Delhi Labour Department issues draft Minimum Wages (Delhi) Amendment Act, 2017

Delhi Labour Department issues draft Minimum Wages (Delhi) Amendment Act, 2017

September 14, 2017 Labour 0

The Labour Department of Delhi by way of a notification dated 9th August, 2017 has issued the draft Minimum Wages (Delhi) Amendment Act, 2017. The key highlights of the amendment are as follows;

 

Present PositionProposed AmendmentImplication 
    
Section 2. (ga) Not present.Section 2.(ga) State Government’means the Lieutenant Governor of National Capital Territory of Delhi, appointed by the President under Article 239 and designated as such under Article 239 AA of the ConstitutionThe proposed amendment seeks to provide more clarity on the aspect of the Appropriate Government through the incorporation of the definition. 
Section 4. Minimum rate of wages

 

(iii) Not present

 

Section 4. Minimum rate of wages

 

(iii) The appropriate government, in fixing or revising the minimum rates of the wages under foregoing sub-sections, shall take into account the skill required, the arduousness of the work assigned to the worker, the cost of living of the worker, and other such components which are related to fixing or revising minimum rates of wages as the Government may think appropriate.

 

 

 

The proposed amendment seeks to bring in a parameter which will help the appropriate government to compute, revise or fix the minimum rates of wages. The appropriate government will have to take the following into consideration:

 

(i)            skill required,

(ii)           arduousness of the work assigned to the worker,

(iii)          cost of living of the worker, and

(iv)         Any other such components related to fixing of minimum wages.

 

 
Section11: Wages in kind

 

Minimum wages payable under this Act shall be paid in cash.

 

Section11: Wages in kind

 

Minimum wages payable under this Act shall be paid by depositing the same in the bank account of the employees, electronically or by account payee cheque.

 

Provided that payment of wages to the workers employed on daily wages basis, not less than minimum wages as notified from time to time by appropriate Government, may be made in cash;

 

Provided further that in special circumstances which are beyond the control of employer like- fire in the establishment, natural calamities, death of employer or director of the establishment and other such circumstances as prescribed by appropriate government, the payment of wages may be made in cash.”

 

 

The proposed amendment replaces the mode of payment of wages in cash to payment by way electronic mode or account payee cheque in the bank account of the employees.

 

However, the proposed amendment still permits payment of wages in cash in the following cases;

 

(a)  to the daily wage workers (it cannot be less than the daily wage as notified by the appropriate government) .

 

(b) In certain special exigencies  like the following:

 

(i) fire in the establishment;

(ii) natural calamities;

(iii) death of employer; or

(iv) death of the  director of the establishment; and

(v) other such circumstances as prescribed by appropriate government.

 

 

 
Section 14. Overtime

 

 

Where an employee, whose minimum rate of wages is fixed under this Act by the hour, by the day or by such a longer wage-period as may be prescribed, works on any day in excess of the number of hours constituting a normal working day, the employer shall pay him for every hour or for part of an hour so worked in excess at the overtime rate fixed under this Act or under any law of theappropriate Government for the time being in force, whichever is

higher.

Section 14. Overtime

 

 

Where an employee, whose minimum rate of wages is fixed under this Act by the hour, by the day or by such a longer wage-period as may be prescribed, works on any day in excess of the number of hours constituting a normal working day  the employer shall pay him for every hour or for part of an hour so worked in excess at the overtime rate fixed under this Act which shall not be less than two times of the normal rate of wages fixed under this Act or under any law of the appropriate Government for the time being in force, whichever is higher

 

 

 

 

As per the proposed amendment, in case any employee works in excess of his normal working hours, the employer has to pay the employee for every excess hours of work at the overtime rate fixed under the Act.

 

However the rate of payment has to be more that than two times of the normal rate of wages fixed under this act or any other law, whichever is higher.

 
Section 20. Claims

 

 

(3) When any application under sub-section (2) is entertained, the Authority shall hear the applicant and the employer, or give them an opportunity of being heard, and after such further inquiry, if any, as it may consider necessary, may, without prejudice to any other penalty to which the employer may be liable under this Act, direct–

 

(i) in the case of a claim arising out of payment of less than the minimum rates of wages, the payment to the employee of the amount by which the minimum wages payable to him exceed the amount actually paid, together with the payment of such compensation as the Authority may think fit, not exceeding ten times the amount of such excess;

 

(ii) in any other case, the payment of the amount due to the employee, together with the payment of such

compensation as the Authority may think fit, not exceeding ten rupees,

and the Authority may direct payment of such compensation in cases where the excess or the amount due is paid by the employer to the employee before the disposal of the application.

 

Section 20. Claims

 

 

(3) When any application under sub-section (2) is entertained, the Authority shall hear the applicant and the employer, or give them an opportunity of being heard, and after such further inquiry, if any, as it may consider necessary, may, without prejudice to any other penalty to which the employer may be liable under this Act, direct–

 

 

 

(i) in the case of a claim arising out of payment of less than the minimum rates of wages, the payment to the employee of the amount by which the minimum wages payable to him exceed the amount actually paid, together with the payment of such compensation as the Authority may think fit, not exceeding ten times the amount of such excess;

 

(ii) in any other case, the payment of the amount due to the employee, together with the payment of such compensation as the Authority may think fit, not exceeding ten rupees, and the Authority may direct payment of such compensation in cases where the excess or the amount due is paid by the employer to the employee before the disposal of the application.

 

During the pendency of the proceeding or inquiry in the application preferred by the workman under sub-section(2), the workman shall not be retrenched, dismissed, terminated or laid-off without the prior approval of the Authority before whom the application is pending.”.

 

 

 

 

The proposed amendment in case of a pending application pending under Section 20(2) pertaining to a claim, the workman concerned cannot be retrenched, dismissed, terminated or laid-off without the prior approval of the Authority before whom the application is pending.

 
Section 22.  Penalties for certain offences.

 

Any employer who—

 

(a) pays to any employee less than the minimum rates of wages fixed for that employee’s class of work, or less than the amount due to him under the provisions of this Act, or

(b) contravenes any rule or order made under section 13

 

shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend tofive hundred rupees, or with both

Section 22.  Penalties for certain offences.

 

Any employer who—

 

(a) pays to any employee less than the minimum rates of wages fixed for that employee’s class of work, or less than the amount due to him under the provisions of this

Act, or

 

(b) contravenes any rule or order made under section 13

 

shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to twenty thousand rupees or with both

 

 

 

 

 

 

The proposed amendment revises the monetary penalty for certain offences pertaining to payment obligations of the employer to twenty thousand rupees from five hundred rupees, while the penalty of imprisonment remains the same.

 
22A.  General provision for punishment of other offences

 

General provision for punishment of other offences.-

 

Any employer who contravenes any provision of this Act or of any rule or

order made thereunder shall, if no other penalty is provided for such contravention by this Act, be punishable with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees

22A.  General provision for punishment of other offences

 

General provision for punishment of other offences.-

 

Any employer who contravenes any provision of this Act or of any rule or order made thereunder shall, if no other penalty is provided for such contravention by this Act, be punishable with imprisonment for a term of one year, or with fine twenty thousand rupees or with both

 

The quantum for general provision of punishment for other offences by way of the proposed amendment is set to be revised with imprisonment for a term of one year, or with fine twenty thousand rupees or with both.

 

The present punishment for the same offence is a fine of five hundred rupees.

 
31A.  Not Present.

 

31.A. The employer shall Upload the employee data on website or web portal in the manner as may be prescribed.”.The Proposed amendment seeks to bring in more transparency by adding a provision which mandates an employer to upload the data on website or web portal in the prescribed manner. 
 

Source: Delhi Labour Department

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