Equal Remuneration Act

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Equal Remuneration Act

The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 provides for payment of equal remuneration to men and women and help prevent gender discrimination. Article 39 of the Indian Constitution envisages that the States will have a policy for securing equal pay for equal work for both men and women. To give effect to these constitutional provisions, the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 was introduced.

Know more about Women Rights at the Workplace and Prevention of Sexual Harassment.

Duties of Employer

Under the Equal Remuneration Act, employers require to ensure the following to workmen:

  • No employer shall pay to any worker, employed by him in an establishment or employment, remuneration, whether payable in cash or in-kind, at rates less favourable than those at which he pays remuneration to the workers of the opposite sex in such establishment or employment for performing the same work or work of a similar nature.
  • No employer to comply with the Equal Remuneration Act can reduce the rate or salary of any worker.

Also, no employer while making recruitment for the same work or work of a similar nature can make any discrimination against women except where the employment of women in such work is prohibited or restricted by a law in force.

Maintenance of Register

All employers require to maintain a register and other documents about the workers employed as per the prescribed rules. Rule 6 of the Equal Remunerations Rules provides that every employer maintain a register about the workers employed by him in Form D.

Penalty under the Equal Remuneration Act

The penalty under the Equal Remuneration Act separate into two categories as follows:

Minor Infraction

If an employer commits any of the following offences under the Equal Remuneration Act, a penalty of Rs.1000 can be levied.

  • Omits or fails to maintain any register or document about workers employed.
  • Omits or fails to produce any register, muster-roll or other document about the employment of workers.
  • Omits or refuses to give any evidence or prevents his agent, servant or any other person in charge of the establishment, or any worker, from giving evidence.

Major Infraction

If an employer commits any of the following offences under the Equal Remuneration Act, a penalty of Rs.5000 can be levied.

  • Discriminates in recruitment in contravention to the Equal Remuneration Act.
  • Makes a payment of remuneration at unequal rates to men and women workers, for the same work or work of a similar nature.
  • Makes any discrimination between men and women workers in contravention of the Equal Remuneration Act.
  • Omits or fails to carry out any direction made by the Government.

In case any of the offences are committed by a Company, every person who, at the time of the offence committed was in charge of and was responsible to the company, for the conduct of the business will be deemed to be guilty of the offence and will be liable to be proceeded and punished accordingly.

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