Section 22

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Criminal liability Minimum wage Wage manipulation, non-payment or withholding of wages

Section 22 punishes the violation of section 12 —paying workers below the corresponding minimum wage rate— with imprisonment for up to six months, or with a fine of up to 500 rupees, or with both.

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Section 22. Penalties for certain offences.

Any employer who–

(a) pays to any employee less than the minimum rates of wages fixed for that employee’s class of work, or less than the amount due to him under the provisions of this Act, or

(b) contravenes any rule or order made under section 13, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both:

Provided that in imposing any fine for an offence under this section, the Court shall take into consideration the amount of any compensation already awarded against the accused in any proceedings taken under section 20.

Law / India / Minimum Wages Act, 1948

The Minimum Wages Act, 1948 is aimed at preventing the exploitation of workers by fixing minimum wages that must be met by employers.

The Minimum Wages Act provides for the fixing of minimum wages by the authorities at the federal and state levels, for a certain number of occupations in non-organized sectors where the risk of exploitation of workers is considered high. In organized sectors, such as banking, the applicable wages are fixed by collective agreement.

As the task of fixing wages varies from region to region, industry to industry, and establishment to establishment, the Supreme Court has issued principles from time to time for the determination and fixing of minimum wages.

According to information published in the ILO’s 2014 General Survey on Minimum Wage Systems, minimum wages have been fixed centrally for 45 occupational categories and at the state level for 1,679 occupational categories.