It is now mandatory for those employees qualifying as international workers to contribute to the Indian PF scheme. The employers would also be required to make an equal contribution. In this era of globalisation and cross-border movement of employees, these changes will increase the financial costs of an assignment.
The employees likely to be affected would include expatriates (foreign citizens) working in India and even Indian employees deputed to work abroad. With almost all expatriates being tax equalised, and the employer picking up their share of the contributions also, the expatriate assignment costs are going to increase even further.
The notification also requires the employers to file a consolidated return to the Provident Fund Commissioner on commencement of this scheme, indicating nationality, salary levels, etc., of each international worker and they would also be required to file monthly returns reporting changes.
A relief has been provided in this notification which exempts international workers from those countries with which India has signed Social Security Agreements, commonly known as Totalisation Agreements, and who have been contributing to their home country social security schemes.