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    The minimum wages act, 1948

    MINIMUM WAGES ACT, 1948 has been enacted to provide for fixing minimum rates of wages in certain employments and the provisions of the Act are intended to achieve the object of doing social justice to the workers employed in the scheduled employments by prescribing Rates of Minimum Wages i.e. Basic and DA. The Rates of Basic and Dearness Allowances are subject to periodical change by the Appropriate Government


    The Act applies to employments mentioned in Part I and Part II of Schedule, and as per Section 27

    Fixing and revising the rates of minimum wages

    • The minimum rates of wages may be fixed by the notification by the Appropriate Government for different scheduled employments, different classes of work in the same scheduled employment, adults, adolescents, children and apprentices and for different localities
    • Appropriate Government shall fix wages for employments in Part I or II of schedule by notification and revise the rates at intervals of not more than 5 years
    • Minimum rates for- Time work, Piece work, Guaranteed time rate, Overtime work
    • Wage Period: Wage can be paid by - Hours, day, month, etc

    Minimum wages

    Minimum Wages consists of following components:

    • Basic rates of Wages and Special allowance linked to cost of living index - (BASIC + DA)
    • Basic rates of wages with or without cost of living allowance and cash value of concession
    • All inclusive rate - basic rate, cost of living allowance or cash value of concession

    (Total Salary including DA should not be less than Minimum Wages) (Section 4)


    To be fixed by the hour, by the day or by such a longer wage period works on any day in excess of the number of hours constituting normal working day. Payment for every hour or for part of an hour so worked in excess at the overtime rate double of the ordinary rate of (1½ times or for agriculture labour) (Section 5)

    Procedure for fixing the minimum rate of wages

    The Appropriate Government appoints committees and sub-committees to hold necessary enquiries and advise it on fixing the minimum rate of wages and it appoints Advisory Board to co-ordinate the work of committees and sub-committees

    Time of payment of wages

    The minimum wages are to be paid as under:

    • An employer shall not delay unduly the payment of wages to his employees.
    • In case of an establishment, employing less one thousand persons, the wages are to paid before the expiry of seventh day
    • In any other case, before the expiry of tenth day after the last day of the wage period

    Employer's duties

    To pay wages as prescribed not less than the minimum rate without deductions except those authorized (Section 12)

    Pay overtime as per the rate fixed to the employee

    Overtime wage is double the ordinary wages

    Employee in public motor transport 1 1/2 ordinary wages, agriculture work, if more than 7 hours in a day then 1 1/2 ordinary wages

    To maintain registers and records containing details of employees as specified

    To exhibit notices containing prescribed particulars in the prescribed manner

    Penalties (section 20)

    Contravention Pecuniary and penal liabilities
    Payment of less than minimum rate of wages or failure to pay wages within the time prescribed under section 12 or contravenes any rule or order under section 1 3 Imprisonment up to six months or fine up to five thousand rupees or both
    For obstructing Inspector or failure to produce records/ registers/ documents by the employer Fine up to five hundred rupees
    For contraventions of any other provisions of the Act or the rules Fine up to five hundred rupees