The Code on Wages Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Thursday. The Bill aims to fix a “universal minimum wage” to benefit more than 40 crore unorganised sector workers.
The Bill, which will club all the existing wage and bonus laws together under one umbrella, was introduced by Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya.
Here is what the Bill is about:
It will club four important bills – Payment of Wages Act 1936, Minimum Wages Act 1948, Payment of Bonus Act 1965 and Equal Remuneration Act 1976.
As per the Code, the government will determine minimum wages every five years.
The government will fix the national minimum wage for different states or areas.
A panel comprising of equal representatives of employers and employees and independent persons will give recommendation on wages.
The government will also fix the number of hours of work per week including a day of rest.
The Code also suggests that wages can be paid via any of the following – coin, currency note, cheque, digital modes, including directly crediting salary to the bank account. The government will also specify industrial or any other establishment where the salary will be paid only through cheque or digital mode.
The Code also states that daily wages will be paid at the end of the day while weekly wages will be paid on the last working day of the week. Fortnightly wages will be paid before the end of the second day after the conclusion of the working cycle.
Monthly wages will need to be paid before the seventh day of the succeeding month.
In case an employee quits or is dismissed from services, the wages will need to be paid within two working days.
The employer can only make deductions in the form of fines, housing accommodation, absence from duty, loss caused to property and extra amenities or services.