On September 15, 2023, the Governor of West Bengal issued guidelines and an appeal to employers and employees in the state, emphasizing the importance of maintaining industrial peace and harmony. Employers are urged to adopt a flexible attitude while adhering to the statutory provisions of the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, as amended in 2015. They are encouraged to ensure that the bonus rate for this year is not lower than the previous year's rate and to consider ex-gratia payments if applicable.
All employees who have worked for at least 30 days during the year should receive a bonus, and employers who have defaulted on bonus payments in previous years are urged to make such payments along with the current year's bonus.
Trade unions and employers' organizations are called upon to cooperate in maintaining industrial peace and help settle bonus-related disputes without disrupting work. Employees from sectors like IT, Hotels and Restaurants, Shops & Establishments, Security Workers, and some workers in jute mills who did not receive bonuses in previous years are to be paid bonuses this year. All bonus payments should be completed by October 6, 2023, before the commencement of Durga Puja.
The government expects all employers, including public sector undertakings, to adhere to this appeal. Employers' organizations are expected to advise their members to follow this appeal. Employers in the unorganized sector, not covered under the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, are to pay bonus/ex-gratia to their workers by October 6, 2023.