Asked July 12, 2016

Obligation to pay Minimum wages?

  • 1 Answer

Hello! I have a basic query that under minimum wages act there is Schedule of Employments, what if my primary activity for example manufacturing a product does not fall under the schedule of employment. But I also sell the manufactured product, which is trading and it falls under the Schedule of Employments. Am I bound to pay minimum wages? Any case laws supporting either side of the arguments will be helpful!

Answer 1

The Minimum Wages Act, 1948 was enacted in the view to ensure the subsistence and well-being of the labourers. Section 5 of the Act[1] lays out the procedure for fixing and revising minimum wages. The wages are fixed for a list of employments mentiones in the "Scheduled Employment." Section 12[2] read with Section 5 makes it mandatory for the employer to pay minimum rates of wages in respect of any Scheduled Employment.

Under Section 27, [3], the appropriate government (which includes State Governments) by notification in the Official Gazette can add employment in the Schedule, which therein, fixes the minimum rates of wages. Thus, depending on which State you hail from, the application of this Act could be different.

For instance, Kerala has included sale of umbrellas and pharmaceutical products; Punjab has included "dealing" of several goods, etc. Here are the links for KarnatakaKeralaPunjab, and Gujarat.



[1] Section 5. Procedure for fixing and revising minimum wages

[2] Section 12. Payment of minimum rates of wages.

[3] Section 27. Power of State Government to add to Schedule.

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