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Litigation Concerning the Dispute over Minimum Wage in Sindh

Litigation Concerning the Dispute over Minimum Wage in Sindh

Litigation Concerning the Dispute over Minimum Wage in Sindh

On 09.07.2021, the Sindh Government issued a notification under Section 4(1) and 6(1)(a), of Minimum Wages Act, 2015, declaring the minimum wage to be Rs. 25,000. The aforementioned Notification was challenged by the various employers before the Honourable Sindh High Court, wherein various labour organizations filed an intervener application. The Honourable Sindh High Court after hearing, inter alia, the employers, labour organizations and members of the Sindh Minimum Wage Board, upheld the validity of the aforementioned Notification.

The employer being aggrieved by the aforementioned Judgment challenged the same before the Honourable Supreme Court alleging that the procedure laid down to increase minimum wage under Minimum Wages Act, 2015, was not followed by the Sindh Government. Therefore, the impugned Notification is illegal.

The procedure under the Minimum Wages Act, 2015, requires that the Minimum Wage Board after consultation with the employees, employers and other experts, recommend the minimum wage to the Sindh Government and if the Sindh Government disagrees with the amount recommended, it shall refer it back to Minimum Wage Board for reconsideration. However, in the present case, the Minimum Wage Board recommended Rs. 19,000, but the Sindh Government without referring back the said recommendation to Minimum Wage Board for reconsideration, unilaterally increased the said amount to Rs. 25,000.

The Honourable Supreme Court, keeping the above facts in consideration, set aside the Honourable Sindh High Court judgment, however, directed the employers to pay Rs. 19,000 to the employees including the arrears which are due from the date the Minimum Wage Board recommended Rs. 19,000 minimum wage. The Honourable Supreme Court further directed the Sindh Government to follow the procedure laid down in the Minimum Wages Act, 2015, and refer back the recommendation of Rs. 19,000 for reconsideration to Minimum Wage Board, and complete the exercise as laid down in the Minimum Wages Act, 2015, within 2 months.

The following documents are available for online viewing:

1. Impugned Judgment
2. Order Dated 7.12.2021
3. Memo of Petition