Equal Remuneration Act 1976

15/11/2020 0 By indiafreenotes

The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 provides for payment of equal remuneration to men and women and help prevent gender discrimination. Article 39 of the Indian Constitution envisages that the States will have a policy for securing equal pay for equal work for both men and women. To give effect to this constitutional provision, the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 was introduced.

An Act to provide for the payment of equal remuneration to men and women workers and for the prevention of discrimination, on the ground of sex, against women in the matter of employment and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

The purpose of the act is to make sure that employers do not discriminate on the basis of gender, in matters of wage fixing, transfers, training and promotion. It provides for payment of equal remuneration to men and women workers, for same work or work of similar nature and for the prevention of discrimination against women in the matters of employment.

The salient features of the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976

  • The Act is a Central Legislation and applies to the whole of India.
  • The objective of the Act is to provide for protection against discrimination of women workers on the ground of sex, about the payment of equal remuneration in the matter of employment.
  • Restricting the employer to create terms and conditions in a contract of service or work of labor contrary to equal pay for equal work doctrine and the provisions of Equal Remuneration Act.
  • The Act doesn’t make a distinction like employment or the period of employment and applies to all workers even if engaged only for a day or few days.
  • No overriding effect is given to any agreement, settlement or contract to the provisions of the Equal Remuneration Act.
  • Any settlement or any agreement with the employee that is detrimental to the employee isn’t allowed.
  • The Ministry of Labour and The Central Advisory Committee are responsible for enforcing this Act.
  • Meaning of equality of work: The equality of work is not based solely on the designation or the nature of work but also on factors like qualifications, responsibilities, reliabilities, experience, confidentiality, functional need and requirements commensurate with the position in the hierarchy are equally relevant.
  • When the employer doesn’t comply with the provisions of the act, he will be liable to pay fine, imprisonment, or both.

Various provisions of the Act

Every employer covered under this act shall pay the employees remuneration in cash/kind at a rate which shall not be less favourable to the other gender if the work is the same or of similar nature.

Same work or work of similar nature would mean if the work is performed under similar conditions either by a man or woman it would require the same skill, effort and responsibility. If there are any differences in the skill, effort and responsibility required from a man when compared to a woman the same is not important to the employment.

  • No employer shall be allowed to reduce the remuneration of any worker in order to comply with the provisions of this act.
  • In case the remuneration payable before the commencement of this act was different due to discrimination then going forward the higher(in case of two rates) or highest(in case of more than two rates) rate shall be payable. However the same shall not apply to the remuneration payable for the services rendered before the commencement of the act
  • While employees are recruited for work which is the same or of similar nature no discrimination shall be directed towards women unless any law prohibits the same. This provision is also extended to activities after recruitment i.e promotion, training or transfer. The reservations made towards Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes, ex-servicemen, retrenched employees or any other class or category of persons will not be affected by this provision.
  • An advisory committee shall be formed which shall consist of 10 members half of which shall be women and the committee shall focus on providing its advice for increasing the employment opportunities for women, hours of work, nature of work and such other matters.
  • Every employer is required to maintain registers and other documents in relation to the workers employed by him.
  • The appropriate government shall appoint inspectors for the purpose of investigation of compliance with the provisions of this act.
  • The Inspector shall have the power:
  • To enter any building/premises/factory/vessel
  • Require the production of documents
  • Take evidence from any person to confirm compliance of the act
  • Examine the employer/agent/servant