The Ministry of Labour & Employment is likely to introduce the Code on Wages Bill for approval in the monsoon session of Parliament beginning July 2017.

The new Wage Code would ensure universal minimum wage for all workers and industries. Workers who are getting monthly wage higher than Rs 18,000 also will be covered.

Headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the ministerial panel on labour issues has already approved the Code on Wages. The ministry is in the process of getting the draft law approved by the Union Cabinet after scrutinising by the Ministry of Law.

The Code on Wages Bill seeks to empower the Centre to set a minimum wage across sectors and states will have to maintain that. However, states will be able to provide for higher minimum wage in their jurisdiction than fixed by the central government.

Besides, the minimum wage would be applicable on all classes of workers. At present, it is applicable for scheduled industries or establishments in the law.

The proposed Code on Wages will subsume the Minimum Wages Act of 1948, the Payment of Wages Act of 1936, the Payment of Bonus Act of 1965 and the Equal Remuneration Act of 1976.

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