A review on – Equal Remuneration Act, 1976

Introduction:


Its not only the question to management, ethically also its hard to endeavor that appointment to a job is based on the discrimination on sex categories. Not even that nowdays the work portfolio is also prepared on the same basis. And the same case is with the remuneration selection and distribution.

What actually I have seen in the corporate sectors is that for a particular job where its not necessary to appoint a man or woman for that profession, then also those corporate offices does the same. Well I can show explore with an example : If there is a vacancy for a Chartered Accountant then the first priority is given to male persons and the question doesn’t arise.. why? As it obvious that they think that work of a chartered sometimes take a late night work to do, so the female chartered will held a lots of huddle to do the same. So, I am mentioning the discrimination between them. What i have read in the “Equal remuneration Act, 1976” is that after the appointment also if the employer makes difference on sex category on the basis of Work division, remuneration, opportunity and the participation in the new opportunities then the employer shall have to face a several penalty.

So the essence from the said Act can be viewed as below:

Object and Scope


The equal Remuneration Act, 1976 provides for payment of equal remuneration to men and women workers for same work or work of similar nature without any discrimination and also prevents discrimination against women employees while making recruitment for the same work or work of similar nature, or in any condition of service subsequent to recruitment. The provisions of the Act have been extended to all categories of employment. The Act extends to whole of India.

Act to have overriding effect


Section 3 of the Act provides that the provisions of the Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in any other law or in the terms of any award, agreement or contract of service, whether made before or after the commencement of the Act, or in any instrument having effect under any law for the time being in force.

Duty of employer to pay equal remuneration to men and women workers for same work or work of a similar nature.


Section 4  of the Act provides that 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 remuneration is paid by him to the workers of the opposite sex in such establishment or employment for performing the same work or work of a similar nature and employer shall not reduce the rate of remuneration of any worker.

It may be noted that as per section 2 (g) “remuneration” means the basic wage or salary, and any additional emoluments whatsoever payable, either in cash or in kind, to a person employed in respect of employment or work done in such employment, if the terms of the contract of employment, express or implied, were fulfilled and section 2 (h) defines “same work or work of a similar nature” means work in respect of which the skill, effort and responsibility required are the same, when performed under similar working conditions, by a man or a woman and the differences, if any, between the skill, effort and responsibility required of a man and those required of woman are not practical important in relation to the terms and conditions of employment.

Discrimination not to be made while recruiting men and women


As per section 5 while making recruitment for the same work or work of a similar nature or in any condition of service subsequent to recruitment such as promotions, training or transfer, shall not make any discrimination against women except where the employment of women  the employment of women in such work is prohibited or restricted by or under any law for the time being in force.

However, above mentioned section shall not affect any priority or reservation for scheduled castes or scheduled tribes, ex-servicemen, retrenched employees or any other class or category of persons in the matter of recruitment to the posts in an establishment or employment.

Authorities for hearing and deciding claims and complaints


Section 7 of the Act empower the appropriate Government appoint such officers, not below the rank of a Labour Officer, as it thinks fit to be the authorities for the purpose of hearing and deciding complaints with regard to the contravention of any provision of the Act; claims arising out of non-payment of wages at equal rates to men and women workers for the same work or work of a similar nature; and define the local limits within which each such authority shall exercise its jurisdiction.

 Maintenance of Registers


As per Section 8, it is the duty of every employer, to maintain registers and other documents in relation in relation to the workers employment by him in the prescribed manner.

Penalty:


If any employer: (i) makes any recruitment in contravention of the provisions of this Act; or (ii) makes any payment of remuneration at unequal rates to men and women workers for the same work or work of a similar nature; or (iii) makes any discrimination between men and women workers in contravention of the provisions of this Act; or (iv) omits or fails to carry out any direction made by the appropriate Government, then he/she shall be punishable with fine or with imprisonment or with both.

Reference:


1. Study Material of “Industiral & Labour Law” Executive Program.

Published by

Shushant ( ICAI Final )

Shushant is a Chartered Accountant student at Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. He is also a Student of Company Secretary at Institute Of Company Secretaries of India. He is a administrator of this site . In his spare time he hang out with his friends and discuss about the current issues in market. You can find his latest blog posts at www.enrollmyexperience.com and at his facebook profile.

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