Good news for workers in Delhi! Fixed minimum wages, punishment for faulty employers; details here

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New Delhi | Updated: May 09, 2018 2:39 PM

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal shared the information about President's nod to the law on Twitter. "Finally, Central Govt gives its approval after several months.

labour chowk delhiWorkers at Old Delhi’s Labour Chowk. Thousands of workers assemble here daily. (IE file)

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal shared the information about President’s nod to the law on Twitter. “Finally, Central Govt gives its approval after several months. This will act as a strong deterrent against those employers who do not pay full min wages. Del govt will take strong action against such people,” Kejriwal tweeted.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) tweeted from its official handle: “BREAKING NEWS Delhi Govt’s Amendment to Minimum Wages Act, with provision of imprisonment and a fine of Rs.20,000 on employers for not paying minimum wages gets the President’s assent.”

As per a new notification of Delhi government’s Department of Law, Justice and Legislative Affairs, it is mandatory for employers to pay wages electronically. Employers can pay wages in cash only in some special circumstances like natural disasters, fire, death of the employer or director of the firm etc.

In March 2017, Delhi government had raised minimum wages to Rs 13,896 per month for unskilled worker; Rs 15,296 for semi-skilled worker; Rs 16,858 for skilled persons. Among clerical and supervisory staff, Rs 15,296 for Non-Matriculate; Rs 16,858 for Matriculate but not Graduate; Rs 18,332 for Graduate and above. This was then approved by Delhi L-G.

Schedule of EmploymentsCategory of Workmen/EmployeesMinimum rates of wages in Rupees
Per MonthPer Day
All Schedule employmentsUnskilled13,896/-534/-
Semi skilled15,296/-588/-
Skilled16,858/-648/-
Clerical and supervisory staff
Non Matriculate15,296/-588/-
Matriculate but not Graduate16,858/-648/-
Graduate and above18,332/-705/-

The Minimum Wages (Delhi) Amendment Bill was first tabled in 2015. It was passed again in August last year after the Centre had asked Delhi government to introduce some changes to the proposal.

Here are some important details about the new law:

– The court before which the prosecution complaint is made under Section 22 of the Act will dispose it off within a month from the date of filing.

– The employer needs to upload the employee data on website or web portal in the manner as may be prescribed.

– The amended act says, “the employer shall pay him (employee) for every hour or for part of an hour so worked in excess at the overtime rate fixed under this Act which shall not be less than two times of the normal rate of wages fixed under this act or under any law of the appropriate Government for the time being in force, whichever is higher.

– Faulty employers can be punished with up to one-three years jail term, or with fine up to Rs 20000-50000, or with both.

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