The Minimum Wages Act

The Minimum Wages Act 1948 (15.03.1948)


The Act is called Minimum Wages Act 1948 came into force from 15.03.1948 & amended in 1961. It extends to whole of India except J&K.

Aims and Objects.

This act aims at

i) Fixing the minimum wages in certain employments where wages are low in order to prevent exploitation of unorganised labour,.
ii) Payment of wages without any unauthorized deduction.
iii) Periodical review of the rates of minimum wages & establishment of machinery for proper implementation & enforcement of the act.
iv) Procedure for regulating hours of work & payment of wages including overtime.


So far as Railway are concerned this act applies to the following :
i) labor working under IOWs, engaged in Road Construction, Building Operation, Maintenance of buildings.
ii) Labour engaged in stone crushing or breaking.
iii) Labour engaged in loading & unloading operation in goods shed & godowns etc.
iv) Casual labors employed on permanent way are also governed by this act.


The act holds Employer in charge as responsible for payment of wage to person employed under him & also to make the following provisions:
i) Fixing of wage period, which should not exceed 01 month.
ii) Wages to be paid in working day within 07 days/10 days if less
than/more than 1000 persons are employed.
iii) Discharge wage to be paid not later than 2nd working day.


The rates of minimum wages are fixed by the Ministry of Labor and are subjected to review from time to time but not exceeding five years.
The rates are fixed according to the cities which are grouped & distributed in respective zones. Over- time will be paid for extra work done by the worker.
Minimum Wage Fixation: There exists 05 zones viz A,B-1, B-2, C, D& all the cities are grouped there after. If the rates appear to be less than the prevailing rates at neighbor hood. DRM & GM’s are empowered to sanction daily rates by 20% & 33 1/2 % respectively over the rates notified by Ministry of Labour.
The rates will be fixed taking into account the cost of living index and cash value of the concessions in respect of supplies of essential commodities to the worker.
Wages will include all remuneration capable of being expressed in terms of money, except house rent allowance, gratuity etc.

Working Hours:

Per Day work - Max 09 hrs.
Shift - Maximum 12 hrs.
Continuous work- Max 5 hrs.
Weekly Work- Max 48 hrs.
Rest- On continuous 6 days working 7th day shall be paid rest normally on Sunday but the employer can fix any day of the week.


For violation of any of the provision of this act employer shall be punishable with fine of Rs. 500/- or & simple imprisonment upto 6 months.