Wage is the amount paid by the employer, either in cash or kind including the dearness allowance. It is the amount paid or which is earned by an employee while on duty or on earned leave in accordance with the terms and conditions of his employment.
The Minimum Wages Act in India provides for fixing the minimum rates of wages in certain employments and the provisions of this law are intended to achieve the object of ensuring social justice to the workers. Legal provisions pertaining to minimum wages are welfare provisions and are there so as to prevent the exploitation of the labour force.
The minimum rates of wages are fixed for various employments in different classes of work in the same employment. They may be adults, adolescents, children and apprentices and may be employed in different localities.
Both Central Government and State Governments are empowered to frame rules in this regard. The employers may have to refer to rules of a State Government if industry comes within the jurisdiction of that Government.
The Government may fix the minimum rates of wages either by hour, by the day, by the month or by such large wage-period as may be prescribed and which may be reviewed and revised from time to time. The employer must pay every employee the fixed wages as notified by the government. The law of minimum wage is welfare legislation and seeks to prevent the exploitation of the labourers.