Minimum Wages -- Suggestions & Objections

To,

The Additional Chief Secretary,
Labour and Rehabilitation (E) Dept.,

Govt. Secretariat, Thiruvananthapuram 695001

Sir,     

Sub:     Private Hospital and allied services — Revision of Minimum wages — suggestions and objections called for — filing — reg.

Ref:     (1) Notification No. 10505/EI/2013/LBR dt. 26.06.2013 of that office.
           (2) Letter No. 10505/EI/2013/LBR dt. 27.06.2013 of that office, addressed to the Director of Printing, Trivandrum.

We are an association of Private Hospital Managements of more than 2,500 hospitals in Kerala. We are submitting the following suggestions and objections on the notification cited 1st.

1.       As per the letter cited 2nd, your office is seen to have forwarded a copy of the notification cited therein (cited 1st herein), to the Director of printing for publication in the official gazette. But so far, the said notification calling for objections and suggestions has not been seen published in the Government Gazette, which is mandatory, as provided under sub-clause (b) of Sub Section (1) of Section 5 of the Minimum Wages Act. The two months period, stated in the provision shown above, would come into effect from the date of such Gazette notification only.

2.       Since, the minimum wages for employees in private hospitals, etc., had already been fixed, only revision of fixed rates can alone be done as provided under Sub-clause (b) of subsection (1) of Section 3 and sub-clause (b) of Sub section (1) of Section 5 of the Minimum Wages Act. But in the present proposal no basis for the proposed revision in pay scale is shown. In the previous and existing notified scale the highest pay scale start with Rs. 5,610/- and next below scale start with Rs. 5,310/-. But in the present proposal it has been shown as Rs. 10,000/-, Rs. 9,700/-, etc. Hence the proposal in present pay scale revision is objected to, as the basis of the revision is not clear.

3.      a)    Sections 3 and 5 of the Minimum Wages Act deals with, fixing or revising minimum ‘rates’ of wages. Therefore fixing or revising ‘minimum rates of wages’ alone can be done under Sec. 3 or Sec. 5 and nothing other than that.

             b)    Section 2 (h) defines ‘wages’. According to that, all remunerations capable of being expressed in terms of money including house rent, combined to a sum is ‘wages’;                  except those excluded items, therein.

              c)     Section 4 of the Act, defines ‘Minimum rates of wages’

                 i)    a basic rate of wages and special allowance according to cost of living index (variable DA);                                  OR

                 ii)   basic rates of wages with or without VDA, but with cash value of concessional rate of food supply;                       OR

                 iii)  an all inclusive rate.

          The statutory position being so, other allowances proposed, such as extra allowance, special allowance, etc., are out of the scope of minimum wages rate and inclusion of any items other than basic rates and VDA is objected to ­— they being non-statutory.

         4.       No final notification can have retrospective effect, prior to the date of Gazette notification calling for objections and suggestions. Any retrospective effect to the final notification prior to such preliminary notification is irrational improper and unsustainable, hence such proposal of retrospective effect is objected to, on that ground.

We may be heard, when the suggestions and objections are taken for evaluation and consideration.

Ernakulam: 9.9.2013

Yours faithfully,

Secretary, QPMPA

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