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Circular No. C – 149 Date: -14-10-2014
Minimum Wages of Rs. 12,000/= p.m. for Unskilled adult and Juvenile
workers w.e.f. 01-07-2014 declared by the Govt. of Punjab
The Punjab Government has issued the Notification dated 11-9-2014, published in the Punjab Gazette dated 16-9-2014. The Notification has been issued on the recommendation of the Punjab Minimum Wages Board under Section 6 of the Minimum Wages Ordinance, 1961. Our comments on it are given as under:
1- The minimum wages of adult unskilled workers (male and female) and juvenile workers employed in all industrial undertakings in the Punjab has been declared under the Minimum Wages Ordinance, 1961 at the rate of Rs. 12,000/= p.m. or Rs. 462/= per day w.e.f. 01-07-2014.
2- Section 2(6) of the Ordinance defines industry as contained in Section 2(xiv) of I.R.O., 1969. The term “industrial undertaking” is not used in the Ordinance but it could mean the same as industry. The definition of industry under IRO, 1969 is so wide that it includes any business, trade, manufacture, calling, service, employment or occupation be it factory, industry or commercial organization.
3- The daily wage declared is 1/26th of the monthly wage which includes element of wages of the weekly day offs in it and, therefore, no separate payment is required to be made for weekly day offs.
4- Deduction of Rs. 150/= p.m. for providing house accommodation and Rs. 30/= p.m. for providing transport from the minimum wages have been allowed which is too low.
5- Please note that the minimum wage is inclusive of the basic wage and all regular allowances whatsoever.
6- If wages of any unskilled worker or juvenile worker paid is more than the minimum wage, it cannot be reduced.
7- The daily/weekly working hours, conditions of overtime work, etc shall be regulated by the Factories Act, 1934, Payment of Wages Act, 1936 and other relevant labour laws.
8- The minimum wage declared is of the unskilled adult, male, female and juvenile workers only. This would call for management action in respect of the workers above the unskilled categories to appropriately revise their wages.
9- As may be known, many small establishments are unable to pay even Rs.10,000/= p.m. minimum wage. Now fixing the minimum wage of Rs. 12000/= p.m. when there are crisis of electricity and gas going on in the country and more so in the Punjab compelling closure of establishments and making large number of workers unemployed, it is not appropriate time to fix this rate of the minimum wage which may compound the problem and increase un-employment.
10- The above may be carefully read along with the Gazette to further understand the matter. In case of any doubt you may consult your labour laws consultant.
For M/s S.M. Yaqoob
Industrial Relations Advisers and
Labour Laws Consultants