Minimum Wages under The Codes on Wages – 2019 : (Chapter – 2)

Minimum Wages under The Codes on Wages – 2019 : (Chapter – 2)

The Code on Wages – 2019

Chapter – 2: Minimum Wages

Payment of Minimum wages notified by appropriate government (Clause / Section  – 5)

This section provides for payment of minimum rate of wages. No employee shall be paid the wages lower than the minimum wage rate which notified by the appropriate government. This section provides as under;

Section 5. No employer shall pay to any employee wages less than the minimum rate of wages notified by the appropriate Government.

Fixation of minimum wages (Clause / Section – 6)

This section provides for fixation of the minimum wages by the appropriate government subject to the powers of central government for fixing floor wage. In any case, the minimum wage rate shall not be less than the floor wage notified by Central Government. This also provides tenure of wage period & categories of the skills of the workers. This section provides as under;

Section 6. 

(1) Subject to the provisions of section 9, the appropriate Government shall fix the minimum rate of wages payable to employees in accordance with the provisions of section 8.

(2) For the purposes of sub-section (1), the appropriate Government shall fix a minimum rate of wages––

(a) for time work; or

(b) for piece work.

(3) Where employees are employed on piece work, for the purpose of sub-section (1), the appropriate Government shall fix a minimum rate of wages for securing such employees a minimum rate of wages on a time work basis.

(4) The minimum rate of wages on time work basis may be fixed in accordance with any one or more of the following wage periods, namely: ––

(i)                     by the hour; or

(ii)                    by the day; or

(iii)                   by the month.

(5) Where the rates of wages are fixed by the hour or by the day or by the month, the manner of calculating the wages shall be such, as may be prescribed.

(6) For the purpose of fixation of minimum rate of wages under this section, the appropriate Government, —

(a) shall primarily take into account the skill of workers required for working under the categories of unskilled, skilled, semi-skilled and highly skilled or geographical area or both; and

(b) may, in addition to such minimum rate of wages for certain category of workers, take into account their arduousness of work like temperature or humidity normally difficult to bear, hazardous occupations or processes or underground work as may be prescribed by that Government; and

(c) the norms of such fixation of minimum rate of wages shall be such as may be prescribed.

(7) The number of minimum rates of wages referred to in sub-section (6) may, as far as possible, be kept at minimum by the appropriate Government.

  Components of minimum wages (Clause / Section – 7)

This section provides for for components of the minimum wages & calculation of cost of living allowance & cash value of the concessions.  This section describes as under;

Section 7.

(1) Any minimum rate of wages fixed or revised by the appropriate Government under section 8 may consist of––

(a) a basic rate of wages and an allowance at a rate to be adjusted, at such intervals and in such manner as the appropriate Government may direct, to accord as nearly as practicable with the variation in the cost of living index number applicable to such workers (hereinafter referred to as “cost of living allowance”); or

(b) a basic rate of wages with or without the cost of living allowance, and the cash value of the concessions in respect of supplies of essential commodities at concession rates, where so authorized; or

(c) an all-inclusive rate allowing for the basic rate, the cost of living allowance and the cash value of the concessions, if any.

 (2) The cost of living allowance and the cash value of the concessions in respect of supplies of essential commodities at concession rate shall be computed by such authority, as the appropriate Government may by notification, appoint, at such intervals and in accordance with such directions as may be specified or given by the appropriate Government from time to time.

 Procedure for fixing and revising minimum wages. (Clause / Section – 8)

This section describes the procedure that shall be followed for fixing the minimum wages by appropriate government including appointment of committee for such purpose. This describes as under;

Section 8.

(1) In fixing minimum rates of wages for the first time or in revising minimum rates of wages under this Code, the appropriate Government shall either —

(a)    appoint as many committees as it considers necessary to hold enquiries and recommend in respect of such fixation or revision, as the case may be; or

(b)    by notification publish its proposals for the information of persons likely to be affected thereby and specify a date not less than two months from the date of the notification on which the proposals shall be taken into consideration.

(2) Every committee appointed by the appropriate Government under clause (a) of sub-section (1) shall consist of persons––

(a)    representing employers;

(b)    representing employees which shall be equal in number of the members specified in clause (a); and

(c)     independent persons, not exceeding one-third of the total members of the committee.

(3) After considering the recommendation of the committee appointed under clause (a) of sub-section (1) or, as the case may be, all representations received by it before the date specified in the notification under clause (b) of that sub-section, the appropriate Government shall by notification fix, or as the case may be, revise the minimum rates of wages and unless such notification otherwise provides, it shall come into force on the expiry of three months from the date of its issue:

Provided that where the appropriate Government proposes to revise the minimum rates of wages in the manner specified in clause (b) of sub-section (1), it shall also consult concerned Advisory Board constituted under section 42.

(4) The appropriate Government shall review or revise minimum rates of wages ordinarily at an interval not exceeding five years.

 Power of Central Government to fix floor wage. (Clause / Section – 9)

This section defines the powers of the central government to fix the floor wage considering the advice of the Central Advisory Board. This describes as under;

Section 9.

(1) The Central Government shall fix floor wage taking into account minimum living standards of a worker in such manner as may be prescribed:

Provided that different floor wage may be fixed for different geographical areas.

(2) The minimum rates of wages fixed by the appropriate Government under section 6 shall not be less than the floor wage and if the minimum rates of wages fixed by the appropriate Government earlier is more than the floor wage, then, the appropriate Government shall not reduce such minimum rates of wages fixed by it earlier.

(3) The Central Government may, before fixing the floor wage under sub-section (1), obtain the advice of the Central Advisory Board constituted under sub-section (1) of section 42 and consult State Governments in such manner as may be prescribed. 

Wages of employee who works for less than normal working day. (Clause / Section – 10)

This section provides for entitlement of wages to an employee in the case an employee works on any normal working day less than the requisite number of hours. No entitlement of receiving wages for a full working day. This describes as under;

Section 10. If an employee whose minimum rate of wages has been fixed under this Code by the day works on any day on which he was employed for a period of less than the requisite number of hours constituting a normal working day, he shall, save as otherwise hereinafter provided, be entitled to receive wages in respect of work done on that day, as if he had worked for a full normal working day:

Provided that he shall not be entitled to receive wages for a full normal working day,—

    • in any case where his failure to work is caused by his unwillingness to work and not by the omission of the employer to provide him with work; and
    • in such other cases and circumstances, as may be prescribed.

 Wages for two or more classes of work (Clause / Section – 11)

This section provides for wages for two or more classes of work. This describes as under;

Section 11. Where an employee does two or more classes of work to each of which a different minimum rate of wages is applicable, the employer shall pay to such employee in respect of the time respectively occupied in each such class of work, wages at not less than the minimum rate in force in respect of each such class.

Minimum time rate wages for piece work (Clause / Section – 12)

This section provides for minimum time rate for piece work. This describes as under;

Section 12. Where a person is employed on piece work for which minimum time rate and not a minimum piece rate has been fixed under this Code, the employer shall pay to such person wages at not less than the minimum time rate.

Fixing hours of work for normal working day (Clause / Section – 13)

This section provides for fixing hours of work for normal working day, on day of rest and payment for day of rest by the appropriate government. This describes as under;

Section 13.

(1) Where the minimum rates of wages have been fixed under this Code, the appropriate Government may —

(a)    fix the number of hours of work which shall constitute a normal working day inclusive of one or more specified intervals;

(b)    provide for a day of rest in every period of seven days which shall be allowed to all employees or to any specified class of employees and for the payment of remuneration in respect of such days of rest;

(c)     provide for payment for work on a day of rest at a rate not less than the overtime rate.

(2)    The provisions of sub-section (1) shall, in relation to the following classes of employees apply, only to such extent and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed, namely:—

(a)    employees engaged in any emergency which could not have been foreseen or prevented;

(b)    employees engaged in work of the nature of preparatory or complementary work which must necessarily be carried on outside the limits laid down for the general working in the employment concerned;

(c)     employees whose employment is essentially intermittent;

(d)    employees engaged in any work which for technical reasons has to be completed before the duty is over; and

(e)    employees engaged in a work which could not be carried on except at times dependent on the irregular action of natural forces.

(3)    For the purposes of clause (c) of sub-section (2), employment of an employee is essentially intermittent when it is declared to be so by the appropriate Government on the ground that the daily hours of duty of the employee, or if there be no daily hours of duty as such for the employee, the hours of duty normally include periods of inaction during which the employee may be on duty but is not called upon to display either physical activity or sustained attention.

Wages for overtime work (Clause / Section – 14)

This section provides for fixing of wages for overtime work. This describes as under;

Section 14. Where an employee whose minimum rate of wages has been fixed under this Code by the hour, by the day or by such a longer wage-period as may be prescribed, works on any day in excess of the number of hours constituting a normal working day, the employer shall pay him for every hour or for part of an hour so worked in excess, at the overtime rate which shall not be less than twice the normal rate of wages.

 

Ref. & Courtesy: Official Website of The Ministry of Labour & Employment, Government of India.

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