The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is set to induct 35 young legal professionals to assist it in managing litigation and quick resolution of disputes, a report in The Economic Times said.
These professionals, who will work as researchers, will be initially hired for 11 months. Following an assessment of their performance, their services may be extended.
It would be the first such hiring by the statutory body, which functions under the Ministry of Labour & Employment. The retirement body wants to see how this process turns out before deciding to try it in its other departments — such as finance and social media.
The report said that a decision to hire legal experts was taken in March this year, citing people aware of the development.
Last month, EPFO issued a request for proposal (RFO) to empanel law firms to deal with matters related to the interpretation of various statutes, such as the Employees’ Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.
The firms would represent EPFO in the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), besides handling property-related cases and taxation matters.
Once approved, these law firms will be empanelled for an initial period of one year, which can be extended to three years.
The EPFO, one of the largest social security organisations in the world with 67 million contributory members, is making efforts towards automation and rationalising its workforce. In FY21, it processed 45.8 million claims.