The ABRY Scheme (Aatmanirbar Bharat Rozgar Yojana Scheme) has been introduced to reward employers that have registered with EPFO. Employers can take advantage of this perk by hiring new employees or employees who lost their jobs during the period (01/03/2020 – 30/09/2020).
If the employer satisfies the ABRY Scheme standards, the government will pay both employee and employer EPF contributions.
What is the ABRY Scheme’s Primary Goal?
The primary goal of the ABRY program is to offer incentives to the staff of organizations that have been registered under the EPF and MP Act of 1952. The incentives include creating new job openings and offering assistance to new workers joining the organization with a monthly salary of less than Rs. 15,000. Additionally, it wants to re-employ low-wage workers who lost their jobs as a result of the Covid 19 issue.
Beneficiaries of the ABRY Scheme
Beneficiaries (new hires) of the Scheme
- An employee earning less than Rs. 15,000 per month who was not working in an EPFO-registered establishment and did not have a Universal Account Number (UAN) prior to October 1, 2020 and who joins employment in any establishment on or after October 1, 2020 and before March 31, 2022 and is assigned an Aadhaar-validated UAN.
- Any EPF member, already assigned a UAN, who leaves employment during the period from 01.03.2020 to 30.09.2020 (Covid Pandemic) from any establishment and joins any establishment on or after 01.10.2020 and before 31.03.2022.
- The incentive is paid by the Central Government by crediting the UANs of new employees immediately.
Qualifications Required For ABRY Scheme
- Establishments registered with EPFO should comply with the following if they increase their staff base above the reference base as of September 2020:
- If the reference base is 50 employees or less, at least two new hires are required.
- If the reference base has more than 50 employees, at least five new workers are required.
Benefits of the ABRY Scheme
- For new hires hired on or after October 1, 2020, and up to June 30, 2021, the Indian government will offer a two-year subsidy at the following rate.
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- Employer and employee contributions comprise 24% of earnings in establishments with less than 1000 workers. Employee contributions are 12% of wages and employer contributions are 12% of wages.
- Only employee EPF payments (12 percent of EPF salaries) are required of establishments with more than 1000 employees.
- The qualifying new employee’s Aadhaar-seeded EPFO Account (UAN) will get an upfront credit for the subsidy assistance.
Procedure and Instructions for Benefit Claiming Under This Program
- EPFO has deployed an electronic facility on the Employer’s portal in order to implement ABRY.
- To register under ABRY, the employer must amend Form 5A and disclose the employee reference base via a link in the Employer’s login on the EPFO Unified Portal.
- Before registering an employee as a “new employee” under ABRY, the employer must procure and corroborate a declaration of prior membership from the employee joining the establishment.
- Employers must file a declaration and ECR for every employee in order to receive benefits on a month-to-month basis.
- The employer is required to file one Electronic Challan cum Return (ECR) for all employees, including new hires, for each wage month within 60 days of the end of that wage month.
- However, the employer is responsible for the late submission of the ECR and, as a result, the payment of interest pursuant to section 7Q.
- Any revision/correction/modification of such ECR is ineligible for future enhanced benefit claims.
- The employer shall not deduct the employee’s share of EPF contribution from the monthly wages of any new employee and shall pay the employee’s wages in full.
- Establishments engaged as subcontractors in the provision of manpower to one or more principal employers are prohibited from claiming the benefit of the employer’s contribution under this Scheme if the same benefit is claimed or received from the principal employer.
- Employers and establishments are accountable for the accuracy of all information submitted for ABRY benefit claims.