Wages of contractual employees – Reply in Rajya Sabha
Wages of contractual employees
The Central and the State Government departments and agencies, on the basis of manpower requirement therein, engage various sets of workmen other than permanent employees viz. daily wagers, casual workers, temporary workers, ad-hoc appointees, contractual employees etc which are engaged by an establishment directly or through contractors. The wages, terms & conditions of service and the period of engagement of such workers in an establishment varies from establishment to establishment. Data in this regard is not centrally maintained.
The principle of “equal pay for equal work” was examined by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the civil appeal number 213 of 2013. The issue before the Hon’ble Supreme Court was that:
“…..whether temporarily engaged employees (daily-wage employees, ad- appointees, employees appointed on casual basis, contractual employees and the like), are entitled to minimum of the regular pay-scale, alongwith dearness allowance (as revised from time to time) on account of their performing the same duties, which are discharged by those engaged on regular basis, against sanctioned posts….”
The Hon’ble Supreme Court held that:
“….There can be no doubt, that the principle of ‘equal pay for equal work’ would be applicable to all the concerned temporary employees, so as to vest in them the right to claim wages, at par with the minimum of the pay-scale of regularly engaged Government employees, holding the same post….”
It is mandatory for the employer/principal employer to comply with the various statutory provisions/Court Orders/Government Instructions including instructions on wage related issues of various categories of employees and apply the principle laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court regarding “equal pay for equal work” while paying wages to its workers/labourers.
The instructions regarding equal pay admissible to casual workers already exists in terms of Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) O.M. No. 49014/2/86 Estt. (c) dated 07.06.1988.
In so far as the contract labour is concerned, the Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Central Rules, 1971 provides for wage parity as stipulated in rule 25(2)(v)(a) which is reproduced below:
“in cases where the workmen employed by the contractor perform the same or similar kind of work as the workmen directly employed by the principal employer of the establishment, the wage rates, holidays, hours of work and other conditions of service of the workmen of the contractor shall be the same as applicable to the workmen directly employed by the principal employer of the establishment on the same or similar kind of work…..”
In order to ensure compliance of labour laws and in this regard, there is separate enforcement machinery available in the Central and the State Sphere to which an aggrieved worker can approach for redressal of its grievances.
In the Central sphere there is a well-established Central Industrial Relations Machinery (CIRM) having country-wide network of Dy. Chief Labour Commissioners (Central) and Regional Labour Commissioners (Central) under the control of the Chief Labour Commissioner (Central) for enforcement of labour laws and redressal of grievances/settlement of claims arising out of labour disputes.
The above statement was submitted by the Ministry of Labour and Employment in Rajya Sabha in reply of undermentioned question:-
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT
STARRED QUESTION NO-83
Wages of contractual employees
83 . Shri Sanjay Raut
(a) whether it is a fact that there are lakhs of contractual employees working in Government Departments and agencies who are getting lesser wages than permanent employees;
(b) if so, Government”s respose thereto;
(c) whether Supreme Court in its judgement, in the year 2016, has ordered that temporary workers are entitled to get wages at par with permanent employees;
(d) if so, Government”s reaction thereto; and
(e) whether the Ministry of Law and Justice has advised the various Ministries and Departments to abide by the SC judgement?
MINISTER OF STATE (IC) FOR LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT
(SHRI SANTOSH KUMAR GANGWAR)
(a) to (e): A Statement is laid on the Table of the House.
STATEMENT REFERRED TO IN REPLY TO PART (a) to (e) OF THE RAJYA SABHA STARRED QUESTION NO. *83 FOR 25.07.2018 BY SHRI SANJAY RAUT REGARDING WAGES OF CONTRACTUAL EMPLOYEES.
(a) to (e):
– as above –