The Employment Exchanges (Compulsory Notification of Vacancies) Act came into force on May 1st 1960. The Act includes all establishments in the public sector or the private sector with more than 25 persons. However, agriculture is not included under the purview of the Act.
Organisations covered by the Act are required to compulsorily notify the required employment exchanges regarding vacancies that have opened up in their company. The particulars about the jobs that are to be notified are also prescribed by the Act.
Employment in unskilled office work and domestic service is not covered by the Act, and neither are vacancies with durations less than 3 months.
As per the provisions of the Act, officers of the government are appointed for inspecting documents and records of the concerned employer. These officers can take copies of such records. In the case of violation of any provisions of this Act, the offenders are imposed fines.
Exemptions From Application of the Act to Specific Vacancies
As per provisions of Section 3 of the Act, the applicability of the Act varies on the type of employment as well as its duration. A notification is not issued for vacancies that are to be filled by either examination to be conducted by the appropriate authority or through promotion of personnel. Such vacancies may be filled by either the transfer of employees from other departments of the same organisation as well as through the conduction of interviews for the same by the State or Union Public Service Commission, whichever the case may be. The procedures are applicable only if an alternative is not suggested by the Central Government on this behalf.
The Employment Exchange Act is not applicable to the following vacancies:
- Vacancies within the staff of Parliament will not be notified.
- An employment opportunity for a duration less than 3 months is not notified.
- Notification of employment opportunities within the private sector, particularly in horticulture or agriculture, is not to be furnished. This condition is not applicable to appointments to the post of farm machinery operatives.
- A notification is not to be provided regarding employment for domestic service.
- A notification is not to be made available if a person wishes to be employed to perform unskilled office work.
- The Act is not applicable to vacancies that open up when the remuneration promised is less than Rs 60 a month.
Notification of Vacancies to Employment Exchanges
If any vacancy opens up in an organisation that belongs to either the private sector or the public sector, the employer should notify the existence of such vacancies to prescribed employment exchanges. No appointments can be made without providing due information regarding the same. However, interested candidates are not guaranteed a job because of this notification. The organisation can pick the candidate that suits them the best based on their qualifications and experience. This provision is provided in Section 4 of the Employment Exchange Act. Additionally, this section also specifies that when notifications are made regarding vacancies to the employment exchanges, they are to be issued in a specific manner as may be prescribed. The particulars of employment in which such vacancies have occurred are also to be notified in the specified manner.
Employers to Furnish Information and Returns in Prescribed Form
According to Section 5 of the Employment Exchange Act, all employers of establishments in the private and public sectors should provide information regarding available vacancies to employment exchanges. Employers are also obligated to provide returns. Such information should be furnished even in cases in which a vacancy may open up in the future.
The publication must be in the prescribed form. In the public sector, the aforementioned process is conducted by publishing a notification in the official gazette by the appropriate government. The particulars to be contained in such publications should be prescribed. Even the time within which the information is to be provided should be prescribed.
Right of Access to Records or Documents
Employers are required to furnish any returns or information in accordance with the requirements of Section 5 of the Act. Furthermore, if an employer has any relevant document or record, access should be provided to the prescribed Government officer for inspection. The officer has the right to enter the premises of any organisation at any reasonable time to conduct inspections. The Government employee can also ask any relevant questions to obtain the required information speedily. This process is provided under Section 6 of the Employment Exchange Act.
Penalties Under the Act
Section 7 details penalties that will be enforced due to the contravention of provisions of the Employment Exchange Act. A punishment of a fine not be more than Rs 250 will be imposed for a first offence, and a maximum fine of Rs 500 will be imposed for a subsequent offence in the following cases:
- An individual hinders the rights provided under Section 6 of the Act, wherein any prescribed Government Officer has the right to enter and freely access documents or relevant records.
- An individual furnishes information despite being aware that such information is false. The penalty also applies to people who furnish such false information.
- An individual neglects or refuses to publish relevant information.
- An individual gives false answers or refuses to give answers altogether about questions asked regarding any furnishable information.
This section also provides that a punishment of a maximum fine of Rs 500 for a first offence, and a maximum fine of Rs 1000 for any subsequent offence is prescribed in cases in which the employer of any private or public enterprise fails to notify the prescribed employment exchange regarding an available vacancy. Such a failure is in contravention of Section 4 of the Act.
Cognisance of Offences
An officer of the government appointed for the purpose or any other officer given such authorisation is required to sanction the prosecution of any individual for offences committed in contravention of the provisions of the Act. This provision is in accordance with Section 8 of the Employment Exchange Act. However, as per Section 9, any action that an individual performs in good faith will not be subjected to any legal proceeding in the form of a suit or prosecution.
Thus, if an offence is committed by a person under the illusion that he is in pursuance of the provisions of the Act, then he/she can defend himself in court on the same basis. Under such a circumstance, vicarious liability is not considered.
Power to Make Rules
As per Section 10 of the Act, the Central Government must formulate rules regarding certain matters as follows:
- The government can formulate rules for certain government officers for providing them with the right of entry and the power to access any necessary documents.
- The government formulates rules regarding the particulars of employment in which any vacancies have opened up. The Section also prescribes the period and the form and manner in which the notifications are to be provided to the prescribed employment exchanges. Additionally, the Act decides which employment exchanges are to be notified by the various organisations.
- Certain returns and information must be furnished as per Section 5 of the Act. The Central Government is to decide the intervals as well as the manner and form and the particulars to be contained in such information.
Publishing in the Official Gazette is mandatory for any rules formulated by the Union Government. Apart from the aforementioned matters, rules are also to be formulated regarding any other matter prescribed under the Act.
When any rule is formulated, the rule should be tabled before both houses of the Parliament for a period of 30 days. The tabling is performed when the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha are in session. The Houses are to contemplate and debate new rules that will be enacted and suggest any modifications. The rules can be disallowed altogether. Any recommendations of Parliament are final and should be implemented by the Union immediately.
The Employment Exchange Act facilitates opportunities for the masses in both private and public sector employment. The provisions of the Act ensure that any vacancies that open up are notified. Interested candidates are given a heads-up to apply for jobs they are qualified for. The various employment exchanges have a list of vacancies that any applicant can access. Irrespective of all aforementioned provisions, numerous people still miss out on key employment opportunities because of bias and corruption.
Certain amendments have been made to prevent misuse. Organisations are mandated to submit quarterly employment returns to ensure proper functioning. The return is to be filed for every quarter and in the form ERI. The months of filing are the end of March, June, September, and December. The organisations are also to file the form ER-II every 2 years. The public sector files such biennial occupational return in even years, and the private sector in odd years.
FAQs on the Employment Exchange Act
Which Section of the Act provides the Central Government the power to make rules and regarding what?
Section 10 of the Act provides power to the Central Government to make rules regarding notification to employment exchanges and the form in which such notification is to be provided.
Who is given the power of cognisance under the provisions of the Act?
An officer of the government appointed for the purpose, or any other officer given such authorisation is required, as per Section 8 of the Employment Exchange Act, to sanction the prosecution of any individual for offences committed in contravention of the provisions of the Act.
What penalties are applicable for not notifying a vacancy to an employment exchange?
A punishment of a maximum fine of Rs 500 for a first offence and a maximum fine of Rs 1000 for any subsequent offence is prescribed in cases in which the employer of any private or public enterprise fails to notify the prescribed employment exchange regarding an available vacancy.
Does the Act require the disclosure of information about job opportunities?
According to Section 5 of the Employment Exchange Act, all employers of establishments, both in the private as well as public sectors, should provide information to employment exchanges or any return or information regarding vacancies that have opened up.
When was the Employment Exchange Act enacted?
The Employment Exchanges (Compulsory Notification of Vacancies) Act came into force on May 1, 1960.