After a big bonanza of 7th Pay Commission on allowances for over 48 lakh Central government employees recently, another good news may come on Wednesday as PM Narendra Modi led Union Cabinet is expected to approve the code on wages which proposes making minimum wages a statutory right for all employees. According to a labour ministry source, the code will then be tabled in the ensuing monsoon session of Parliament. Now, let’s understand what this wage code is all about and how it will benefit all the working professionals of various industries in the country.
– Code on Wages Bill: The Code would ensure universal minimum wage for all industries and workers. Moreover, it will also cover those workers who are getting a monthly pay of higher than Rs 18,000.
– The Code on Wages Bill seeks to empower the Centre to set a minimum wage across sectors and states will have to maintain that.
– Moreover, the best part is that states will be able to provide for higher minimum wage in their jurisdiction than fixed by the Central government.
– Besides, the minimum wage would be applicable on all classes of workers. At present, it is applicable for scheduled industries or establishments in the law.
– The universal minimum wage would be applicable for all workers irrespective of their pay.
– As of now, minimum wages are now applicable to 51 scheduled employments only. Now, the wage code amalgamates the provisions of four extant Acts — the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, The Payment of Wages Act, 1936, The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, and the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976. It means the wage code aims at reducing disparity in minimum wages across states. This means the proposed Code on Wages will subsume the Minimum Wages Act of 1948, the Payment of Wages Act of 1936, the Payment of Bonus Act of 1965 and the Equal Remuneration Act of 1976.
– The wage code will empower the Centre to notify a ‘national minimum wage’ (below which no state can fix their minimum wages) and this will be revised every two years (five years if the dearness allowance becomes part of the minimum wages).
Noteworthy, the ministerial panel on labour issues headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has already approved the Code on Wages. The ministry is in the process of getting the draft law approved by the Union Cabinet.