In today’s globalized era, women form an integral part of the Indian workforce. In such an environment, the quality of women’s employment is very important and depends upon several factors. The foremost being equals access to education and other opportunities for skill development. This requires empowerment of women as well as creation of awareness among them about their legal rights and duties.
In order to ensure this, the Government of India has taken several steps for creating a congenial work environment for women workers. A number of protective provisions have been incorporated in the various Labor Laws. Article 39 of Constitution of India envisages that the State shall direct its policy, among other things, towards securing that there is equal pay of equal work for both men and women. To give effect to this Constitutional provisions and also to ensure the enforcement of ILO Convention the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 was enacted by the Parliament.
Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 provides 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.
Validity over other laws or rules or regulations?
Section 3 of the Act provides that the provisions of the Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent contained in any other law or in the terms of any award, agreement or contract of services, 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.
Two – Most Important Definition of the Act
Remuneration – 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.
Same work or Work of a similar nature – Same work or Work of a similar nature means work in respect of which the skill, efforts and responsibilities 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 a woman are not of practical importance in relation to the terms and conditions of employment
Recruitment without any Prejudice
As per section 5, employer 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 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 caste 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.
As per section 8, it is the duty of every employer, to maintain registers and other documents in relation to the workers employed by him in the prescribed manner.
If any employer:-
Then he /she shall be punishable with fine or with imprisonment or with both.
Discrimination on the basis of Sex or Gender must be abolished, further it is sad to learn that there is an enactment to protect the interest and remove the prejudice I would like to end the write up with my favorite quote “I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men, they are far superior and always have been.”