What Code on Wages 2019 means for employees


Definition of Wages

Definition of Wages under the Code is defined as all remuneration whether by way of salaries, allowances or otherwise. This includes – basic pay, dearness allowance and retaining allowance, if any.

However, it excludes certain specified compensation items such as value of housing accommodation, conveyance allowance, leave travel allowance etc. If the specified exclusions other than gratuity payable, retrenchment compensation, other retirement benefits, ex-gratia paid on termination exceeds 50 per cent of the total remuneration, then the same will be added to the wages, according to the Code.

Important features

  • Under the most recent laws, an adult worker shall work over 9 hours per day or 48 hours per week and overtime shall be double the regular wages.
  • A female worker can work from 6 am to 7 pm. This can be relaxed to 9.30 pm upon explicit permission, and payment for overtime and safe transportation facility.
  • An employee has the right to paid public holidays and leaves such as casual leave, sick leave, privilege leave and other leaves. For every 240 days of work, an employee is entitled to 12 days of annual leave.
  • Usually it takes around a month’s time to get your full and final payment after you leave a job but according to the Code on Wages, 2019, notified on August 8, your employer will have to pay all your wages within two days after your last working day.
  • Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal Act, 2013 protects women at the workplace from sexual harassment. The Indian Penal Code provides a penalty of 3 years imprisonment for sexual harassment.
  • An employee cannot be given wages less than the legal minimum wages, as per law.
  • Any employee who draws salary up to Rs. 21000, is having right for claiming bonus, according to Payment of Bonus Act, 1965
  • An employee is entitled to receive timely salary at the end of every month.
  • In case the employer fires an employee, then a notice has to be served to the employee to prepare them for such termination. An employer cannot terminate an employee without giving a notice period.

Do keep in mind that though the Code on Wages, 2019 has been passed by the parliament, various procedural rules, forms, necessary for its implementation have not been notified yet. The preliminary draft rules have been uploaded on the website of Ministry of Labour and Employment on November 1, 2019 for inputs of various stakeholders and public. The date of actual implementation of code is likely to be notified once the rules for the code and other details such as floor wages are finalized and notified to ensure smooth implementation of the Code.

Ref- Malvika Mathur, Economic Times


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