Minimum Wages Act 1948
To secure minimum rates of wages in employment where wages are low.
To prevent exploitation of unorganized labor.
To ensure prompt payment of wages and overtime allowances.
To stipulate working hours.
Applicable to the workers who are not governed by the Payment of Wages Act and Factories Act.
Applicable in areas like Road Construction, Building Operations, Stone breaking, Stone crushing, etc.
A Construction or Building operation covers new constructions, repairs, and maintenance of existing roads, buildings, bridges, tunnels, culverts, etc.
Indian Railways - Construction of Permanent Way.
For workers employed in Scheduled employment listed in the Act - Wages fixed by the Central Government (Ministry of Labour)
Revised once in 5 years by the wage revision committee appointed by the appropriate Govt.
The wage revision committee
Members representing employers and workers in equal numbers.
Independent Members appointed by the appropriate Government - They should not be more than 1/3rd of Total Members.
Indian Railways - Local rate is fixed and revised every year. This can be enhanced by 20% to 33% in emergencies by DRM/GM with the concurrence of Finance. In the event of more than one local rate being available, the highest rate is paid.
Responsibility of Payment
The employer is responsible for prompt payment of wages to all workers including contract labour employed under him.
Wage Period and Method of Payment
Wage period not exceeding one month.
Less than 1000 workers - Wages should be paid on a working day within 7 days after the Wage period.
More than 1000 workers - Wages should be paid on a working day within 10 days after the Wage period.
Discharge from Service: Wages should be paid before the close of the second working day after the discharge.
Retrenchment: Retrenchment compensation should be paid to the retrenched worker on the day of retrenchment.
Pay Slip: Should be given at least one day before the payment.
Payment of wages in kind is prohibited.
Only authorized deductions are allowed from Wages.
Hours of Work
Day - Not more than 9 hours
Week - Not more than 48 hours.
Hours of Work (Spread over)
Day - Not more than 12 hours
Week - Not more than 48 hours.
Over Time Allowance
Calculated at twice the rate of Ordinary wages for extra hours worked exceeding 9 hours in a day or 48 hours in a week.
One day's rest with wages should be given to the worker every week.
CR - Compassionate Rest and OTA - Over Time Allowance are admissible for working on rest days.
Notice Board - Displayed
The rate of minimum wage is fixed.
Abstract of the Act.
Name and address of the Inspector in English, Hindi, and regional language.
Within 6 months.
Breach of provision and working hours – 6 months imprisonment or a fine of Rs. 500/-
Failure to maintain registers – a fine of Rs. 500/-
Key Points for MCQ
Minimum Wages Act - year 1948
Applicable to the workers who are not governed by the Payment of Wages Act and the Factories Act.
Applicable to the unorganized sector.
Workers employed in the Scheduled employment list in the Act - Minimum Wages fixed by the Central Government (Ministry of Labour)
Minimum wages - Revised once in 5 years.
Wage Revision Committee - Members representing Employer and Employee - in equal numbers. Independent members - not more than 1/3rd of Total Members
Indian Railways - Local rate fixed and revised every year. This can be enhanced by DRM/GM at the rate of 20% to 33% with the Finance concurrence.
Wage period - Not exceeding one month.
Less than 1000 workers - wages paid within 7 days from the wage period.
More than 1000 workers - wages paid within 10 days from the wage period.
Daily - not more than 9 hours (if spread over - not more than 12 hours)
Monthly - Not more than 48 hours
OTA -Over Time Allowance - Twice the wages
Rest - One day rest with wages - per every week.
Discharge from Service - Wages - within two days.
Retrenchment Compensation - On the same day
Pay Slip - One day before wages paid.
Failure to maintain Registers - Fine Rs. 500
Breach of provision & working hours - Fine Rs.500 or 6 months imprisonment or both.
Claims - Within 6 months.