09/09/2020

Non-resident Indian workers can ‘make use of redressal platforms, forums,’ says Kerala HC | The News Minute

importance to document the claims and grievances of the Indian workers returned to home states due to the pandemic.
Ithas also been informed to the court that there are mechanisms in place by which Indian workers can le complaints 
about their grievances. The platforms include an email of the Community Welfare Wing, round the clock helpline, Ministry
of External Affairs AD portal, Central Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System portal etc.
The complaints received through the mechanisms are taken up by the embassies or diplomatic of ces with the employers
concerned for an amicable settlement. The court was also informed that India, through the embassies or diplomatic of ces,
maintains a panel of lawyers for any legal assistance and these empaneled law rms provide free initial legal advice to the
workers. 
Subsequently, the workers can engage these law rms, if required, by executing a Power of Attorney (POA) in their favour
to represent them in a court of law in connection with their grievances. In case, the worker has exited the country without
registering a labour case or before the court proceedings are over, he/she can give POA to any lawyer or the embassy or
diplomatic of ce to pursue his or her case in the concerned court. If POA is given to the embassy or diplomatic of ce, then
the case would be followed through one of the empanelled lawyers. 
"India is one of the most critical countries in the area of international migration and a vast number of these migrants
around nine million are in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries; 70 percent of which are blue collared workers.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, hundred-thousand migrant workers have been repatriated to India from different parts
of the world. The number is expected to rise exponentially over the next few months. In the Middle East region alone, an
estimated ve million jobs will be lost, most of them are held by migrant workers. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan
had said that 74,849 out of 143,147 who returned from abroad -52 per cent- have lost their jobs," says the petition
submitted on August 17.
It's also pointed out in the petition that Kerala alone could lose nearly Rs 13,000 crore in annual foreign remittances with
more than four lakh Keralites who live abroad to return to home in the wake of the pandemic. 
"It's because of the volume of Kerala migrant workers abroad that we submitted the petition at the Kerala High Court.
Many employers used the pandemic as a cover to not pay the workers.    If the employers would not abide by the rules , we
would initiate contempt of court against them," Advocate Subhash Chandran, member of LBB told TNM.
Also Read:  Lay-offs in Gulf countries could be catastrophic for Kerala economy, experts warn   
 

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