This is purely hypothetical. In many ITES/BPO companies, "trainees" are inducted for a specific period. They are given theoretical and practical training during this period. They are also paid "stipend" or "training allowance" for the days of training. No other benefits are extended to them. In companies where approved "Standing Orders" are in force, these "trainees" are not included as "employees". In the absence of any employer-employee relationship, can ESI subscription be recovered from them? If they object to the recovery can the company refrain from recovering the subscription? The Supreme Court in one of its judgement on the applicability of EPF for trainees, has very clearly given its verdict that the "trainees" are NOT employees and hence the Act would not be applicable to the trainees.
I seek the views of experts.