Labour law, which is also in general parlance referred to as human resource law, is an assortment and body of laws which addresses the legitimate privileges of, and limitations on, working individuals and their associations. All things considered, it intercedes and mediates the connection between the employees, workers, unions, managers and representatives of the workplace. As such, labour law characterizes the rights and commitments as workers and businesses in the working environment. It plays a vital role in governing the rights and obligations of workers and employees, working and employed in an organization. This article focuses on the various legal compliances under the labour laws in the state of Karnataka by an employer.
B. LABOUR LAW COMPLIANCES IN KARNATAKA:
The various labour laws enactments in the state of Karnataka, along with the compliances to be made by the employer have been detailed below.
1. The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (“SHA”):
This enactment is applicable to all workplaces and organizations. It is a central legislation and is applicable to whole of India. The most important aspect under this legislation is that every employer shall formulate a sexual harassment policy to address the concerns with regard to sexual harassment at a workplace of women and the employer shall communicate the policy to all the employees. Every workplace/organization, which employees 10 or more employees shall constitute an internal complaints committee, as per the provisions as laid down under this act. It is the duty of every employer to file an annual report detailing the number of cases filed if any, with the District Officer every year. However, if there are no cases which have been registered, the same shall also be intimated to the District Officer, through the annual report.
2. Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 (ERA”):
The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 is a central legislation and provides for equality in the payment of remuneration to men and women. The legislation prevents discrimination, with regard to the payment of remuneration to workers on the grounds of sex and the employment of women. Every employer shall, in accordance with the provisions of this act pay equally to men and women for the work done which is of similar nature and shall in no manner pay at rates which are less favourable. The employer shall not discriminate against women, with respect to their employment, recruitment, promotion, training and transfers, unless restricted by law. It shall be the duty of every employer to maintain a register in Form D, mentioning the details of the workers employed by the employer.
3. Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016:
The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (“Disabilities Act”) has replaced the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995. India is a signatory to the United National Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (“UNCRPD”) and this legislation fulfills the obligations as specified under the UNCRPD. The Disabilities Act enlists the various kinds of disabilities and has casted a responsibility on the government to ensure that persons with disabilities are provided with equal opportunities same as the opportunities provided to the others and that there is no discrimination on the basis of disability. The Disabilities Act applies to both government as well as private establishments, as defined under the Disabilities Act. Every employer shall formulate and notify an equal opportunity policy so as to ensure that there shall be no discrimination against persons with underlying disabilities. The policy shall be published and the same shall be displayed on the establishment’s website and the conspicuous places of the premises. The policy shall provide the facilities and amenities, the posts for employment of disabled persons, manner of selection for such posts, provision of assistive devices and other details. Pursuant to the provisions of the Disabilities Act, every establishment shall maintain relevant registers and records of the persons with disabilities in relation to the matter of employment, facilities provided and other necessary information, in the manner prescribed by the Disabilities Act.
4. The Maternity Benefits Act, 1961 and Karnataka Maternity Benefit Rules (“MB Rules”):
The Maternity Benefits Act, 1961 (“MB Act”) provides for the benefits to pregnant women and lays down provisions for the protection of employed pregnant women. The MB Act applies to an establishment and factory, in which 10 or more persons have been employed. Every employer shall grant maternity benefit to every woman employee who has been working in the establishment for a period of not less than 160 days in 12 months which would be immediately preceding her date of delivery. Upon delivery or miscarriage, a woman shall not work for a period of 6 weeks immediately. A woman shall be entitled to maternity benefit for a maximum period of 26 weeks. the employer is obligated to provide 26 weeks leave to the woman employee who is conceiving as per the provisions of Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, out of which 8 weeks leave has to be provided before the date of delivery of the baby. However, on the basis of the medical situation, the employee may, at her discretion, avail additional 10 weeks, i.e., 18 weeks out of 26 weeks leave, before the date of delivery. Thereafter, the remaining 8 weeks leave out of the 26 weeks, shall be granted to the employee after the date of delivery. However, in the event, the employee does not avail 10 weeks leave before the date of delivery, the woman shall be provided with the same post-delivery, which is a general practice. Every woman shall be entitled to, and her employer shall be liable for, the payment of maternity benefit at the rate of the average daily wage for the period of her actual absence immediately preceding and including the day of her delivery and for the six weeks immediately following that day. When a woman legally adopts a child below the age of 3 months, or a commissioning mother shall be entitled to maternity benefit for a period of 12 weeks from the date the child is handed over to the adopting mother or the commissioning mother. For claiming such amounts from the employer, the woman shall give a notice to the employer, in accordance with the provisions as laid down under the MB Act. The woman shall be entitled to nursing breaks until the child attains the age of 15 months in addition to the interval of rest provided to her. Crèche facility shall be provided in case the number of employees exceeds 50 or more in an establishment. Every employer shall maintain a muster roll in Form A and shall file relevant returns in Form K, L and M with the Competent Authority every year before January 31st of every year.
5. Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 and Karnataka Payment of Gratuity Rules, 1973 (“Gratuity Rules”):
This legislation provides for a monetary retirement benefit which is payable to an employee upon his or her retirement. The Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 (“Gratuity Act”) applies to all the establishments wherein 10 or more persons are employed or were employed in the preceding 12 months. Gratuity becomes payable to employees who have rendered a continuous service of 5 years in the establishment in accordance with the provisions of the Gratuity Act. It is payable upon the resignation, death, retirement or termination on account of death or disablement due to an accident or disease. Amount of gratuity payable shall be paid at the rate of 15 days wages for every year of service based on the rate of wages last drawn by the employee. A notice shall be submitted by the employer to the Controlling Authority (Labour Officer) of a particular area in Form A and the same shall be displayed in the conspicuous part of the establishment in English and Kannada, displaying the name of the person who is authorized to receive communications under the Gratuity Act and Gratuity Rules.
6. The Employee Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 (“EPFA”):
This act applies to every establishment which has 20 or more employees and to every employee drawing wages below Rs.15000/- per month. The act provides for the constitution of provident fund, deposit linked insurance fund and pension fund for employees. An employee under this act is any person who has been employed either directly or through a contractor. Every employer shall get the establishments registered with the appropriate authority under the act. Both the employer and employee contribute towards the provident fund at the rate of 12% of the basic wage, retaining allowance, dearness allowance and other allowances which are payable to the employee. An employer shall be required to pay the employee provident fund contribution within 15 days of the next month. Every employer who has registered the establishment shall file a return in Form 5 on a monthly basis.
7. The Employee State Insurance Act, 1948:
This act is a central legislation and is applicable to factories employing 10 or more persons. It provides for sickness, maternity, employment injury and other related benefits to the employees. Both the employer and employee are required to make contributions to the Employees State Insurance Corporation in accordance with the act. An employer shall contribute for its employees drawing wages upto Rs. 21000/- per month. An employer shall contribute at the rate of 4.75% of the wages of the employer and employee shall contribute 1.75% of his or her wages. Such contributions shall be made by the employer before 21st of the following month. Every employer shall at every 6 months interval file half yearly returns with the branch office in Form 5. Every employer shall register itself by logging into esic.in. A code is sent to the employer along with the registration form and login credentials. All mandatory information shall be filled up by the employer using the credentials provided on the website. The employer shall maintain attendance register, Form 6 register which deals with the data relating to the payment of contributions, an accident register, files containing the monthly challans and returns.
8. The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965:
The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 (“PB Act”) ensures the provision of annual bonus to the employees who draw a salary or wage which shall not exceed Rs. 20,000/- per mensum. The PB Act is applicable to every establishment which employees 20 or more persons on any day during a particular accounting year. Bonus is payable irrespective of whether an employer has made profit or a loss. A new establishment which has not made a profit in the first five years shall not be required to pay bonus to its employees. Every employee is eligible for bonus, if he has worked in an establishment for not less than 30 days in that particular year. However, an employee who has been involved in fraud, theft, misappropriation, riotous behavior shall not be entitled to bonus. A minimum bonus of 8.33% of the salary of the employee shall be payable as bonus to an employee. The employer shall have the right to deduct the bonus of an employee, if the employee’s misconduct has caused financial loss to the employer. An employer shall be entitled to pay bonus to an employee within 8 months from the close of the accounting year and in the event of any dispute with regard to bonus, within 1 month from the date on which the decision becomes enforceable. Every employer shall maintain a register of allocable surplus, register of set on and set off of allocable surplus and a bonus payment register in Form A, B and C. An annual return form, in Form D shall be submitted to the Inspector by the employer within 30 days from the payment of bonus to the employee.
9. The Payment of Wages Act, 1936 and Karnataka Payment of Wages Rules, 1963:
The Payment of Wages Act, 1936 (“PW Act”) deals with the payment of wages to persons employed in a factory, industry or any other establishment and is applicable to an employee earning wages up to Rs. 24,000/- per month. The PW Act ensures regular, timely and prompt wage payments and ensures the prevention of arbitrary deductions and fines. An employer shall pay wages to all his employees for a wage period of one month. Wage periods shall not exceed a period of one month. Wages shall be paid to the employees before the lapse of 10th day of each month. If employment has been terminated, wages payable to such an employee shall be payable before the expiry of second working day from the day on which the employment was terminated. If, In the event of, closure of an establishment leads to the termination of employment, the wages shall be paid to the employee before the expiry of second day from the date of termination. The employer shall ensure that payment of wages to an employee is done on a weekday. The employer shall have the right to make authorized deductions from the wages of the employees, in accordance with the provisions as laid down under the PW Act and shall ensure that no deduction is made which would be arbitrary and unauthorized in nature, which shall not exceed 50% of the wages payable to the employees. For the omission of an act, the employer shall have the right to impose fines. The employee shall be provided with an opportunity of being heard, as laid down by the principles of natural justice. Fines imposed on an employee shall not exceed 3% of the wages of the employee in a wage period. This fund shall be used only for purposes as may be approved by the prescribed authority. As per the Karnataka Payment of Wages Rules, 1963, employers shall maintain a register for fines, deductions for damages or loss and advances in Form I, register of wages in Form III and shall file an annual return in Form IV at the end of each calendar year.
10. The Karnataka Labour Welfare Fund Act, 1965 (“KLWFA”):
The labour welfare fund acts are state specific legislations and labour welfare fund is a fund which is managed by state authorities. Contributions are made by the employer and the employee to the welfare fund. This welfare fund acts as an aid for the betterment of the working conditions of employees and ensures social security to the employees. The KLWFA applies to an establishment which employs or has employed more than 50 persons on a working day in the preceding 12 months. All employers and employees shall contribute to the fund. An employee shall contribute Rs. 3/- and an employer shall contribute Rs. 6/- monthly. The employer’s and the employee’s contribution shall be paid by the employer to the Board on or before 15th January of the following year. Employee’s contribution can be deducted in the form of deduction from wages as per the PW Act. The employers to whom PW Act is not applicable, such employers shall maintain register of wages on the employees employed by him in Form A and a consolidated register of wages and fines in Form B. Copy of extract of Form B shall be forwarded to the Welfare Commissioner every year by or before 31st January by the employer.
11. The Minimum Wages Act, 1948 and Karnataka Minimum Wages Rules, 1958:
The Minimum Wages Act, 1948 (“MW Act”) is a legislation empowering the government to fix minimum rates of wages for employees working in various scheduled employments. The MW Act applies to every employer employing one or more employees. This MW Act makes it mandatory on the part of every employer to pay the minimum rates of wages which are fixed by the State Government. As per the MW Act, the employers are obligated to pay wages to the employees at rates which shall not be below the minimum wage rate which has been fixed by the State Government, through notification, every 6 months. When an employee working for exceeding the number of hours than the normal working hours, shall be paid for the overtime work. However, such employee shall not be entitled to receive wages for a full normal working day if he failed to work due to his unwillingness to work and in such other cases as maybe prescribed. If an employee works in different classes of work with different wage rates, the employer shall pay the employee the minimum rate of wages as specified for the different classes. In accordance with the Karnataka Minimum Wages Rules, 1958, a wage period shall not exceed a month and the wages shall be paid to an employee before the expiry of 7th day in case of establishments with less than 1000 persons and in case of other establishments, prior to the expiry of 10th day after the last day of the previous wage period. Where employment has been terminated, such employee shall be entitled to his wages within 2 working days from the date of termination of employment. A notice shall be displayed on a conspicuous place of the premises showcasing the dates on which wages will be paid to the employees in English and vernacular language. The employer shall have the right to make authorized deductions from the wages of the employees as per the provisions as laid down under the MW Act, which shall be explained to the employee by the employer. The employee shall be given an opportunity of being heard in this regard. A weekly day of rest shall be fixed by an employer. The employee should have worked for a period of 6 days a week. However an employee can substitute the same with prior approval of the employer, if worked on a rest day and the same shall not result in the employee working for a period of 10 days. Hours of work shall be 9 hours each day and an interval of half an hour after 5 hours work shall be provided. Overtime wages shall be paid to an employee at double of the ordinary wage rate. The employer shall maintain register of fines in Form I, register of deductions is Form II, register of returns in Form III, overtime register in Form IV, register of wages in Form V, provide wage slips to employees in Form VI and maintain a muster roll in Form VII.
12. The Karnataka Industrial Establishments (National and Festival Holidays) Act, 1963:
This act is applicable to all industrial establishments and ensures the provision of grant of festival holidays to the persons employed in the aforesaid establishments in Karnataka. All employees shall be provided with a holiday on 26th January, 15th August, 2nd October, national holidays and 5 other holidays for the festivals as may be specified by the employer, after consulting the employees or trade unions as the case may be. Every employee shall be provided with a holiday on the polling day for the purpose of voting. A statement showing the holidays shall be displayed in the industrial establishment and the same shall be sent to the inspector having jurisdiction over the particular area. Wages shall be payable to the employees for these holidays. However, if an employee (monthly wage earner and piece rate earner) works on these holidays, such employee shall be paid twice of wages and avail wages for a substitute holiday for any other day. No holidays shall be provided to an employee on days other than 26th January, 15th August and 2nd October, unless such employee has been in service for a period of 30 days within a continuous period of 90 days immediately preceding such holiday.
13. The Karnataka Shops & Commercial Establishments Act, 1961 (“S&E Act”) and Rules, 1963 (“S&E Rules”):
Every establishment shall be registered under the S&E Act and shall submit an application in Form-A, for registration within 30 days from the date of starting business and shall upon registration, display the registration certificate in the premises. Any change shall be intimated by the employer to the registration authority within 15 days after such a change. With respect to appointment of employees, the employer shall issue appointment letters to the employee within 30 days from the date of appointment. The employee shall be allowed to work for 48 hours a week and overtime work hours shall not exceed 10 hours in a day and 50 hours in a consecutive 3 months period. Every employer shall provide an interval of rest for 1 hour to the employee after 5 hours of work each day. The work hours including the interval shall not exceed 12 hours in a day. The establishment shall be closed for one whole day in a week which shall be displayed in a conspicuous part in the premises. Employees shall be provided 1 day paid leave out of every 20 days of work, leave with wages for 12 days in a period of 12 months. Half day leave with wages shall be calculated proportionately and if the work hours exceed the half day, the employee shall be provided with wage for the entire day. If any leave allowed to an employee is not availed by the employee, such leaves, not exceeding 30 days shall be carried forward to the next year. The employer shall formulate a leave policy for the establishment. The employer shall pay an employee, if terminated, the amount payable with respect to the leave which has not been availed and such payment shall be made to the employee before the expiry of second working day from the date of termination of employment and when an employee quits, on or before the next pay day. Under the S&E Rules, an employer shall maintain register of leave with wages in Form F, leave with wages book in Form H, combined muster roll with the register of wages in Form T, permission allowing women to leave after 8:00pm in Form R. Notice of holiday in Form P shall also be maintained by the employer.
14. The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970:
This legislation has been enforced with the main object of regulation of employment of contract labour. It is applicable to every establishment in which and every contractor who employees, 20 or more workmen are employed or were employed in preceding 12 months. It is not applicable to establishments in which work of casual nature is performed. Work performed in an establishment shall not be deemed to be of an intermittent nature if it was, performed for more than one hundred and twenty days in the preceding twelve months. Every principal employer shall make apply to the registering officer for the registration of the establishment in Form I and pay applicable fees. The principal employer shall nominate a representative who shall be present at the time of disbursement of wages by the contractor and the amounts paid to the contract labour shall be certified by the representative. As per the Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Karnataka Rules, 1974, the authorized representative of the principal employer shall record under his signature a certificate at the end of the entries in the register of wages or register of wages cum muster roll. A register of contractors in Form XII shall be maintained by the employer. The principal employer shall annually send a return in Form XXV to the Registering Officer by 15th February, every year. A return shall be submitted, intimating the actual dates of commencement or completion of work to the inspector, within 15 days from the commencement of completion of each contract work under each contractor.
15. Karnataka Industrial Establishments (National and Festival Holidays) Act, 1963 (“KIEA”):
Every employee shall be allowed in each calendar year, a holiday of one whole day on the 26th January, 15th August, 2nd October and five other holidays each of one whole day for such festivals as the employer may specify, from out of the list of festivals specified in the Schedule appended to this Act in consultation with the trade unions or in the absence of any trade union in consultation with the employees or their authorized representatives. When a general election to the House of the People or to the State Legislative Assembly or an election to fill up any casual vacancy in the House of the People or the State Legislative Assembly is held every employee whose name is included in the electoral roll of the constituency where such election is held, shall be allowed on the polling day, a day’s paid holiday to enable him to exercise his right. Every employer shall send to the Inspector having jurisdiction over the area in which the industrial establishment is situated, and display in the premises of the industrial establishment, a statement showing the holidays allowed in each calendar year. All the employers shall pay to their employees, the wages pursuant to the provisions of KIEA.
16. The Child and Adolescent (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986 (“CAPRA”):
The CAPRA applies to every Establishment includes a shop, commercial establishment, workshop, farm, residential hotel, restaurant, eating house, theatre or other place of public amusement or entertainment. CAPRA restricts the establishments/employers to employ any child or permit any child to work in any occupation or process. No adolescent shall be employed or permitted work in any hazardous occupations or processes. No adolescent shall work for more than 3 hours and after such period of 3 hours, such adolescent shall be provided with a 1 hour interval as a resting period. The adolescent shall work for a period of 6 hours a day and shall not be permitted to work between 7 pm and 8 am. The adolescent shall not work overtime and shall be provided with a weekly holiday of one whole day in a particular week. Every occupier of the establishment shall send a notice to the inspector containing the name and situation of the establishment, name of the person in actual management of the establishment, address to which the communications relating to the establishments shall be sent and the nature of process or occupation carried on by the establishment, within 30 days from the date of employment of adolescents in the establishment. The employer shall maintain a register which shall contain the name and date of birth of every adolescent so employed or permitted to work; hours and periods of work of any such adolescent and the intervals of rest to which he is entitled; the nature of work of any such adolescent.
17. The Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment & Conditions of Service) Act, 1976 (“ISMWA”):
ISMWA regulates the migrant workmen and to provide for their conditions of service. It applies to every establishment which employees five or more inter-state migrant workmen who were employed on any day of the preceding 12 months. An establishment is prohibited to appoint any migrant workers without registration. In the event of non-payment of the displacement allowance, journey allowance and provision of other facilities such as regular payment of wages, equal pay for equal work irrespective of the sex, provision of suitable conditions of work, suitable residential accommodation, provision of medical facilities free of charge, protective clothing, in the event of fatal accident or serious bodily injury to any such workman, to report to the specified authorities of both the states and also the next of kin of the workman, by the contractor, the principal employer shall be liable to make such payments and shall be responsible for the provision of the facilities. The principal employer shall recover such amounts paid from the contractor by way of deduction from the amount payable or as a debt payable by the contractor to the principal employer. Every principal employer shall maintain registers and records mentioning the particulars of the inter-state migrant workmen employed, the nature of work performed by such workmen, rates of wages paid to the workmen. The register shall be maintained in Form XIII as prescribed by the Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment & Conditions of Service) Rules, 1981. The principal employer shall also maintain a register of contractors in Form XII. An annual return in Form XXIV shall be sent to the registering officer, by the end of every year.
18. The Karnataka Payment of Subsistence Allowance Act, 1988(“KPSA”):
An Act to provide for the payment of subsistence allowance to employees during the period of suspension. Employee, for the purpose of the KPSA means any person employed in the establishment and does not include a person who is mainly in the managerial or administrative capacity or who, being employed in a supervisory capacity, draws wages exceeding five hundred rupees per mensem or exercises, either by the nature of the duties attached to the office or by reason of the powers vested in him, functions mainly of a managerial nature. An employee who is placed in suspension shall be paid subsistence allowance which shall be equal to 50% of the wages drawn by the employee, immediately before such suspension, for the first 90 days. When such period of suspension exceeds 90 days but is less than 180 days, after the completion of such first 90 days, the employee shall be entitled to receive 75% of the wages. If such suspension period exceeds 180 days, the employee shall be provided with subsistence allowance at the rate of 90% of the wages drawn by the employee. When an enquiry for the criminal activity attributable to the employee is prolonged beyond a period of 90 days, the subsistence allowance payable beyond the period of 90 days shall be reduced to 50% of the wages earned by the employee immediately preceding such suspension.
Labour laws have been enacted for the sole purpose of safeguarding and promoting the interests of the workers and employees by covering the various legal aspects with respect to wages, equal opportunity, safety, health, holidays, conditions of work, welfare of labours etc. and hence, is considered as a backbone of every organization. As laid down under this Memorandum, it is evident that there are numerous laws pertaining to labour/human resource laws. Therefore, in order to simplify the compliances under certain laws, the Government of India has introduced “The Code on Wages, 2019 (“Code”)”. The Code basically seeks to regulate wage and bonus payments in all employments where any industry, trade, business, or manufacture is carried out. The Code has as on this date received assent of the President of India on 8th August, 2019, but its date of enforcement is yet to be notified in the Official Gazette.
Authors: Prashant Jain, Co-Founder & Partner; Abhishek Gupta, Associate.
Disclaimer: The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. For any queries, the authors can be reached at (i) firstname.lastname@example.org (ii) email@example.com.
Updated as on April 14, 2020
 Section 2 (o) of SHA
 Section 4 of SHA
 Section 22 of SHA
 For detailed article on SHA, please visit https://samistilegal.in/prevention-of-sexual-harassment-at-workplace/
 Section 2 (c) of ERA
 Section 4 of ERA
 Section 5 of ERA
 Equal Remuneration Rules, 1976
 Section 8 of ERA
 Section 3 of the Disabilities Act
 Section 2 (v) of the Disabilities Act
 Section 21 of the Disabilities Act
 Rule 5 of The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Rules, 2017
 Section 22 of the Disabilities Act
 Section 5 of the MB Act
 Section 4 of the MB Act, amended in 2017
 Section 5 of the MB Act
 Section 3 (4) of the MB Act
 Section 11 of the MB Act
 Section 11 A of the MB Act
 Section 20 of the MB Act r/w Rule 16 of the MB Rules
 Section 4 of the Gratuity Act
 Rule 4 of the Gratuity Rules
 Chapter IV of the EPFA
 Section 6 of the EPFA
 Section 2(14) of the PB Act
 Section 1(b) of the PB Act
 Section 10 of the PB Act
 Section 26 of the PB Act
 Section 3 of the PW Act
 Section 5 (b) of the PW Act
 Section 5(2) of the PW Act
 Section 5(2) of the PW Act
 Section 7 of the PW Act
 Section 7A of the KLWFA
 Section 4 of S&E Act
 Section 5 of the S&E Act
 Section 6A of the S&E Act
 Section of S&E Act
 Chapter IV of the S&E Act
 Section 3 of KIEA
 Section 3A of the KIEA
 Section 4 of KIEA
 Section 5 of KIEA
 Section 2 of CAPRA
 Section 7 of CAPRA
 Section 8 of CAPRA
 Section 9 of CAPRA
 Section 1(4) of ISMWA
 Section 4 and 6 of ISMWA
 Section 2(a) of KPSA
 Section 3 of KPSA
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