The Code on Wages Bill has been approved by the Cabinet which would ensure universal minimum wage for all industries and workers. At the present moment, the code has only covered those who were getting paid under Rs.18,000 and with the new code, those who are getting paid of more than Rs.18,000 is also entitled to get minimum wages.
The proposed legislation is expected to benefit more than 4 crore employees. The Centre is now empowered to set the minimum wages across various sectors and the State has to adhere to that but since wages are in the concurrent list, the State can give higher wages than the minimum wages set by the Central Government.
Irrespective of scheduled industries or establishments, the new code covers employees from all the sectors.
The new code will lead to the amalgamation of four other wage related laws and acts which includes Minimum Wages Act, 1948; the Payment of Wages Act, 1936; the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, and the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 and there are atleast few definitions pertaining to wages under various acts. Some 40 labour laws will be clubbed into five laws and all wage related laws will now be a part of wage code.
This code however allows the difference of 10-30 percent according to the region taking into consideration various reasons like cost of living which includes rent, food and transport among others since a metropolitan life would be real expensive when compared to the life in tier 2 and tier 3 cities.