The Employees Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 (EPF Act) and the Employees Provident Fund Scheme, 1952 (Scheme) make special provisions in respect of International workers (i.e., employees holding passports of a country other than India). The Scheme requires an employer to make contributions in respect of an international worker in accordance with its provisions, unless such international worker is an 'excluded employee'. An excluded employee, under paragraph 83 of the Scheme included an employee who is an international worker, contributing to the social security scheme of his home country, as a detached worker, in accordance with the provisions of a social security agreement entered into between India and his home country.

By an amendment dated 24 May 2012, the Ministry of Labour and Employment has extended the definition of an excluded employee to include an international worker in respect of whom the following conditions hold good:

The home country of the international worker concerned has entered into a bilateral comprehensive economic agreement (Agreement) with India;

  • The Agreement has been entered into prior to 1 October 2008;
  • The Agreement contains a specific clause exempting natural persons from either country from contributing to the social security fund of the host country; and
  • The international worker continues to make contributions to the social security fund of his home country in accordance with the specific exemption clause mentioned above.

By virtue of this amendment, international workers from Singapore would be eligible to be considered as 'excluded employees' under the Scheme.