Please help me out to know whether we can pay Basic & Sp.allowance less then defined in Minimum wage as our Gross Salary is more then what Minimum Wage define in Maharashta.
Dear Syed
No. Basic should be at least equal to minimum wages as it has its implication on PF, Gratuity etc. There are EPFO directives to maintain the Basic equal to minimum wages.
Shailesh Parikh
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In order to satisfy with the minimum wages requirements, you can take the gross salary and if you are paying the gross salary equal to more than the basic plus special allowance (DA) as per minimum wages notification you are said to comply with the statutory requirements. It is okay even if there is no DA (Special Allowance) but what is important is the gross salary.
In Airfrieght Ltd vs State of Karnataka, the Supreme Court has observed that the establishment paying gross salary without any component called DA, more than minimum wages as per notification need not pay DA separately.
It is on the basis of the above judgement that many started fixing their basic wages at a very low stage so that various statutory contributions like PF,Gratuity and Bonus can be reduced to the minimum. However, the meaning of wages should be interpreted as the total amount of remuneration that an employer had agreed to pay the employee in return for the labour or service that the latter will contribute when a contract of employment was made at the time of joining. As such there is no meaning in paying the PF on basic alone, or paying the gratuity or bonus on basic wages but it should very strictly be on the gross salary.
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