Equal Remuneration Act, 1976
Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 has been enacted to provide for the payment of equal remuneration to men and women workers and also for the prevention of discrimination, on the ground of sex, against women in the matter of employment. As per the Act no employer is allowed to pay to any female worker, employed by him in an establishment or employment, remuneration, whether payable in cash or in kind, at rates less than the male counterpart for same work or work of a similar nature. Remuneration has been defined as 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.
Regarding recruitment, the act makes it clear that no employer shall, 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, 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.
The Act also provides safeguarding rights of women by allowing for the complying with the requirements of any law giving special treatment to women, or to any special treatment accorded to women in connection with—
– the birth or expected birth of a child, or
– the terms and conditions relating to retirement, marriage or death or to any provision made in connection with the retirement, marriage or death will not be affected by the act.
Regarding contraventions of the Act, an employer who makes any recruitment in contravention of the Act, or makes any unequal payment to men and women worker, for the same work or work of a similar nature, can be punishable with fine or with imprisonment.