The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 – Brief Notes

The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 extends to the whole of India. The main object of the Act to ensure that equal remuneration is given to men and women workers for the same work or work of similar nature without discrimination and also in the process of recruitment of workers for the same or a work of similar nature no discrimination is made between employees. However, no provision is made for Transgenders in this Act. 

According to Section 3 of the Act, the provisions of this Act shall have an overriding effect to any laws which are inconsistent with the Act.

According to Section 7, the claims arising out of non- payment of wages at equal rates to men and women doing the same work shall be addressed by an officer who is not below the rank of a Labour officer. He shall be appointed by the Appropriate Government.

[Suggested Read: Access to Justice]

In addition to remuneration, the employer cannot be discriminatory against women while recruiting for the same or similar work unless employment in such work is prohibited or restricted for women by law. 

  • The provisions of this act do not override or affect the reservation or priority given to Scheduled castes,  scheduled tribes, Ex-servicemen etc. 
  • According to Rule 6, every employer has to maintain a register and other documents in regards to all employees.
  • For minor infractions under this law such as failure to maintain a register of employees, produce the register, refusing to give evidence and denying any worker of a servant from giving evidence, the employer is liable to be fined up to Rs. 1000.
  • For major infractions such as discrimination in recruitment, giving unequal pay for same kind and amount of work or any other discrimination between women and men workers prohibited by the Act, the employer is liable to be fined up to Rs. 5000.

[Suggested Read: Labour Rights]