Wage Code Bill can help 500 million Indians. Here’s all you need to know about it

BCCL

  • The Lok Sabha passed the Code on Wages Bill, 2019 on Tuesday, paving the way for labour reform.
  • The move will benefit 500 million workers across the country.
  • The overtime wage will be twice the normal wages, if the bill goes through.
  • The minimum wages will be set by the government according to skills and difficulty of tasks.
The Lok Sabha passed the Code on Wages Bill, 2019 on Tuesday, paving the way for labour reform. The bill was introduced to extend provisions of minimum wage and timely payments to all employees — railways, mines and others.

The Minister of State for Labour and Employment said that the bill will ensure ‘Right to Sustenance’ regardless of the wage bracket, across verticals. The move will benefit 500 million workers across the country.

“This Bill provides for monthly wage holders to get their salary on time and all sections of society which were outside the ambit of the minimum wages will now get the right to minimum wages,” Santosh Kumar Gangwar, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment said in the Parliament.

The bill will revoke the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 and the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.

What amendments would the bill entail?

The bill will formulate laws to increase provision of minimum wages to employees across sectors. As of now, the Minimum Wages Act and Payment of Wages Act is applicable to workers below a certain wage bracket.

This will also help workers of unorganised sectors, receive timely payments. As per the amendment, the minimum wage for farmers shall be revised every two years while the wages should be revised every four years for other workers.

What are the provisions for minimum wages of employees?

The minimum wages will be set by the government according to skills and difficulty of tasks. The employers will not be able to set wages which are less than the base that will be set by the government.

How will it work?

The government will set a ‘floor wage,’ according to the employee’s standard of living. And the minimum wage shall be higher than the floor wage value, set by the central government.

How will it affect overtime policy and bonuses?

The government will define the minimum number of hours that will constitute a normal working day. And if the employees work more than that, they will be given overtime wages — which is at least twice of the normal wage.

The bill does not have provisions for bonuses like travel allowance and others.

What will be the mode of payment of salaries and wage period?

The employers can pay their employees either daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly via cheque, currency notes, bank transfer or digital payment modes.

How can it benefit female employees?

The bill will provide equal wages to both men and women for similar type of work. Employees will be hired on the basis of skill, effort, experience.

See also:
In India, money is making money while the worker is left with a third-- explaining the gaping income inequality in the world’s fastest growing economy

India has nearly 2,000 different minimum wages and the latest Economic Survey has called for ‘uniformity’— an idea corporates won’t like
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