Dear Friends,

We have deployed watchmen through contractor in our mines premises, especially at the gates and the boundaries, where they basically perform the jobs of watching, and manually logging in register the movements (ingress & egress) of vehicles, checking the materials being transported, and patrolling inside the premises. The contractor pays them the minimum wages of unskilled category, since as per the minimum wages act, 1948, a watchman falls under the unskilled category. However, recently the contractor and we, as principle employer, have been served notice by the LEO (C) for less payment of wages to them, contending that they are not watchman, rather security guards, therefore, are entitled to minimum wages of semi-skilled category. Can someone guide me and let me know what exactly are the differences between a watchman and a security guard, and what factors should be considered while determining whether a person is discharging duty as a watchman or a security guard? Your professional inputs would be of immense help for us in contesting the charges.


VK Sinha

From India, Chaibasa
Dear V.K.Sinha,
do check the notification given by govt of Bihar or appropriate authority. They have clearly mentioned the security guard as unskilled category. After looking after Security of Big Security provider company I have not seen notification as watchman and guard as separate case for all India notification. If they have given any notification in this regard then it may be anomaly on their part.
The security now comes under PSAR Act 2005 and it is quite clear with security business.
Capt Rajeshwar Singh
linkedin com check captrajeshwarsingh

From India, Thana
There is separate min wage for Security guards as per the Min. wages of the particular state govt. Check with your state min. wages. Watch man comes under security guard category. Pon
From India, Lucknow
Security Guards and the services/Business related to this falls under employment category that is separately governed by PSAR 2005.
However The Min wages category also shows a category of employment as 'Watchmen", Therefore it raises this ambiguity.In My Opinion if the security services/business are governed separate enactment, then , it must have its own structure of wages notified under security services category like the Security Guard Boards do under Maharashtra Private Security Guards (Employmen & Welfare) Regulation Act. Where they are specifically considering the Security and various Classes of Security and Declare the wages as separate Autonomous Body Under the Lbr Ministry.
Categorically Speaking - Wages more than the semiskilled category may be considered for critical & Vital functions like security.

From India, Vadodara
Watchman will be generally as unskilled person if he does unskilled work such as general vigilance in his duty..
If the company entrusts any prudent assignment while discharging his duties such as to note down the vehicle numbers while in and out to the premises, to check the vehicles thoroughly and allow the visitors after preliminary inquiry etc,. then he will be coming under the category of semiskilled and even skilled while operating generator and change over of power in case of power failure, receiving/ sending tappals by noting in a registers while in his duties.

From India, Hyderabad
Dear All,
Watchman is not an unskilled category. However, if you go by the term Security Guard- it certainly is. Nonethe less please understand the difference between the two. Many of the states min. wages notifications will show you two separate categories for Watchmen and Security Guard. The security services category again fall under two parts- one goverened by the States Min. Wages act and the other falls under the DGR (Director General Of Resettlement) under the central wages. State to State the categories differ. So, it would not be prudent to counsel taking into consideration one state wages and giving opinion about another.
Dear Mr. VK Sinha, you may just forget other factors and concentrate upon your State min. wages and categories wgich you will easily find in the Internet and seek your opinion based on the fact received thereof.

From India, Kolkata
There is no functional difference between Watchman & Security Guard. Both are same. While referring to the min. wages of TN, I do find the category of security guards but not watchman. For all practical purposes, the min. wages of Sec. guard shall apply to Watchman, I opine.
Pon, Chennai

From India, Lucknow
Dear V.K.Sinha,

The category of watchmen have been shown as un-skilled in most of the scheduled employments declared by the state Govts. Similarly the Govt. of NCT of Delhi has listed 29 nos. of Scheduled employments in their notification but no separate minimum rates of wages have been fixed for Security personnel. However, in the list of Scheduled employments declared by the NCT of Delhi, the categories of Chowkidar, Durban and Watchman have been mentioned to be Un-Skilled workers whereas the Night-Bearer–cum–Chowkidar has been shown in Semi-Skilled category in some of the Scheduled employments.On the contrary minimum rates of wages of the Govt. of Haryana contained 47 Scheduled employments where the Security Guard without weapon has been shown as Semi-Skilled ‘A’ and Security Guard with weapon as Skilled ‘A’. The Security Inspector / Security Officer/Supervisors have been placed in Highly Skilled category.

The basic differences between a watchman and a security guard is that a watchman works as durban or as a chokidar to perform a particular one or two functions whereas the category of Security guard carry multiferous fuctions with greater resposibilities.Yourself you have mentioned that the watchmen deployed with your company are performing the jobs of watching,manually logging in register the movements (ingress & egress) of vehicles, checking the materials being transported and patrolling inside the premises.

In my opinion the LEO (C) has rightly issued notice to the company for less payment of wages to watchmen contending that they are not watchman, rather security guards.

BS Kalsi

From India, Mumbai
Agree with Mr. Kalsi's opinion.
These days several states have Acts on Private Security, as pointed out by other members. Plz refer to the appropriate Act. Many State governments also have specified Wages. The JD's n responsibilities of a watchman and security guards are different, the latter being more comprehensive, as already pointed out. Generally the Security guards are exploited and paid for an 8 hour shift, whereas the work taken is for 12 hours. apart from denying them OT wages they are also deprived of several statutory benefits. Moreover, they come under Semi-skilled and Skilled category.
Warm regards.

From India, Delhi
Considering the Fact that Security Services Business Falls Under the purview of Central Act - ie Private Security Agencies act 2005,Every State has been directed to Form their rules & Scheme to regulate the business of security Services.Hence The States therefore has the obligation to decide the Wages and ensure the regulation in respect of the Security employment,Welfare and Benefits therein.As stated by Members in this post, reference to minimum wages notification and any other notifications specifically governing the security business has to be referred. Like the Pune/Mumbai District Security Guard Boards etc under Maharashtra Private Security Guards regulation of employment & Welfare Act 1981.

From India, Vadodara

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