Status of the Code on Wages, 2019
The Code on Wages, 2019 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of Labour, Mr. Santosh Gangwar on July 23, 2019 and passed by Lok Sabha on 30/07/2019 and Rajya Sabha on 02/08/2019. It seeks to regulate wage and bonus payments in all employments where any industry, trade, business, or manufacture is carried out. The Code replaces the following four laws: (i) the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, (ii) the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, (iii) the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, and (iv) the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.
The president of India gave his assent to this code on 08/08/2019 and the code has been published in the official gazette on 08/09/2019 itself. However the provisions of this code have not come into effect on the date of notification of the code in the official gazette. Section 1(3) of the code provides that the code shall come into force on such date as the central government may by notification in the official gazette appoint; and different dates may be appointed for different provisions of the code and any reference in any such provision to the commencement of this code shall be construed as a reference in any such provision to the commencement of this code shall be construed as a reference to the coming into the force of that provision.
The date of implementation is the date of notification of the code in the official gazette i.e. 8th August, 2019. The Section 67 of the code states that the appropriate government (State Government) shall frame rules with respect to the particulars specified therein, however as of today, the Maharashtra State Government has not framed any rules in this regard. However, as specified under section 69 of the code, any notification, nomination, appointment, order or direction made under the enactments so repealed or any amount of wages paid shall be deemed to have been done or taken or provided for such purpose under the corresponding provisions of the Code on Wages and shall be in force to the extent that they are not contrary to the provisions of the Code on Wages and until such time that they are repealed under the corresponding provisions of the Code on Wages or by a notification to that effect by the Central Government. Therefore, till the time appropriate government does not frame rules, the rules of the repealed enactments will be in force.
With the commencement of the code, the appropriate government has to frame rules on particulars specified under section 67. Some of those particulars are as follows:
- Manner of calculating the wages under sub-section (4) of section 6;
- Prescribing authority for the resolution of dispute regarding similar or same nature of work;
- Fix number of working hour, day of rest in the period of seven days;
- the cases and circumstances in which an employee employed for a period of less than the requisite number of hours shall not be entitled to receive wages for a full normal working day, under section 10;
- the authority to provide approval for imposition of fine under sub-section (1) of section 19;
the manner of regulating the procedure by the Central Advisory Board and the State Advisory Board, including that of the committees and sub-committees constituted by the State Advisory Board, under sub-section (10) of section 42; etc.