The Centre will implement the rules for Code on Wages 2019 within two months. Post amendment and consolidation of wage-related laws, the draft rules of the Code on Wages Bill, 2019 are already out for the public to give their feedback.
Once enacted, the Code will incorporate the Minimum Wages Act, Payment of Wages Act, Payment of Bonus Act and Equal Remuneration Act. Many workers from the unorganised sector — painters, guards/chowkidars, agricultural workers, helpers at restaurants and dhabas — who were earlier excluded from the ambit of minimum wages, will now be legally protected by minimum wages once the Code is implemented.
As per the draft:
• All employees are ensured of minimum wages and timely payment of wages, irrespective of the wage ceiling or the sector they belong to. Women, men or those from the transgender community will not be discriminated against in terms of wages.
• Mandatory working hours remain the same, that is, eight hours.
• The definition of labour has been simplified to reduce chances of litigation and compliance cost for employers.
• Floor wage will be calculated on the basis of minimum living conditions. This floor-level minimum wage will be fixed considering the minimum living standard, including food, clothing, housing and any other factors considered by Government’s advisory committee.
The Union Ministry of Labour has made the draft rules available in the Official Gazette on July 7, where it will be open for public feedback for 45 days. If no issues are pointed out within this period, the same will be implemented.
In August 2019, the Code, which is expected to benefit about 50 crore workers across India, had received the Parliament’s approval.