Equal pay for equal work


The Constitution of India 1949: Art.39 (d)  says the state has to ensure that there is equal pay for equal work for both men and women.

Equal pay for equal work is a fundamental right?
Though the principle is not expressly declared by the Constitution to be a fundamental right yet it may be concluded by construing Arts. 14 and 16 in the light of Art.39(d).

Service Law – 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. State of Punjab Vs. Jagjit Singh [Supreme Court of India, 26-10-2016].

Indian Parliament has enacted the equal remuneration act, 1976, to implement Art.39(d). The act provides for payment of equal remuneration to mend and women workers for the same work, or work of a similar nature and for the prevention of discrimination against recruitment of women and provides for the setting up of advisory committees to promote employment opportunities for a women. Provision is also made from appointment of officers for hearing and deciding complaints regarding contraventions of the provisions of the Act. Inspectors are to be appointed for the purpose of investigating whether the provisions of the Act are being compiled by the employer's. Non-observance of the Act by government contractors has been held to raise question under Art. 14. of Constitution Of India 1949 i.e.  Equality before law: The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.

When equal pay for equal work still is not applicable?
If there is a the differentiation in pay scales among employees holding same post and performing similar work, but difference in the degree of responsibility, reliability and confidentiality- it can be called as valid differentiation. it is for  further clarification, where employees are equal in every respect, in educational qualifications, duties, functions and measures of responsibilities and yet they are denied equality in pay. Iif the classification for describing different scale of pay is found to be on reasonable and logical, the principal will not apply.


Equal pay for equal work constitutional right, SC reiterates

NEW DELHI, Oct 27, 2016, DHNS

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said any employer paying less wages to temporary staff was indulging in an “act of exploitative enslavement”.

THE HINDU

In a significant judgment, the Supreme Court last week ruled that contract workers should get the same pay as permanent workers. It held that denial of equal pay for equal work to daily wagers, temporary, casual and contractual employees amounted to “exploitative enslavement, emerging out of a domineering position”. The court also made the philosophical point that denial of the principle of equal pay for equal work is a violation of human dignity.

Though the verdict came in the context of workers employed by the government, it strikes at the heart of the inequity that characterises the treatment of labour in both the public and private sector, whose defining characteristic is the division of workers into a two-tier caste system of regular and contract workers. In establishments across the country, an elite minority of permanent workers enjoy relative job security and higher wages, while the vast majority, comprising casual or contract workers, toil under terms where they can be terminated any time without reason, and get paid a fraction of what the regular workers get.

November 3, 2016 01:23 IST


It has already been held that ‘equal pay for equal work’ is a constitutional principle, said the apex court.

The court also decried any move to make differential treatment with temporary employees at times described as daily-wage employees, ad hoc appointees, employees appointed on casual basis, contractual employees and the like.

“It is fallacious to determine artificial parameters to deny fruits of labour. An employee engaged for the same work, cannot be paid less than another, who performs the same duties and responsibilities. Certainly not, in a welfare

state. Such an action besides being demeaning, strikes at the very foundation of human dignity,” a bench of Justices J S Khehar and S A Bobde said.

The court said any one, compelled to work at a lesser wage, does not do so voluntarily as he has to provide food and shelter to his family “at the cost of his self respect and dignity, self worth, and his integrity.”

“Any act, of paying less wages, as compared to others similarly situate, constitutes an act of exploitative enslavement, emerging out of a domineering position. Undoubtedly, the action is oppressive, suppressive and coercive, as it compels involuntary subjugation,” the bench said.