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 this constitutional provisions, the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 was introduced.
An Act to provide for the payment of equal remuneration to men and women workers and for the prevention of discrimination, on the ground of sex, against women in the matter of employment and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
The purpose of the act is to make sure that employers do not discriminate on the basis of gender, in matters of wage fixing, transfers, training and promotion. It provides for payment of equal remuneration to men and women workers, for same work or work of similar nature and for the prevention of discrimination against women in the matters of employment.
The salient features of the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976
- The Act is a Central Legislation and applies to the whole of India.
- The objective of the Act is to provide for protection against discrimination of women workers on the ground of sex, about the payment of equal remuneration in the matter of employment.
- Restricting the employer to create terms and conditions in a contract of service or work of labor contrary to equal pay for equal work doctrine and the provisions of Equal Remuneration Act.
- The Act doesn’t make a distinction like employment or the period of employment and applies to all workers even if engaged only for a day or few days.
- No overriding effect is given to any agreement, settlement or contract to the provisions of the Equal Remuneration Act.
- Any settlement or any agreement with the employee that is detrimental to the employee isn’t allowed.
- The Ministry of Labour and The Central Advisory Committee are responsible for enforcing this Act.
- Meaning of equality of work: The equality of work is not based solely on the designation or the nature of work but also on factors like qualifications, responsibilities, reliabilities, experience, confidentiality, functional need and requirements commensurate with the position in the hierarchy are equally relevant.
- When the employer doesn’t comply with the provisions of the act, he will be liable to pay fine, imprisonment, or both.