Criminal Trident Pack: IPC, CrPC and IEA by Sr. Adv. G.S Shukla and Adv. Raghav Arora
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Key takeaways 

  • What is Equal Remunerations Act,1976?
  • What are the Salient features of the Act?
  • How does the provisions under the Act guarantee no discrimination and Equal Pay for Equal Work?
  • Whether Equal Pay for Equal Work comes under the ambit of Article 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India?

Introduction

  • The Vedic period in India offered men and women equal standing, but this worldview underwent a tectonic upheaval throughout time. The place of women in society has been overshadowed by men. The inequality was evident at the moment of Independence, and the constitutional framers had to address it while deciding on a democratic republic as a form of government. To maintain equality, systems for the operation of democratic forces must be put in place. The constitution and several laws have been enacted, which have served as a foundation for ensuring equal opportunity for men and women. When equal opportunities are established, the next step is to ensure equal remuneration for the same work done regardless of gender.
  • Women were traditionally thought to be less productive than men. Women's prevalent perception was that they were not as dedicated about their career as men because family and home were their top priorities.
  • The equal remuneration act was established in the year 1976 to provide equal pay for both mean and women workers doing the work of similar nature putting in equal effort, time and energy. The Act established to prevent discrimination on the grounds of sex, against women in matters of employment and matters connected therein.

Salient Features Of The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 

  • The Act is a piece of central legislation that covers the entire country.
  • The Act's goal is to protect women workers from sex-based discrimination at workplace and to ensure that they get equal wage.
  • Restricting an employer's ability to impose terms and conditions in a service or labour contract, in violation of the equal pay for equal work doctrine and the Equal Remuneration Act's provisions.
  • The Act does not distinguish between types of employment or length of employment, and it applies to all workers, even if they are only employed for a day or a few days.
  • The rules of the Equal Remuneration Act have no overriding effect on any agreement, settlement, or contract.
  • Any settlement or arrangement with the employee that is in the employee's best interests is prohibited.
  • Enforcing this Act is the responsibility of the Ministry of Labour and the Central Advisory Committee.
  • The following is a definition of work equality: Qualifications, duties, dependability’s, experience, secrecy, functional need, and requirements associated with the position in the hierarchy are all equally important in determining work equality.
  • If an employer fails to comply with the act's provisions, he may be subject to a fine, jail, or both.

Important Provisions under the Act

The Act provides protection through various provisions:

  • Under Section 4 of the Equal Remunerations Act, 1976 it states that it is the duty of the employer to pay equal wage to both men and women for similar work done.
  • Under Section 5 of the Equal Remunerations Act, 1976 it states that the employer shall not discriminate on the basis of gender while recruiting.
  • Under Section 8 of the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 it is necessary that the employer maintains a register with all relevant documents of all the employees.

Cases

  • A landmark judgment given by the Supreme Court in the case of Randhir Singh Vs. Union of India1982 AIR 879, 1982 SCR (3) 298, stated that the principle of equal pay for equal work was deducible from Article 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India.
  • In the case of S. Nakara v. Union of India1983 AIR 130, 1983 SCR (2) 165, it was held that the doctrine of equal pay for equal work has the status of a fundamental right.

Conclusion

Every individual, regardless of gender, caste, or religion, should be properly compensated for the work that they have put in the effort for, and the compensation should be fair. The Equal Remuneration Act of 1976 aids in bridging the gap between uneven pay for women in our country. India is getting closer to being a country that respects men and women equally as a result of the Act's successful implementation.
 


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