interest on the amount from the due date until the payment is made.