Parliament of India (File Photo)
Parliament of India (File Photo)

Parliament passes Code on Wages Bill

ANI | Updated: Aug 02, 2019 20:28 IST

New Delhi (India), Aug 2 (ANI): Parliament on Friday approved the Code on Wages Bill, 2019, which codifies 44 labour laws into four codes, with the Rajya Sabha passing it after a division sought by the CPI-M was negated.
The Bill deals with the minimum wages, its ceiling and timely payment of wages to all employees irrespective of the sector they work in and was approved with 85 votes in favour and 8 against it.
The Lok Sabha has already passed the Bill that seeks to subsume four labour laws -- Minimum Wages Act, Payment of Wages Act, Payment of Bonus Act and Equal Remuneration Act.
Labour and Employment Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar moved the Bill and said it will effectively address the problems relating to delay in payments of wages whether on monthly, weekly or daily basis.
He said 50 crore workers working in the organised and unorganised sector will be benefitted after the implementation of the Bill provision.
Gangwar said that the penalties have been rationalised and the inspection process was made more transparent, adding that the floor wage will be decided in consultation with the state governments.

At present, the provisions of both the Minimum Wages Act and Payment of Wages Act apply on workers below a particular wage ceiling working in Scheduled Employments only.

The Minister said it has been ensured in the Bill that employees getting monthly salary will receive it by 7th of next month, those working on a weekly basis will get the salary on last day of the week and daily wagers should be paid on the same day.
Under the Code, the tripartite committee comprising representatives of trade unions, employers and state governments would fix a floor wage for workers throughout the country.
At present, there are 12 definitions of wages in the different labour laws leading to litigation besides difficulty in its implementation. The definition has been simplified in the Bill and is expected to reduce litigation and also reduce compliance cost for employers.
Gangwar said that the government has accepted 17 out of the 24 recommendations made by the Standing Committee which had scrutinised a similar Bill introduced in the previous Lok Sabha.
Participating in the debate, Congress member P Bhattacharya raised concerns over the definition of bonus in the Bill and sought to know as to how Acts like the ESI, PF and others can be amalgamated.
AAP's Sanjay Singh said the Bill lets off those violating labour law with a light punishment.
"Previously, violations were a criminal offence. But now, the violator will be let off with a fine," he said. (ANI)