iconimg Sunday, August 30, 2015

Surendra P Gangan , Hindustan Times
Mumbai, August 29, 2013
The minimum wage you pay your domestic help is set to increase. Domestic workers will soon come under the ambit of the minimum wages act, which will ensure that they take home between Rs. 6,500 and Rs. 10,000 a month for 8 hours of work.

The monthly minimum wages from a house will be calculated based either on the number of hours spent, or the volume of work.

For instance, if the help spends an hour at your house each day, you will have to pay her between Rs. 813 and Rs. 1,250 a month.

Hence, if she is working at eight houses for an hour each, she will earn at least Rs. 6,500 each month.

Based on the provisions in the Maharashtra Domestic Workers Welfare Act, 2008, the Maharashtra Domestic Workers Welfare Board had invited suggestions/objections from various stakeholders.

Taking the suggestions into consideration, the labour commissionerate has recommended that the state government include domestic workers in the schedules of the Minimum Wages Act, 1948.

A committee appointed by the government will determine the wages based on various parameters.

According to officials from the labour department, the wages would be decided on the volume of work, hours of the work and members of the family.

“The existing minimum wages for manual work for the unskilled workers sector ranges between Rs. 6,500 and Rs. 10,000. Last year, even the Centre had said that the gross income of domestic workers needs to be at least Rs. 10,400 a month,” said a source from the labour department, adding that the decision would be taken by the minimum wages advisory committee.

“We have recently forwarded to the government the proposal to include domestic workers in the schedules of the minimum wages act,” Madhukar Gaikwad, labour commissioner, told HT.

Rupa Kulkarni, head of the Vidarbha Molkarni Sanghatana and member of the board, said, “A class 4 employee of the government draws a minimum a salary of Rs. 20,000 a month. We want that a domestic help should earn at least Rs. 1 lakh a year.”

According to government figures, there are 11 lakh domestic workers in the state. Of them, 2.29 lakh are registered with the board as on June 30, 2013.