Universal Wage Code Bill

Labour Ministry is expected to place Universal Wage Code Bill before Cabinet later this month. This Bill has already been approved by the ministerial panel on labour issues headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Labour Ministry is keen to push the bill for passage in the next session of parliament which is expected to begin next month.

Highlights of the Bill:

1. Bill will give powers to Centre to set a minimum wage across all sectors in the country and states will have to maintain that.

2. States can provide for higher minimum wage in their jurisdiction than fixed by the Centre.

3. The Minimum wage will be applicable on the classes of workers.

4. The universal minimum wage would be applicable for all workers irrespective of their pay.

5. The Proposed Code will subsume The Minimum Wages Act, 1948; The Payment of Wages Act, 1936; The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965; The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.

The labour ministry is in the process of condensing 44 labour laws into four codes– wages, industrial relations, social security and safety, health and working conditions.

The ministerial panel is also deliberating upon the Code on Industrial Relations, which will subsume Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, the Trade Unions Act, 1926, and the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946.

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