1. Minimum Wages Code set to end disparity in salaries; know how

Minimum Wages Code set to end disparity in salaries; know how

The government is likely to do away with the existing concept of scheduled employments under the Code on Wages, a move that will extend the benefit of obligatory minimum wages to all workers.

By: | Published: July 29, 2017 6:04 AM
Minimum Wages Code, scheduled employments, Code on Wages, minimum wages, central labour legislations, Payment of Wages Act, Payment of Bonus Act, agriculture labourer, NFLMW, Labour ministry, labour Acts, labour Acts in india The proposed code will have a provision for setting up a committee which will set and revise the minimum wages from time to time. (Image: PTI)

The government is likely to do away with the existing concept of scheduled employments under the Code on Wages, a move that will extend the benefit of obligatory minimum wages to all workers. Currently, minimum wages set by governments are applicable to only those who work in sectors employing 1,000 or more in the state concerned. Such scheduled sectors include 45 notified by the Centre and 1,709 listed by the state governments. Official sources said that the removal of restrictive criteria will help in bringing parity of wages among workers in different industries apart form universalising the principle of minimum wage. The proposed code, which will subsume four existing central labour legislations — The Minimum Wages Act, 1948, The Payment of Wages Act, 1936, The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 and The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 — will have a provision for setting up a committee which will set and revise the minimum wages from time to time. A source in the labour ministry said even for short duration of work, minimum wages will be applied and in such cases, it will be calculated on hourly basis.

The minimum wages for one unskilled agriculture labourer in the central sphere is Rs 300 per day while an unskilled person working in the non-agriculture sector is entitled to get Rs 350 a day. The minimum wages is calculated on the basis of the workers’ daily consumption pattern (on the basis of field studies), taking into consideration the minimum 2,700 K cal requirement for a family of three. The requirement of 72 meters of cloth per year, fuel, lighting, education and medical need and old age needs of the worker is also taken into consideration.

In the code on wages, the government is also doing away with the variation in minimum wages from sector to sector. The entire working population will be categorised on the basis of their skills and not sector-wise. The minimum wages in the states vary from state to state and in most of the cases is much lower than by the central sector. To bridge the gap and tide over its helplessness — as labour is in the concurrent list — the centre introduced the concept of a national floor level minimum wages (NFLMW) in 1991, but that also failed to make any cut since it is only suggestive in nature and has no statutory backing. The NFLMW now stands at Rs 176 per day.

Labour ministry sources said with the passage of labour code on wages, which might take more than six months since the Bill is likely to be referred to a select committee after tabling in Parliament next week, the provision of the NFLMW will be subsumed and the ingredients of calculating minimum wage at present will also be changed. The ingredients in the basket for calculating minimum wages in future are not known, but even if the proposed committee uses the present NFLMW, which is considered bare minimum, it will push the cost of labour. This will not only affect competitiveness of trade and industry, but also hit the ability of states to attract investments on the basis of lower wage rates.

The passage of the Code on Wages will be the first among the four the present dispensation has been looking at to unleash its long-pending labour reform initiative by amalgamating 44 existing labour Acts into four codes — on wages, industrial relations, social security & safety and health & working conditions.

  1. S
    S v sharma
    Aug 4, 2017 at 6:38 pm
    This is a historic move by the Govt. Which none of the earlier Govt. Have tried . Similarly same retirement age also to be introduced . Employment avenues on banks public sector have to grow. option of retirement to be given by banks and public sector to be given every year for age 58 and above.
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    1. M
      Mahananda
      Jul 29, 2017 at 6:43 pm
      An excellent move. Eventually hardworking people will get justice my perspective hourly basis wages is better since people who come and while away their time I'm working ng hours will bear the consequence.
      Reply
      1. U
        Umesh Sharma
        Jul 29, 2017 at 6:07 pm
        A long awaited measure which would help poor daily wage earners to get a fair deal . Many Governments came went and all claimed commitment to social justice , equality but dare not bring such a legislation! Compliments to " Communal Govt " having done what others living on mere social justice sloganeering dare not !
        Reply
        1. Pravin Desai
          Jul 29, 2017 at 2:46 pm
          Minimum wages for various jobs/works should be fixed on hourly basis rather than on daily or monthly or yearly basis . I think this is the practice followed in many countries.
          Reply
          1. Aman Agnihotri
            Jul 29, 2017 at 7:11 pm
            But productivity is main concern if you pay hourly basis and if productivity for that hour goes down , then are guys ready for cut.
            Reply
          2. N
            Nandkishor Prasad Singh
            Jul 29, 2017 at 2:25 pm
            Why hours of work and weekly off to all employees not strictly being followed in Entire Country's" and most of Industrial/Ins utes are grinding/atricising the "Middle/Lower" employees by paying minimum wages 12 hours and more work and no weekly off even near the Capital/New Delhi and other parts of the Country ???
            Reply
            1. B
              Bharat Bhushan
              Jul 29, 2017 at 2:13 pm
              Waht about auto industrial worker wages, insurance scheme, annual leave medical leave. Most of the industries are not allow worker to avail that. Please do some thing for them too.
              Reply
              1. S
                Shreepad joshi
                Jul 29, 2017 at 9:48 am
                This will be good move to counterbalance the feeling of urban population that only farmers are being taken care of. One more is required to take care of economically backwards till they get first job And move to create jobs itself Instead of doing away with reservation policy create facilities in such great numbers that everybody who seeks admission or jobs gets it.
                Reply
                1. P
                  Pawan Chandan
                  Jul 29, 2017 at 9:42 am
                  जनता के मसीहा देवपुरूष मोदी जी की जय !
                  Reply
                  1. V
                    Vickram
                    Jul 29, 2017 at 7:57 pm
                    Goo kha na uska roj ,
                    Reply
                    1. A
                      Abhishek
                      Jul 30, 2017 at 5:23 am
                      Desh ke Pradhan Mantri ke baare mein sahi bhaasha ka istemaal kar, utna bhi sikha nahi ?
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