Wage code gets Rajya Sabha nod, to become law soon

Parliament on Friday approved the Code on Wages, 2019, a move that could extend the benefit of obligatory minimum wages to all workers The code, which does away with the variation in minimum wages across sectors, received the Rajya Sabha nod on Friday. The Lok Sabha had approved it on July 30. Minimum wages set by governments are currently applicable to only those who work in sectors employing 1,000 or more in the state concerned. Such scheduled sectors include 45 notified by the Centre and 1,709 listed by the state governments. The removal of restrictive criteria will help bring parity in wages among workers in different industries, apart form universalising the principle of minimum wage. However, since the wage levels differ widely among the states and wage floors are always strictly complied with, the proposed law will have a bearing primarily on those states where the wage floor is quite low.