A work charged establishment broadly means an establishment of which the expenses, including the wages and allowances of the staff, are chargeable to “work”. The pay and allowances of employees who are borne on a work charged establishment are generally shown as a separate sub-head of the estimated cost of the work.
The work charged employees are engaged on a temporary basis and their appointments are made for the execution of a specified work. From the very nature of their employment, their services automatically come to an end on the completion of the works for the sole purpose for which they are employed. They do not get any relief under the Payment of Gratuity Act nor do they receive any retrenchment benefits or any benefits under the Employees State Insurance Schemes.
But though the work charged employees are denied these benefits, they are industrial workers and are entitled to the benefits of the provisions contained in the Industrial Disputes Act.
In State of Rajasthan v. Kunji Raman, AIR 1997 SC 693, again, relying upon the decision in the case of Jaswant Singh v. Union of India, AIR 1980 SC 115 held that a work charged establishment is materially and qualitatively different from a regular establishment and the employees engaged in a work charged establishment are recruited differently and have different service conditions. It was therefore held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court that a work charged establishment is a separate class and no parity could be drawn between a work charged employee and an employee of a regular establishment. Mobina Khatoon v. State of Bihar, 2019 (2) ESC 570.