THE MINIMUM WAGES ORDINANCE 1961

(Ordinance XXXIX of 1961)

C O N T E N T S

 

Section                                Heading

 

        1.           Short title, extent and commencement.

        2.           Definitions.

        3.           Establishment of Minimum Wages Boards.

        4.           Recommendation of minimum rates of wages for unskilled and juvenile workers.

        5.           Recommendation of minimum rates of wages for workers with respect to particular industries.

        6.           Power to declare minimum rates of wages.

        7.           Periodical review of minimum rates of wages.

        8.           [Omitted]

        9.           Prohibition to pay wages at a rate below the minimum rate of wages.

      9-A.       

       10.          Cognizance of offences.

       11.          Protection of the proceedings of a Board.

       12.          Power of Boards, etc. to collect information.

       13.          Certain powers of Court to Boards, etc.

       14.          Chairman, etc. deemed to be public servants.

       15.          Bar to legal proceedings.

       16.          [Omitted]

       17.          Rules relating to Boards.

       18.          [Omitted]

 

 

[1]THE MINIMUM WAGES ORDINANCE, 1961

 

(XXXIX of 1961)

[29 September 1961]

 

An Ordinance to provide for the regulation of minimum rates of

wages for workers employed in certain industrial undertakings.

 

Whereas it is expedient to provide for the regulation of minimum rates of wages for workers employed in certain industrial undertakings, and for matters ancillary thereto;

      Now, therefore, in pursuance of the proclamation of the seventh day of October, 1958, and in exercise of all powers enabling him in that behalf, the President is pleased to make and promulgate the following Ordinance:-

 

1.   Short title, extent and commencement.– (1) This Ordinance may be called the Minimum Wages Ordinance, 1961.

      (2)  It extends to [2][whole] of [3][the Punjab].

      (3)  It shall come into force at once.

 

2.   Definitions.– In this Ordinance, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,–

      (1)  adult” has the same meaning as in clause (b) of section 2 of the Factories Act, 1934 (XXV of 1934);

      (2)  “Board” means a Minimum Wages Board established under section 3;

      (3)  “Council” means the Minimum Wages Council constituted under section 8;

      (4)  “employer” means any person who employs either directly or through another person, whether on behalf of himself or any other person, any person for whom a minimum rate of wages may be declared under this Ordinance, and includes–

            (a)  in relation to a factory, a managing agent or other person who has ultimate control over the affairs of the factory; and

            (b)  in other cases, any person responsible to the owner for supervision and control of such worker or for payment of his wages;

      (5)  factory” means a factory as defined in clause (j) of section 2 of the Factories Act, 1934 (XXV of 1934), and includes any place deemed to be a factory under sub-section (3) of section 5 thereof;

  [4][(5a)  “Government” means Government of the Punjab;]

      (6)  “industry” with its grammatical variations and cognate expressions, means an industry as defined in [5][Clause (xvi) of section 2 of the Industrial Relations Act 2010 (XIX of 2010)] and includes a plantation as defined in clause (iii) of section 2 of the Payment of Wages Act, 1936 (IV of 1936);

      (7)  juvenile worker” means a worker who is not adult;

      (8)  “wages” means all remuneration capable of being expressed in terms of money, which would, if the terms of contract of employment, express or implied, were fulfilled, be payable to a person employed in respect of his employment or of work done in such employment, but does not include–

            (a)  any contribution paid by the employer in respect of such person under any scheme of social insurance or to a pension fund or provident fund;

            (b)  any travelling allowance or the value of any traveling concession;

            (c)  any sum paid to such person to defray special expenses incurred by him in respect of his employment;

            (d) any sum paid as annual bonus; or

            (e)  any gratuity payable on discharge; and

      (9)  “worker” means any person including an apprentice employed in any industry to do any skilled or un-skilled, intellectual, technical, clerical, manual or other work, including domestic work, for hire or reward but does not include–

               (i)  persons employed by the [6][Federal Government] or [7][the Government];

              (ii)  persons employed in coal mines in respect of whom minimum, wages may be fixed under the Coal Mines (Fixation of Rates of Wages) Ordinance, 1960 (XXIX of 1960); and

             (iii)  persons employed in agriculture.

 

3.   Establishment of Minimum Wages Boards.– (1) As soon as may be after commencement of this Ordinance, the [8][Government] shall establish a Minimum Wages Board for the Province consisting of the following [9][five] members to be appointed by it, namely:-

         (a)  the Chairman of the Board;

    [10][(aa)  Director Labour Welfare, Punjab;]

         (b)  one independent member;

      [11][(c)  three members to represent the employers of the Province, including at least one woman; and

         (d)  three members to represent the workers of the Province, including at least one woman.]

      Provided that for the purpose of discharging the function of a Board specified in section 5 the following two more members appointed by the [12][Government] shall be added, namely:-

         (i)  one member to represent the employers connected with the industry concerned; and

        (ii)  one member to represent the workers engaged in such industry.

      (2)  The Chairman of the Board and the independent member shall be appointed from persons with adequate knowledge of industrial, labour and economic conditions of the Province who are not connected with any industry or associated with any employers’ or workers’ organization.

      (3)  The member to represent the employers of the Province and the member to represent the workers of the Province under sub-section (1) shall be appointed after considering nominations, if any, of such organizations as the [13][Government] considers to be representative organizations of such employers and workers respectively.

      (4)  The members referred to in the proviso to sub-section (1) to represent the employers connected with and the workers engaged in the industry concerned shall be appointed after considering nominations, if any, of such organizations as the [14][Government] considers to be representative organizations of such employers and workers respectively.

      (5)  The term of office of the members of the Board, the manner of filling casual vacancies therein, the appointment of its committees, if any, the procedure and conduct of the meetings of the Board and its committees and all matters connected therewith, including the fees and allowances to be paid for attending such meetings, and other expenses, including expenses for the services of experts and advisers obtained by the Board, shall be such as may be prescribed by rules made under section 17.

 

4.   Recommendation of minimum rates of wages for unskilled and juvenile workers.– (1) A Board shall, upon a reference made to it by the [15][* * *] Government, recommend to such Government, after such enquiry as the Board thinks fit, the minimum rates of wages for adult unskilled workers and juvenile workers employed in industrial undertakings in the Province.

      (2)  In its recommendations under sub-section (1), the Board shall indicate, whether the minimum rates of wages should be adopted uniformly throughout the Province or with such local variations for such localities as are specified therein.

 

5.   Recommendation of minimum rates of wages for workers with respect to particular industries.– (1) Where in respect of any particular industry in the Province for which no adequate machinery exists for effective regulation of wages, the [16][Government] is of the opinion that, having regard to the wages of the workers employed in the undertakings engaged in such industry, it is expedient to fix the minimum rates of wages of such workers, it may direct the Board to recommend, after such enquiry as the Board thinks fit, the minimum rates of wages either for all such workers or for such of them as are specified in the direction:

      [17][* * * * * * * * * * * *]

      (2)  In pursuance of a direction under sub-section (I), the Board may recommend minimum rates of wages for all classes of workers in any grade and in such recommendation, may specify–

            (a)  the minimum rates of wages for–

                     (i)  time work;

                    (ii)  piece work;

                   (iii)  overtime work; and

                   (iv)  work on the weekly day of rest and for paid holidays; and

            (b)  the minimum time rates for workers employed on piece work so as to guarantee minimum wages on a time basis for such workers.

      (3)  The time rates recommended by the Board may be on hourly, daily, weekly or monthly basis.

      (4)  The rates recommended under this section for overtime work and work on paid holidays shall not be less than the minimum rates fixed for such work under any other law for the time being in force.


6.   Power to declare minimum rates of wages.– (1) Upon receipt of a recommendation of the Board under section 4 or section 5, the [18][Government] may,–

      (a)  by notification in the official Gazette, declare that the minimum rates of wages recommended by the Board for the various workers shall, subject to such exceptions as may be specified in the notification, be the minimum rates of wages for such workers; or

      (b)  if it considers that the recommendation is not, in any respect, equitable to the employers or the workers, within thirty days of such receipt, refer it back to the Board for reconsideration with such comments thereon and giving such information relating thereto as the [19][Government] may think fit to make or give.

      (2)  Where a recommendation is referred back to the Board under clause (b) of subsection (I), the Board shall reconsider it after taking into account the comments made and information given by the [20][Government] and, if necessary, shall hold further enquiry and submit to such Government:-

            (a)  a revised recommendation, or

            (b)  if it considers that no revision or change in the recommendation is called for, make report to that effect stating reasons therefore.

      (3)  Upon receipt of the recommendation of the Board under sub section (2), the [21][Government] may, by notification in the official Gazette, declare that the minimum rates of wages recommended under that sub-section by the Board for various workers shall, subject to such modifications and exceptions as may be specified in the notification, be the minimum rates of wages for such workers.

      (4)  Unless any date is specified for the purpose in the notification under sub-section (1) or sub-section (3), the declaration there-under shall take effect on the date of publication of such notification.

      (5)  Where after the publication of a notification under sub-section (1) or sub-section (3) or after the minimum rates of wages declared there-under have taken effect, it comes to the notice of the [22][Government] that there is a mistake in the minimum rates of wages so declared, or that any such rate is inequitable to the employers or the workers, it may refer the matter to the Board and any such reference shall be deemed to be a reference under sub-section (2).

      [23][* * * * * * * * * * * * *]

      (7)  The minimum rates of wages declared under this section shall be final and shall not in any manner be questioned by any person in any court or before any authority.

 

7.   Periodical review of minimum rates of wages.– (1) The Board shall review its recommendations if any change in the economic conditions and cost of living and other relevant factors so demand, and recommend to the [24][Government] any amendment, modification or revision of the minimum rates of wages declared under section 6:

      Provided that no recommendation shall be reviewed earlier than one year from the date on which it was made, unless the special circumstances of a case so require, and later than three years from such date.

      (2) Review and recommendation under this section shall be deemed to be an enquiry and recommendation under section 4 or, as the case may be, under section 5 and, so far as may be, the provisions of this Ordinance shall, to such review and recommendation, apply accordingly.

 

8.   [25][* * * * * * * * * * * * *]

 

9.   Prohibition to pay wages at a rate below the minimum rate of wages.– (l) Subject only to such deductions as may be authorized under this Ordinance, or under any other law for the time being in force, no employer shall pay any worker wages at a rate lower than the rate declared under this Ordinance to be the minimum rate of wages for such worker.

      (2)  Nothing in sub-section (1) shall be deemed–

            (a)  to require or authorize an employer to reduce the rate of wages of any worker; or

            (b)  to affect, in any way, the right of a worker to continue to receive wages at a rate higher than the minimum rate declared under this Ordinance if, under any agreement, contract or award, or as a customary differential, or otherwise, he is entitled to receive wages at such higher rate, or to continue to enjoy such amenities and other advantages as are customary for such worker to enjoy; or

            (c)  to affect the provisions of the Payment of Wages Act, 1936 (IV of 1936).

      (3)  Any employer who contravenes the provisions of this section shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to [26][twenty thousand] rupees or with both, and if the court trying such contravention by order so directs, shall also pay to the worker concerned such sum as may be specified in the order to represent the difference between the amount actually paid to such worker and the amount which would have been paid to him had there been no such contravention.

      [27][(4) Whoever having been convicted of any offence under this section again commits such offence shall be punishable on second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months and fine which may extend to fifty thousand rupees.]

 

[28][9-A.  (1) The [29][Government] may, by notification in the official Gazette, appoint any person to be Authority for any area, specified in the notification, to hear and decide all claims arising out of non-payment, or delay in the payment of wages to workers in that area whose minimum rates of wages have been declared under the provisions of this Ordinance.

      (2)  Where contrary to the provisions of this Ordinance wages of any worker have been withheld or delayed, such worker himself or through any other person authorized by him in this behalf, may, within six months from the day on which such payment was to be made, apply to the Authority appointed under subsection (1) having jurisdiction, for an order directing the payment to him of such wages:

      Provided that any such application may be admitted after the said period of six months but not later than one year from the date on which the payment was to be made, if the applicant satisfies the Authority that he had sufficient cause for not making the application within such period.

      (3)  When any application under sub-section (2) is entertained, the Authority shall hear the applicant and the employer or other person responsible for the payment of wages alleged to have been withheld or delayed or give them an opportunity of being heard and after such further inquiry, if any, as may be necessary may, without prejudice to any other penalty to which such employer or other person may be liable under section 9 or any other law for the time being in force direct the employer or such other person to make payment to the applicant of the wages which have been withheld or delayed, together with such penalty, not exceeding [30][one thousand] rupees, as the authority may fix:

      Provided that no direction for the payment of a penalty shall be made in the case of delayed wages, if the Authority is satisfied that the delay was due to–

      (a)  a bona fide error or bona fide dispute as to the amount payable to the employee; or

      (b)  the occurrence of any emergency or the existence of such exceptional circumstances that the person responsible for the payment of the wages was unable to make prompt payment; and

      (c)  the fault of the worker.

      (4)  If the Authority hearing any application under this section is satisfied that no amount to be paid as wages is due from the employer or other person responsible for the payment of wages to the applicant, it shall reject the application; and if the application, in the opinion of the Authority, is malicious or vexatious, the Authority when rejecting it, may direct the applicant to pay a penalty not exceeding [31][one thousand] rupees to the employer or other person responsible for the payment of wages.

      (5)  Any amount directed to be paid under this section may be recovered–

            (a)  if the authority is a magistrate, by the Authority as if it were a fine imposed by him as a magistrate; and(b) if that Authority is not a Magistrate, by any Magistrate to whom the Authority makes application in this behalf, as if it were a fine imposed by such Magistrate.

      (6)  An appeal against a direction made or order passed under subsection (3) or sub-section (4) may be preferred to the [32][Labour Court established under the Punjab Industrial Relations Act 2010 (XIX of 2010)] within thirty days of the date on which the direction was made or order was passed–

            (a)  by the employer or other person responsible for the payment of wages, if the amount directed to be paid as wages and penalty exceeds [33][ten thousand] rupees;

            (b)  by a worker, if the total amount of wages claimed to have been withheld from him exceeds rupees [34][five hundred]; or

            (c)  by the person directed under sub-section (4) to pay a penalty.

      (7)  If there is no appeal, the direction or order of the Authority made under sub-section (3) or sub-section (4) and where there is an appeal as provided in sub-section.(6), the decision in appeal, shall be final and shall not in any manner be questioned by any person in any court or before any authority.

      (8)  An Authority appointed under sub-section (l) shall, for the purposes of determining any matter referred to in sub-section (3) or sub-section (4)–

            (a)  have all the powers of a Civil Court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (V of 1908), for the purposes of enforcing the attendance of witnesses, compelling the production of documents, and taking of evidence; and

            (b)  be deemed to be a Civil Court for all the purposes of section 195 and Chapter XXXV of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (V of 1898).]

 

10. Cognizance of offences.– No court inferior to that of a Magistrate of the first class shall take cognizance of an offence punishable under this Ordinance or the rules made thereunder, and cognizance shall not be so taken except upon a complaint in writing made by the [35][Government] or by any person authorized in this behalf by such Government.

 

11. Protection of the proceedings of a Board [36][* * *].– No act or proceeding of a Board [37][* * *] shall be invalid or questioned merely on the ground of existence of any vacancy therein or of any defect in the constitution or in the appointment or qualification of any member thereof.

 

12. Powers of Boards, etc., to collect information.– [38][(1) Any Board or the Chairman of a Board may, for the purpose of an enquiry under this Ordinance or the rules made there under, direct any employer to furnish such records, documents or information and do such other acts as the Board or the Chairman, as the case may be, may require, and every such employer shall comply with such direction.]

      (2)  The Chairman of the Board [39][* * *] and such members, officers and servants there of as are authorized in this behalf by the chairmen? may, for the discharge of any functions under this Ordinance or the rules made hereunder,–

            (a)  enter, at all reasonable times, any factory;

            (b)  inspect any books, registers and other documents relating to such factory; and

            (c)  record statements of persons connected with the working of such factory:

      Provided that no one shall be required under this clause to answer any question tending to criminate himself.

      (3)  Any employer who contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1), and any person who willfully obstructs anyone in the exercise of any power under sub-section (2), or fails to produce on demand thereunder any books, registers or other documents, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to [40][ten thousand] rupees.

 

13. Certain powers of Court to Boards, etc.–(1) The Boards [41][* * *] shall, while holding an enquiry under this Ordinance or the rules made thereunder, be deemed to be Civil Courts and shall have the same powers as are vested in such Courts under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Act V of 1908), in respect of the following matters, namely:-

      (a)  enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath,

      (b)  compelling the production of documents and material objects; and

      (c)  issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses.

 

14. Chairman, etc., deemed to be public servants.– The Chairman of the Boards [42][* * *] and the members, officers and servants thereof, shall all be deemed to be public servants within the meaning of section 21 of the Pakistan Penal Code (Act XLV of 1860).

 

15. Bar to legal proceedings.– No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against any person for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this Ordinance or the rules made thereunder.

 

16. [43][* * * * * * * * * * * *]

 

17. Rules relating to Boards.– (1) Subject to the provisions of section 16, the [44][Government] may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules for carrying out the purposes of this Ordinance.

      (2)  Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for–

            (a)  the matters specified in sub-section (5) of section 3;

            (b)  the giving of opportunities to persons likely to be affected by the minimum rates of wages to offer comments and make suggestions;

            (c)  fixing normal hours of work for the purpose of determining time work;

            (d) giving adequate publicity to the minimum rates of wages declared under this Ordinance;

            (e)  the maintenance of wages books, wage slips, register and other records and prescribe their forms and particulars to be entered therein and the manner of authenticating such entries;

            (f)  the preparation and submission of reports and returns;

            (g)  the appointment of Inspectors or other officers and prescribe their powers and functions; and

            (h)  such other matters for which rules are considered necessary for effectively carrying out the provisions of this Ordinance.

      (3)  Rules made under this section may provide that any contravention there of shall be punishable with fine not exceeding [45][ten thousand] rupees.

 

18. [46][* * * * * * * * * * * *]

 



[1]In pursuance of the proclamation of the seventh day of October, 1958, and in exercise of all powers enabling him in that behalf, the President promulgated this Ordinance which was published in the Official Gazette on 29 September 1961. This Ordinance was applied to the Provincially Administered Tribal Areas or to the parts of those areas to which it did not already apply see, Regulation No.1 of 1972, s.2 and Sch.

    This Ordinance was originally in the Federal ambit, however, the subject on which this law was enacted devolved to the provinces by virtue of 18th Amendment in the Constitution, hence it was adapted, with amendments, for the province of the Punjab by the Minimum Wages (Amendment) Act 2012 (XV of 2012).

[2]Substituted for the words “the whole” by the Minimum Wages (Amendment) Act 2012 (XV of 2012).

[3]Ibid., for the word “Pakistan”.

[4]Inserted by the Minimum Wages (Amendment) Act 2012 (XV of 2012).

[5]Substituted ibid., for “Clause (xiv) of Section 2 of Industrial Relations Ordinance 1969 (XIII of 1969)”.

[6]Substituted by Federal Adaptation Order, 1975, Art. 2 and Table, for “Central Government.”

[7]Substituted for the words “a provincial Government” by the Minimum Wages (Amendment) Act 2012 (XV of 2012).

[8]Ibid., for the words “Provincial Government”.

[9]Substituted for the word “four”, by the Minimum Wages (Amendment) Act 2012 (XV of 2012).

[10]Inserted by the Minimum Wages (Amendment) Act 2012 (XV of 2012).

[11]Substituted by the Punjab Fair Representation of Women Act 2014 (IV of 2014) for the following clauses (c) and (d):-

    “(c)  one member to represent the employers of the Province; and

      (d) one member to represent the workers of the Province:”

[12]Substituted for the words “Provincial Government” by the Minimum Wages (Amendment) Act 2012 (XV of 2012).

[13]Ibid.

[14]Ibid.

[15]The word “Provincial” omitted by the Minimum Wages (Amendment) Act 2012 (XV of 2012).

[16]Substituted ibid., for the words “Provincial Government”.

[17]The original proviso was omitted by Adaptation Order, 1964 (P.O. I of 1964), Art. 2 and Sch.

[18]Substituted for the words “Provincial Government” by the Minimum Wages (Amendment) Act 2012 (XV of 2012).

[19]Ibid.

[20]Ibid.

[21]Ibid.

[22]Ibid.

[23]Sub-section (6) omitted by the Adaptation Order, 1964 (P.O. I of 1964), Art.2 and Sch.

[24]Substituted for the words “Provincial Government” by the Minimum Wages (Amendment) Act 2012 (XV of 2012).

[25]Omitted by the Adaptation Order 1964 (P.O. I of 1964), Art. 2 and Sch.

[26]Substituted for the words “five hundred”, by the Minimum Wages (Amendment) Act 2012 (XV of 2012).

[27]Inserted ibid.

[28]Added by the Minimum Wages (West Pakistan Amendment) Ordinance, 1970 (XI of 1970).

[29]Substituted for the words “Provincial Government” by the Minimum Wages (Amendment) Act 2012 (XV of 2012).

[30]Substituted for the word “fifty” by the Minimum Wages (Amendment) Act 2012 (XV of 2012).

[31]Ibid.

[32]Ibid., for the words “District Court”.

[33]Ibid., for the words “one hundred”.

[34]Ibid., for the word “fifty”.

[35]Substituted by the Minimum Wages (Amendment) Act 2012 (XV of 2012), for the words “Provincial Government”.

[36]The original words “or the Council” omitted by Adaptation Order, 1964 (P.O. I of 1964), Art. 2 and Sch.

[37]The words “or of the Council” omitted ibid.

[38]Substituted ibid., for the original sub-section (1).

[39]The words and comma “and the Council,” were omitted, ibid.

[40]Substituted for the words “five hundred” by the Minimum Wages (Amendment) Act 2012 (XV of 2012).

[41]The words “and the Council”, omitted by the Adaptation Order 1964 (P.O. I of 1964).

[42]Ibid.

[43]Section 16. Rules relating to Council.– omitted ibid.

[44]Substituted for the words “Provincial Government” by the Minimum Wages (Amendment) Act 2012 (XV of 2012).

[45]Substituted for the words “five hundred”, by the Minimum Wages (Amendment) Act 2012 (XV of 2012).

[46]Section 18. Repeal and savings.– Omitted by the Federal Laws (Revision and Declaration) Ordinance, 1981 (XXVII of 1981) s.3, Sch.II.