New Delhi: Retirement fund body EPFO has raised a demand of Rs 133.76 crore on G4S Secure Solutions, globally known security services provider, for its failure to deposit provident fund dues to its employees.
While passing the order against G4S, the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) said that the company and its management "has indulged in subterfuge to deprive all of its employees of their rightful social security benefits as contemplated under the EPF & MP Act, 1952..."
G4S, it said, has been "creating false, fake and hypothetical allowances like HRA and conveyance allowances only to reduce its statutory liability and to maximise gains".
G4S Security Services (India) Pvt Ltd (now G4S Secure Solutions (India) Pvt Ltd) is a private limited company set up as a subsidiary of G4S Holdings of India Ltd (registered in UK with ultimate holding company being G4S PLC, UK).
"The G4S Secure Solutions (India) is directed to deposit ... Total Rs 133.76 crore within 15 days of the receipt of the order", said the order issued by Regional Provident Fund Commissioner (Delhi-South) on December 18 last year.
It said that Rs 85.02 crore was due towards provident fund contributions and Rs 48.73 crore by way of interest up to October 2012.
The order follows inquiry by a central squad on complaints made by Group 4 Securicore Karmachari Union and Group 4 Securicore Gunman Union.
According to the order, the company "has shown lack of total transparency, integrity in the matter of compliance under the EPF & MP Act 1952".
The EPFO ruled that HRA and conveyance allowance were being given by G4S Secure Solutions to its employees from the beginning and hence it formed part of the wages for the purpose of PF deduction.
The EPFO order, G4S spokesperson said, "is not in line with the prevailing law and we will exercise the statutory right before the appropriate forum".
On whether the company would deposit the amount, the company said, "As we are in the process of availing the statutory remedy against the said order, we feel that it will not come to depositing of the amount."
The spokesperson further said, "we are sure that we are on the right side of law, we will continue to appeal till the highest forum".
The company has pro-actively and voluntarily changed its PF policy and started paying additional PF contributions with effect from April 2011, G4S said, adding that the EPFO circular advising clubbing of allowances for payment of PF has been kept on hold by the competent authority.