New Delhi: The minimum wage for workers in the country is set to go up in the next three months as the Union government has proposed a set of rules which were adopted while setting the minimum wages for its own officials by the Seventh pay Commission. The minimum wage could go up by 28% from the existing non-binding guideline wage set in 2017.

This is part of the draft Code on Wages (Central) Rules, 2019, for which public comments have been invited by the labour ministry.

The Central government has proposed to follow in toto the Supreme Court’s advisory in a ruling in 1992, popularly known as the Raptakos judgment, and recommendations of the 15th Indian Labour Conference made in 1957.

According to the draft rules, the minimum rate of wages shall be fixed on a daily basis keeping in view the following
criteria: (i) the standard working-class family which includes a spouse and two children apart from the earning worker; an equivalent of three adult consumption units; (ii) a net intake of 2700 calories per day per consumption unit; (iii) 66 meters cloth per year per standard working-class family; (iv) housing rent expenditure to constitute 10 per cent. of food and clothing expenditure; (v) fuel, electricity and other miscellaneous items of expenditure to constitute 20 per cent of minimum wage; and (vi) expenditure for children education, medical requirement, recreation and expenditure on contingencies to constitute 25 per cent of minimum wages.

The rules stipulate an employee shall be allowed a day of rest every week which shall ordinarily be Sunday, but
the employer may fix any other day of the week as the rest day for any employee or class of employees

Where an employee works on a shift which extends beyond midnight, he will be given (a) a holiday for the whole day for a period of twenty-four consecutive hours beginning from the time when his shift ends; and (b) the following day in such a case shall be deemed to be the period of twenty-four hours beginning from the time when such shift ends, and the hours after midnight during which such employee was engaged in work shall be counted towards the previous day.