Labour Ministry notifies draft on minimum wages

The Union Labour and Employment Ministry on Tuesday published the draft rules framed for the implementation of the Code on Wages Act, 2019, that guarantees minimum wages to all, defines how the wages will be calculated and prescribes a national floorwage for all States.

Through a gazette notification, the Ministry sought comments and suggestions from the public for a period of 45 days from the date of publishing – July 7. The Code on Wages was the first of the four codes proposed by the government as a part of its labour law reforms that was passed by Parliament in August 2019. It subsumes the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 and the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.

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The draft rules published this week are similar to the preliminary draft published on the Ministry’s website in November, with one major change. After inviting suggestions on the preliminary draft, the Ministry has changed the work requirement for eligibility for minimum wages and other benefits from nine hours to eight.

An official of the Ministry said most of the around 1,200 comments received on the preliminary draft were on this issue. The official said the latest draft clarified the issue as the nine hours mentioned earlier included one hour of rest, which has now been mentioned separately from the eight working hours. Over 140 comments were received from institutional stakeholders like employees’ unions, employers’ associations and industry bodies, the official said.

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According to the draft rules, the basis for calculating the minimum wage would be a standard working class family of one earning worker, a spouse and two children, a net intake of 2,700 calories per day each, 66 metres of cloth per year, rent expenditure equal to 10% of the food and clothing expenditure, fuel, electricity and other miscellaneous expenses of 20% of minimum wage and expenditure on children’s education, medical care, recreation and contingencies amounting to 25% of minimum wage.

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Printable version | Jun 23, 2021 6:04:18 AM |

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