The Code on Wages, 2017 was recently introduced in Lok Sabha. The Code consolidates and modifies four Acts.
These Acts are:
- Payment of Wages Act, 1936
- Minimum Wages Act, 1949
- Payment of Bonus Act, 1965
- Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.
The Code will apply to establishments where any industry, trade, business, manufacturing or occupation is carried out. This will also include government establishments.
Key features of the Code are:
- National minimum wage: The central government may notify a national minimum wage for the country. It may fix different national minimum wage for different states or geographical areas. The minimum wages decided by the central or state governments will not be lower than the national minimum wage.
- Minimum wage: The Code requires employers to pay at least the minimum wages to employees. These wages will be notified by the central or state governments. The wages will be determined based on time, or number of pieces produced, among others.
- Payment of wages: Wages will be paid in coins, currency notes, by cheque, or through digital or electronic mode.
- Bonus: The employer will pay employees an annual bonus of at least: (i) 8.33% of their wages, or (ii) Rs 100, whichever is higher.