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Low-Paid Workers, Women most impacted due to Wage Gaps created by COVID-19: ILO Report 2020-21

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Low-paid workers, women hit most by COVID-19 wage gapsAccording to “Global Wage Report 2020-21: Wages and minimum wages in the time of COVID-19” released by International Labour Organization (ILO), Women and Lower-paid workers were impacted the most due to decrease in wages because of reduced working hours during the COVID-19 crisis.

The report is the 7th in the series of 2020’s ILO Global Wage Report, it provides evidence of the effects of the crisis on wages in different countries due to Pandemic.

Key points:

i.The report stated that the Global Wage Growth changed between 1.6% and 2.2% during the four years (2016-19) before the pandemic.

ii.The report stated that the impact of the crisis was different for women and men, Women workers in few European countries faced 8.1% reduction in wages compared to 5.4% for men.

iii.Individuals in lower-skilled occupations have lost more working hours than individuals working in higher-paying managerial and professional jobs.

iv.Globally, around 266 Million People (15% of all wage earners) were earning less than hourly minimum wage even before the pandemic.

Hard hit Sectors: 

i.The sectors which were hit hardly due to the pandemic are – Wholesale and retail trade, accommodation and food services.

ii.According to the report, these are sectors in which women tend to be over-represented.

Regarding India:

i.The report stated that the wages of Formal Workers have been cut by 3.6% in India, while wages of informal workers experienced a fall in wages of around 22.6%.

ii.It also highlighted the Code on Wages Bill passed by India in August, 2019 to extend minimum wage coverage through a national universal minimum wage (wage floor).

iii.Citing the Economic Survey 2019-20 it stated that each state in India uses different minimum wage rates for employees in each occupation and in organized employment. It has given rise to over 1, 915 occupation minimum wage rates across states and 48 minimum wages in the Central sphere.

Minimum Wage in India:

i.As per the Code on Wages Bill, 2019, the Minimum wages for an Individual in India is INR 178 per day, which is an increase by INR 2 rupees compared to the previous Minimum Wage.

ii.In India, the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 is an Act of Parliament which sets minimum wages that must be paid to skilled and unskilled labourers.

Recent Related News:

i.On 18th August 2020, The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) released the joint report titled “Tackling the Covid-19 youth employment crisis in Asia and the Pacific”.

About International Labour Organization (ILO):
Director General – Guy Ryder
Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland
Member Countries – 187 Countries