In a boost to ad hoc and temporary employees being paid less than regular staffers, the Supreme Court Wednesday held that this differentiation was an “act of exploitative enslavement” and reminded all employers that “equal pay for equal work” was a constitutional principle.
A bench led by Justice J S Khehar noted that under the constitutional principle of “equal pay for equal work”, everyone doing the same work was entitled to equal remuneration — whether employed on a regular basis or temporary. “Any act of paying less wages, as compared to others similarly situate, constitutes an act of exploitative enslavement, emerging out of a domineering position. Undoubtedly, the action is oppressive, suppressive and coercive, as it compels involuntary subjugation,” held the Supreme Court bench.
The top court elucidated these principles of law while setting aside a full bench decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.