Labour Reforms: Unified Wage Bill Introduced In Lok Sabha To Replace Four Separate Wage Laws

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Towards the stated aim of consolidating labour regulations in the country, the Code on Wages Bill, 2019 has been introduced in the Lok Sabha to repeal four separate existing laws in the field.

The Code on Wages Bill subsumes relevant provisions of The Minimum Wages Act, 1948, The Payment of Wages Act, 1936, The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 and The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 which will get repealed post its enactment.

The new act universalises the provisions of minimum wages and timely payment of wages to all employees irrespective of the sector and wage ceiling thus increasing the legislative protection of minimum wage from existing about 40 per cent to 100 per cent of the workforce.

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The bill will also help simplify the definition of minimum wages, which at present are defined across the different acts. As many as 12 definitions of wages exist in different labour laws leading to litigation besides difficulty in its implementation.

The bill also does away with the type of employment as one of the criteria for fixation of minimum wages and will instead figure in the geography and skills as factors for the deciding the minimum wages. This will substantially reduce the number of minimum wages in the country from existing more than 2000 rates of minimum wages.

The bill will go on to benefit as many as 50 crore workers in the country, the release by the Ministry of Labour & Employment has said.

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