EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT
Supreme Court of India delivered another landmark judgement.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday said any employer paying less wages to temporary staff was indulging in an “act of exploitative enslavement”.
It has already been held that ‘equal pay for equal work’ is a constitutional principle, said the apex court. The court also decried any move to make differential treatment with temporary employees at times described as daily-wage employees, ad hoc appointees, employees appointed on casual basis, contractual employees and the like.
“It is fallacious to determine artificial parameters to deny fruits of labour. An employee engaged for the same work, cannot be paid less than another, who performs the same duties and responsibilities. Certainly not, in a welfare state. Such an action besides being demeaning, strikes at the very foundation of human dignity,” a bench of Justices J S Khehar and S A Bobde said.
The court said any one, compelled to work at a lesser wage, does not do so voluntarily as he has to provide food and shelter to his family “at the cost of his self respect and dignity, self worth, and his integrity.”
“Any act, of paying less wages, as compared to others similarly situate, constitutes an act of exploitative enslavement, emerging out of a domineering position. Undoubtedly, the action is oppressive, suppressive and coercive, as it compels involuntary subjugation,” the bench said.