The Payment of Wages Act, 1936
Prior to 1936, there was no law regarding the regulation of payment to workmen. It was as early as 1925 that a Private Bill called the "Weekly Payment Bill" was for the first time introduced in the Legislative Assembly. The Bill was, however withdrawn on an assurance from the Government that the matter was under active consideration of the Government ar that time. This was an attempt to remedy some of the evils like delay in payment of wages, non-payment of wages, deductions made from wages on account of fines imposed by the employer. etc. During that period the Royal Commission on Labour in India draw attention to the abuses in the system of wage payment, and made valuable recommendation as under: 1.Children should be exempted from fines imposed by the employer. 2. The minimum amount which could be deducted by way of fine should not exceed, in any month, half an anna in the rupee of the worker's earnings. (3) The sum realised as fine should be utilised for some purpose beneficial to the employees as a class and should be approved by some recognised authority. (4) A notice specifying the acts and omissions in respect of which fines. may be imposed should be posted and any other fine should deemed to be illegal. (5) Any deduction made for goods having been damaged should not exceed the wholesale price of the goods damaged. (6) Deductions may be made on account of provision for housing
accommodation and of tools and raw materials.
(7) Imposition of any fine and deduction made which is not permitted by
law should be made penal.
Based on these recommendations of Royal Commission on labour in India, a Bill of Payment of Wages Act was introduced in the Legislative Assembly in 1933. It was passed in 1936 and came into force on 21 st March 1936. The Payment of Wages Act was amended in the year 1937,1957,1964 and in 1976 according to the needs of the situation prevailing at that time. The Payment of Wages (Amendment) Act, 1976 extends the Act to the whole of India. Object:
The object of the Act as specified in the preamble is "to regulate the payment of wages to certain classes of employed persons". The he regulation contemplated by the Act is two fold; (i) the date of payment of wages, and (ii) the deductions from wages, as fine or otherwise. In order to ensure payment of wages to persons covered by the Act, certain provisions have been made in this Act. The Bombay High Court in Arvind Mills Ud v. K.R. Gadgil (AIR 1941 Bom. 26) observed that "the general purpose of the Act is to provide that employed persons shall be paid wages in a particular form and at regular intervals without any unauthorised deductions". The use of expression "Certain classes of persons" in the preamble applies to persons drawing on an average wages less than rupees one thousand six hundred per a month [Sec. 1 (6) of the Act]. This Act applies to the payment of wages to persons employed in any factory and to persons employed (otherwise than in a factory) on any railway by a railway administration or either directly or through a subcontractor, by a person' fulfilling a contract with a railway administration to coal-mines and plantations. as well as to establishments in which work relating to the construction, development or maintenance of buildings, roads, bridges, canals, or relating to operations connected with navigation, irrigation or the supply of water, or relating to generation, transmission and distribution of electricity or any other form of power is carried on. The State Governments are, however, authorised to extend all or any of the provisions of the Act to any industrial establishment. But it cannot do so in relation to any industrial establishment owned by the Central Government with objects not confined to one State, without consulting the Central Government. Definitions (See. 2)
For the purpose of this Act