Ministry of Labour and Employments introduces “The Code on Wages Bills 2017” (‘Bill’) on August 8. 2017 in Lok Sabha.
Under the Bill, the ministry would like to rationalise 38 Labour Act by framing 4 labours Codes that is (i) Code on Wages (ii) Code on Industrial Relation (iii) Code on Social Security and (iv) Code on Occupational Safety, health and working conditions.
The ministry further clarifies that once the Code of Wages is enacted thereafter 4 Act, viz. the Minimum Wages Act, 1948; the Payment of Wages Act, 1936; the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965; and the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 would be repealed and the Bill would subsume the 4 existing Laws.
Thereafter the ministry introduces the concept of “National Minimum Wages” for different geographical areas which would ensure that no State Government fixes the minimum wage below the National Minimum Wages for that particular area as notified by the Central Government. The ministry further highlights that no amount has been fixed under “national minimum wage” in the Bill till date and the minimum wages would vary from place to place depending upon skill required, arduousness of the work assigned and geographical location.
In order to promote digitization and proposed the payment of wages through cheque or digital/ electronic mode, the provision of an Appellate Authority has been made between the Claim Authority and the Judicial Forum for the redressal of grievances and settlement of claims.
Central Govt. clarifies that penalties for different types of violations under this Code have been rationalized with a number of fines varying as per the gravity of violations and repeat of the offences. Further states that provision of compounding of offences has been made for those which are not punishable by a penalty of imprisonment