In today’s era, women are part of the working class in society. For years together, women were neglected and paid less as compared to men. Thus there was a need to create awareness among them about their legal rights and duties.
The Constitution (Article 39) provides that, the State shall direct its policy, among other things, towards securing equal pay of equal work for both men and women. To give effect to this Constitutional provision and to ensure the enforcement of the International Labour Organisation Convention, the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 was passed by the Parliament. The Government has taken various measures for creating an equal work environment for women workers.
Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 makes provisions for the payment of equal remuneration to both men and women workers and also for the prevention of discrimination, on the ground of sex, against women in the matter of employment and incidental thereto.
The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 defines Remuneration and Same work or Work of a similar nature:
Remuneration – It means basic salary or wage and any additional payments whatsoever payable, in cash or kind, to a person who is employed in case of employment, if the terms of the contract of employment were fulfilled.
Same work, Work of a similar nature – The skill, efforts and responsibilities required to do the work are the same when performed under similar working condition.
The section mentioned above shall not affect any priority or reservation for the scheduled caste or scheduled tribes, ex-servicemen, the retrenched workers or any other class or category of persons in the matter of recruitment to the posts in any employment.
It is the duty of the employer to documents in relation to the workers employed by him in the prescribed manner.
In the case of employer:-
- Makes any recruitment contravening the provisions of the Act;
- Makes any payment at unequal rates to men and women workers for the same work or work of a similar nature for recruitment;
- Makes discrimination between men or women workers in contravening the provisions of this Act;
- Fails to follow directions prescribed by the appropriate authority.
On proven guilty, the employer shall be punishable with a fine or with imprisonment or both.