August 03, 2019

Parliament Passes Code On Wages Bill, 2019 Which Ensures Minimum Wages For Workers In The Unorganized Sector

[ By Bobby Anthony ]


The Code On Wages Bill, 2019 is all set to receive the President’s assent and become law shortly, after being passed in both the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha.

As per this bill, the minimum wage fixed by the central government will no longer be based on employment, but on geography and skills.

After the bill becomes law, unorganized sector workers like agricultural workers, painters, those working in restaurants as well as door keepers, who were outside the ambit of minimum wages, will get legislative protection of minimum wages.

The bill will ensure that employees getting a monthly salary are paid by the seventh day of the next month. Those working on a weekly basis will be paid on the last day of the week, while daily wagers will get paid on the same day.

The bill seeks to universalize provisions of minimum wages and timely payment of wages, which will be computed based on minimum living conditions.

The bill seeks to streamline the definition of wages by amalgamating four related statutes, namely the Minimum Wages Act, 1948; the Payment of Wages Act, 1936; the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 and the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.

Currently, there are about half a dozen definitions of wages in various acts across the centre and the states, which are binding on employers.

The labor ministry plans to amalgamate 44 labor laws into four codes — on wages, industrial relations, social security, safety, health and working conditions.

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