Principal employer to ensure payment of minimum wages

minimum wages Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970 (the Act) applies to every contractor who employs 20 or more contract labourers. As provided under the Act, ‘contract labour’ means a workman who is hired for or in relation to the work of an establishment by or through a licensed contractor. It further provides that such appointment may be made with or without the knowledge of principal employer.

The contractor is required to pay wages to these workers in presence of the authorised representative of the principal employer. This automatically casts an obligation on the principal employer for payment of wages in event of failure of the contractor to pay the same. The principal employer also needs to ensure that the contractor pays to such workers minimum rates of wages as fixed by the government and if no such rate has been fixed then the wages as fixed by the Labour Commissioner and in absence of both pay fair wages to the workers .1

With an object to ensure that the contract workers are paid minimum wages, the Delhi Government has directed contractors to make payment to contract labourers through cheques. It has also directed the Labour Department to obtain an affidavit from the contractors in respect of the same.

- Palak Lotiya (views expressed in the article are that of the author)

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