Working women in India deserve a big salute. Managing job and family life is not an easy task. Even though, women in India work hard to balance family life and job. Few of their partners may cooperate with them to manage domestic works, but most of the women themselves manage the work. Daily routine of a house wife is very difficult, then we can imagine how working women manages their job and home. There are many areas in which women are giving very good services, e.g. school, colleges, hospitals and many other organizations. I am amazed with the quality of teachers working in my children's school. Their dedication, talent and patience to train our loved ones are really excellent. They give attention to every student, supporting, training and encouraging them to be the best. In every parents meeting, I watch them carefully and I am sure they are working hard than us for our children.
Women are excellent performers in many working areas. They are also the key players of a family to have a happy, peace and progress. Unlike men, working schedule of women starts at early morning and remain till late night. In my opinion they deserve equality everywhere, and better appraisal.
Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 had been passed to ensure equality to working women and to avoid any kind of discrimination. The highlights of the act are:
Duty of employer to pay equal remuneration to men and women workers for same work or work of a similar nature - Section 4 of Equal Remuneration Act, 1976
As per Section 4 (1) no employer shall pay to any worker, employed by him in an establishment or employment, remuneration, whether payable in cash or in kind, at rates less favourable than those at which remuneration is paid by him to the workers of the opposite sex in such establishment or employment for performing the same work or work of a similar nature.
(2) No employer shall, for the purpose of complying with the provisions of sub-section (1), reduce the rate of remuneration of any worker.
(3) Where, in an establishment or employment, the rates of remuneration payable before the commencement of this Act for men and women workers for the same work or work of a similar nature are different only on the ground of sex, then the higher (in cases where there are only two rates), or, as the case may be, the highest (in cases where there are more than two rates), of such rates shall be the rate at which remuneration shall be payable, on and from such commencement, to such men and women workers :
Provided that nothing in this sub-section shall be deemed to entitle a worker to the revision of the rate of remuneration payable to him or her with reference to the service rendered by him or her before the commencement of this Act
Prohibition against discrimination while recruiting Men and Women workers- Section 5 Of Equal Remuneration 1976
As per Section 5 on and from the commencement of this Act, no employer shall, while making recruitment for the same work or work of a similar nature, or in any condition of service subsequent to recruitment such as promotions, training or transfer, make any discrimination against women except where the employment of women in such work is prohibited or restricted by or under any law for the time being in force:
Provided that the provisions of this section shall not affect any priority or reservation for Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes, ex-servicemen, retrenched employees or any other class or category of persons in the matter of recruitment to the posts in an establishment or employment.
Duty of employers to maintain registers - section 8 of Equal Remuneration Act, 1976
The Act says that "on and from the commencement of this Act, every employer shall maintain such registers and other documents in relation to the workers employed by him as may be prescribed".
Penalties for violation of Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 section 10
Section 10(1) If after the commencement of this Act, any employer, being required by or under the Act, so to do
(a) omits or fails to maintain any register or other document in relation to workers employed by him, or
(b) omits or fails to produce any register, muster-roll or other document relating to the employment of workers, or
(c) omits or refuses to give any evidence or prevents his agent, servant, or any other person in charge of the establishment, or any worker, from giving evidence, or
(d) omits or refuses to give any information, he shall be punishable with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month or with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees or with both.
(2) If, after the commencement of this Act, any employer
(a) makes any recruitment in contravention of the provisions of this Act, or
(b) makes any payment of remuneration at unequal rates to men and women workers, for the same work or work of a similar nature, or
(c) makes any discrimination between men and women workers in contravention of the provisions of this Act, or
(d) omits or fails to carry out any direction made by the appropriate Government under sub-section (5) of section 6, he shall be punishable with fine which shall not be less than ten thousand rupees but which may extend to twenty thousand rupees or with imprisonment for a term which shall be not less than three months but which may extend to one year or with both for the first offence, and with imprisonment which may extend to two years for the second and subsequent offences.
(3) If any person being required so to do, omits or refuses to produce to an Inspector any register or other document or to give any information, he shall be punishable with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees.
Offences by Companies- Section 11 of Equal Remuneration Act, 1976
Section 11 (1) Where an offence under this Act has been committed by a company, every person who at the time the offence was committed, was in charge of, and was responsible to, the company for the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the company, shall be deemed, to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly :
Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall render any such person liable to any punishment, if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he had exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where any offence under this Act been committed by a company and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of or is attributable to any neglect on the part of any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company, such director, manager, secretary or other officer shall be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
Explanation : For the purposes of this section, - (a) "company" means anybody corporate and includes a firm or other association of individuals; and
(b) "director", in relation to a firm, means a partner in the firm.