What exactly are the current norms for calculating the minimum wage in India?
The calculation of minimum wages in India has evolved over the years, with various committees and legal frameworks guiding its determination. This paper examines the current norms for calculating minimum wages in India, tracing its evolution from the introduction of the Minimum Wages Act in 1948 to 2021. Despite the Act's repeal and the introduction of the Code on Wages, 2019, no quantitative criteria for the minimum wage calculation have been definitively laid out in the legislation. Academic discourse has offered conflicting assertions on the norms. The paper identifies three primary theses: 1) There's no established standard criterion, 2) The 15th Indian Labour Conference's (15th ILC) resolution serves as the norm, and 3) The resolution of the 15th ILC in combination with the Supreme Court's Reptakos Brett judgment are the guiding norms. By analysing various events, resolutions, and judgments, this research confirms that the current norms are primarily based on the recommendations of the 15th ILC (1957) coupled with the Supreme Court's judgment in Workmen v. Reptakos Brett (1992). These norms are crucial in ensuring that minimum wage calculations are aligned with the essential needs of the worker, offering them a dignified standard of living.
Keywords:Norms, Minimum Wage, 15th Indian Labour Conference, Reptakos Brett
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