After a big bonanza of the 7th Pay Commission for government employees, another good news which is expected to benefit over 4 crore employees across India is catching the eyeballs. The Union Cabinet has approved the new Wage Code Bill which marks the major initiative of the Government in amalgamating four labour related laws. This move is being viewed as one of the bold steps taken by the Labour Ministry to set a minimum wage a statutory right for all employees.
At present, the minimum wages fixed by the center and states are applicable to workers getting up to Rs 18,000 pay monthly. The bill, which is likely to be introduced in Parliament during the ongoing monsoon session will conclude on August 11.
Also until now, the central government was the decision authority for fixing wages in their own sphere while states were primarily responsible for fixing their areas leading to non-uniformity. The lack of methodology to fix the wages of workers was adding to the complexity. This wage code bill might solve these problems to an extent.
Here are a few things the Code On Wages talks about:
The ministry has taken major steps by consolidating four labour laws such as — the Minimum Wages Act, 1948; the Payment of Wages Act, 1936; the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965; and the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.
It aims at reducing disparity in minimum wages for all industries and workers irrespective of scheduled industries or establishments.
The bill seeks to empower even those employees getting a monthly pay of higher than Rs. 18,000 to a minimum wage.
The center will also revise the minimum wages periodically to ensure that the wages stay relevant with the time.
All states have to adhere to the minimum wage fixed by the center
The state government will have the power to provide higher minimum wage apart from the one fixed by the central government
The move will be popular among those unskilled workers who are not fairly paid and are in an urgent need of wage revision.
However, with set of benefits, there comes a challenge. The good news is that the Indian Government is in its full swing to bring about changes in labour law system in our country. But with this uniform and minimum wages across India, we can expect a more effective, transparent law system across all industries. However, initially all will not be smooth sailing. A policy change is sure to have some initial troubles. On one hand, this move will be a great step to higher productivity leading to the maximum satisfaction of both skilled and unskilled workers.