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THE EQUAL REMUNERATION ACT, 1976

Title : THE EQUAL REMUNERATION ACT, 1976

Year : 1976



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.



(1) The appropriate Government may, by notification, appoint such persons as it may think fit to be Inspectors for the purpose of making an investigation as to whether the provisions of this Act, or the rules made there under, are being complied with by employers, and may define the local limits within which an Inspector may make such investigation.

(2) Every Inspector shall be deemed to be a public servant within the meaning of section 21 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).

(3) An Inspector may, at any place within the local limits of his jurisdiction,-

(a) Enter, at any reasonable time, with such assistance as he thinks fit, any building, factory, premises or vessel;

(b) Require any employer to produce any register, muster-roll or other documents relating to the employment of workers, and examine such documents;

(c) Take, on the spot or otherwise, the evidence of any person for the purpose of ascertaining whether the provisions of this Act are being, or have been, complied with;

(d) Examine the employer, his agent or servant or any other person found in charge of the establishment or any premises connected therewith or any person whom the Inspector has reasonable cause to believe to be, or to have been a worker in the establishment;

(e) Make copies, or take extracts from, any register or other document maintained in relation to the establishment under this Act.

(4) Any person required by an Inspector to produce any register or other document or to give any information shall comply with such requisition.



(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 1*[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 section6, he shall be punishable 1*[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.

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1. Subs. by Act 49 of 1987, s. 3.

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(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 has 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 any body corporate and includes a firm or other association of individuals; and

(b) "Director", in relation to a firm, means a partner in the firm.



(1) No court inferior to that of a Metropolitan Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate of the first class shall try any offence punishable under this Act.

(2) No court shall take cognizance of an offence punishable under this Act except upon-

(a) Its own knowledge or upon a complaint made by the appropriate Government or an officer authorised by it in this behalf, or

(b) A complaint made by the person aggrieved by the offence or by any recognised welfare institution or organisation.

Explanation.-For the purposes of this sub-section "recognised welfare institution or organisation" means a social welfare institution or organisation recognised in this behalf by the Central or State Government.

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1. Subs. by Act 49 of 1987, s. 4.

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(1) The Central Government may, by notification, make rules for carrying out the provisions of this Act.

(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:-

(a) The manner in which complaint or claim referred to in sub -section (1) of section 7 shall be made;

(b) Registers and other documents which an employer is required under section 8 to maintain in relation to the workers employed by him;

(c) Any other matter which is required to be, or may be, prescribed.

(3) Every rule made by the Central Government under this Act shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament, while it is in session, for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised in one session or in two or more successive sessions, and if, before the expiry of the session immediately following the session or the successive sessions aforesaid, both Houses agree in making any modification in the rule or both Houses agree that the rule should not be made, the rule shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be; so, however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of any thing previously done under that rule.



The Central Government may give directions to a State Government as to the carrying into execution of this Act in the State.



Nothing in this Act shall apply-

(a) To cases affecting the terms and conditions of a womans employment in complying with the requirements of any law giving special treatment to women, or

(b) To any special treatment accorded to women in connection with--

(i) The birth or expected birth of a child, or

(ii) The terms and conditions relating to retirement, marriage or death or to any provision made in connection with the retirement, marriage or death.

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1. Subs. by Act 49 of 1987, s. 5.

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Where the appropriate Government is, on a consideration of all the circumstances of the case, satisfied that the differences in regard to the remuneration, or a particular species of remuneration, of men and women workers in any establishment or employment is based on a factor other than sex, it may, by notification, make a declaration to that effect, and any act of the employer attributable to such a difference shall not be deemed to be a contravention of any provision of this Act.



If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of this Act, the Central Government may, by notification, make any order, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, which appears to it to be necessary for the purpose of removing the difficulty:

Provided that every such order shall, as soon as may be after it is made, be laid before each House of Parliament.




(1) The Equal Remuneration Ordinance,1975 (Ord. 12 of 1975) is hereby repealed.

(2) Notwithstanding such repeal, anything done or any action taken under the Ordinance so repealed (including any notification, nomination, appointment, order or direction made thereunder) shall be deemed to have been done or taken under the corresponding provisions of this Act as if this Act were in force when such thing was done or action was taken.

Last updated on May, 2016

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