The Payment of Wages Act, 1936

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Prior to the Act there was no proper regulation of payment made to workmen in India. The Bill known as the weekly payment bill passed for the first time in the Assembly, and some improvement made to the earlier condition as wages paid to employee by employer made regular and restricted in the delay in payment of wages. And then Royal Commission on labor in India was formed to make improvements in the matter of payment of wages and connected matters. Royal Commission made recommendations and included that the children need to exempt from fines by the employer and minimum amount should be taken from the employee as fine and the amount taken as fine should be spent for the uses of employee which in turn act as beneficial to them.

A few years later based on the recommendations of Royal Commission on Labour in India, a bill of Payment of Wages Act been introduced in the Assembly in 1993 and the Act was passed and came in to force on 21st day of March 1936. However the Act made changes to present situation by amending the Act in the year 1937, 1957, 1964 and in 1976. The main objective of the Act is to regulate the payment of wages to classes of employed person in the provided establishment against the unauthorized deductions made by the employer. Various decisions been noted and one of them is Arvind Mills Ud V. K.R. Gadgil and it observed that Act been a beneficial one to the employee and it laid to protect the employed persons as they must paid the wages in a particular form and at regular intervals without any form of any unauthorized deductions.

Act consists of 26 Sections in brief and explanations provided thereto and extends to the whole of India. Section 3 of the Act deals with the responsibility for payment of wages and responsibility held on the workmen as employer to employee who working in the establishments as specified. In the employment of contracts, contractor should held responsible for the payment of wages. Every employer should pay the wages to his or her employee for the period not exceeding one month as specified in Section 4 and in case employer contravenes the provision of payment period he punished for the same as specified. With regard to the time of payment of wages, every employer must follow the rules laid in Section 5 and 6 of the Act

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As specified in Act Deductions can be made by a employer from the employee’s wages as and Fines can be imposed as laid in Section 8 only by provided  acts and omissions specified in notices which is approved by the State Government, or the Chief Inspector of Factories and no fine could be imposed or permitted to impose on employed person unless the employed person given opportunity of show cause. Deductions deals widely under Sections 7, 9 to 13 as deductions in the case of employment made to employee and the deductions for absence of duty of employee for a specified days without prior notice to the employee, Deductions also can be made to employee by employer for any type of damage made by the employee, Deductions can be made from the over payment of wages made to the employee if any advances made to him.

There may be persons appointed as Inspectors under the Act to look after the proper administration and enforcement of Act, State Inspectors  o factories and Chief Labour Commissioner appointed to look after the proper administration and inspection over the factories and it been the duty of every employee to provide the documents to Inspectors while inspection. State Government appoints a presiding officer of any Labour Court to deal with the matters of deductions and delay in payment. Every authority appointed under the Act has all the powers of a Civil Court under the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 while dealing with the matters regarding taking of evidence, attendance of witness etc. Any person whoever contravenes any provision as specified under the Act be liable to be penalized as specified in Section 20 of the Act. No suit or legal proceedings could be taken against the authorities under the Act as Act constituted for the good faith. State Government as specified under Section 26 has the authority and power to make rules and to regulate the procedure to be followed by the Authorities and Courts as specified under the Act.

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by Priyadarshini Chandrasekar.