Govt Wants 9-Hour Working Day For All; Employee Unions Reject Rs 375/Day As Minimum Wage

Govt Wants 9-Hour Working Day For All Employees; Employee Unions Reject Rs 375/Day As Minimum Wage
Govt Wants 9-Hour Working Day For All Employees; Employee Unions Reject Rs 375/Day As Minimum Wage

As per the reports, The draft rule on wages has not decided on a minimum wage yet and it is expected that expert committees will suggest a minimum wage to the government in the near future. 

What Would Be The Minimum Wage?

The report clearly mentions the Govt suggesting 9-hour working day, but yet not decided on fixing a minimum wage in draft rule. 

According to the publically available draft, The number of hours which shall constitute a normal working day shall be of nine hours. 

The draft rule also mentions the HRA will be 10% of the minimum wage but will not classify whether it will be based on the category of the cities people live in. 

Although, the draft rule creates an ambiguity as it also underlines that eight hours of daily work will be calculated for 26 days of work a month for fixing monthly salary, which is actually an existing rule followed for decades.

What Does The Trade Union Say?

A.K. Padmanabhan, vice president of the Centre for Indian Trade Union said “Some factories are already pushing people to do nine-hour normal workday. What these wage code rules is trying to achieve is institutionalise it for all. We have opposed the wage code and we shall oppose the rule because they are not talking about workers welfare,”.

Same as the Labour Code on Wages, the draft rule on wages is still undecided on a minimum wage. 

The report informs that the expert’s committee will suggest the central government in the future.

What Would Be The Monthly Wages?

In the January report from the internal panel of the Union labour ministry said that “the single value of the national minimum wage for India should be set at Rs. 375 per day as of July 2018″.

The seven-member panel had suggested the minimum monthly wage of Rs.9,750.  

What Would Be The Housing Allowances?

In addition to that they had suggested that a housing allowance of Rs. 1,430 should also be provided for city-based workers.

After 70 years of independence “the country is still talking about floor wage which is even below the minimum wage. There has to be three classification of wage: minimum wage, fair wage and living wage. in 2019 we should have spoken about living wage for better living standards. The wage code rule lacks vision for a new India. We shall oppose it.” said Saji Narayanan president of the RSS affiliate Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS).

He believes in six-hour workday instead of an eight hour or nine-hour workday.

This draft also recommends that the floor wage should be revised every five years or less. 

When Would This Report Be Finalized?

According to reports the draft rules will be finalized in December after receiving public comments for a month.

Aside from this the draft rules suggests that for deciding the minimum wage, the country will be divided into three geographic categories — metropolitan area having a population of 40 lakhs or more, non-metropolitan area having a population of between 10 lakhs to 40 lakhs and rural areas. 

What Other Parameters Would Decide The Minimum Wage?

As per the draft rules, the house rent will be 10% of the minimum wage but does not classify whether it will be higher based on the category of the cities people live.

The housing rent at 10% of food and clothing expenditure does not match the present-day realities as economic migration from rural to urban areas is an increasing reality in India.

Moreover, the draft rule suggests an existing rule that expenditure on fuel, electricity and other miscellaneous items will constitute 20% of minimum wage.

Apart from these attributes, the draft rule also mentions an intake of 2,700 calories per day, 66 meters clothes per annum for a standard family will be taken into account while calculating wage.

The minimum wage calculation first done in 1957 and all these parameters are part of the same.

Also, the standard family consumption has been defined as three units – the working member as one, the spouse (0.8 unit) and two children (0.6 unit each).

Which seems to be a deviation from what its internal committee had suggested earlier this year.  Which is to increase the consumption unit to 3.6 instead of three. (reference)

 Narayanan said, “We have told labour ministry earlier during discussion phase that they must calculate minimum wage based on six units – worker, spouse, two kids and parents,”.

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