Kochi: Relatives can register grievances about salary arrears and other issues of Indian workers who died abroad during the COVID-19 period, on the Madad and eMigrate portals of the Ministry of External Affairs, the ministry has told the high court.
The explanation came in response to a petition filed by the Delhi-based Lawyers Beyond Borders seeking legal provisions to recover the wage arrears and compensation of Indians returning from abroad.
The government said it has instructed embassies to collect workers' arrears from sponsors. The Indian embassies will get in touch with sponsors if they receive complaints regarding compensation, termination of service benefits or insurance, the government said.
The money received from the sponsor would be sent in due course by following procedures and the district authorities concerned would then transfer it to the heirs of the deceased, the ministry said in a statement.
Indian embassies have facilities for the protection of rights and redressal of grievances of those working abroad. A 24-hour helpline, a community welfare department's email system and Madad portal to help those in distress have been set up.
Complaints received through these channels will be settled by talking to the employers concerned. There is also a panel of lawyers for legal assistance.
Even if the workers return, they can give the power of attorney to the embassy or lawyer. The amount will be deposited in their bank account when it is received.
The External Affairs Ministry said countries such as Oman and Saudi Arabia had issued special instructions for workers’ welfare in the wake of the COVID pandemic.