Ensuring Fair Wages: Gujarat’s Latest Circular on Minimum Rates for Contract Laborers

In a recent circular issued by the Labor Commissioner of Gujarat on 3rd April, 2024, significant updates regarding the minimum rates of wages for contract laborers have been announced.

According to the circular, the government has established minimum wages for scheduled occupations under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948. Contractors engaged in these occupations are required to ensure that laborers receive wages at the minimum rates set by the government, along with subsistence allowances, as notified periodically.

For occupations not listed in the schedule under the Minimum Wages Act, the circular outlines specific wage rates that contractors must adhere to. These rates are determined by the Labor Commissioner, ensuring fair compensation for contract laborers across various sectors.

The circular divides Gujarat into two zones, Zone-I and Zone-II. Zone-I includes areas within municipal corporation limits and jurisdiction of urban development corporations, while Zone-II encompasses all other areas of the state.

The circular establishes daily basic pay rates for different categories of labor – skilled, semi-skilled, and unskilled. These rates are applicable based on the zone of employment.Contractors are mandated to comply with the rates and allowances specified in the circular. Failure to do so may result in penalties as per the provisions of the law.

The circular also addresses the applicability of the Model Code of Conduct concerning the Lok Sabha General Election-2024, highlighting its relevance and issuance after due permission from the State Election Commission.

In addition to basic wages, contractors are required to provide a special allowance linked to the cost of living figure. The allowance, effective from April 1, 2024, is fixed at Rs. 35.00 per day for a period of six months, until September 30, 2024.