If duties and responsibilities of temporary employees working in the government as pump operators, fitters, helpers, drivers, plumbers, chowkidars were the same as that of government employees, such w
If duties and responsibilities of temporary employees working in the government as pump operators, fitters, helpers, drivers, plumbers, chowkidars were the same as that of government employees, such wage earners were entitled to scales of pay on par with government employees on the principle of ‘equal pay for equal work’, the Supreme Court has held.
A bench of Justices J. S. Khehar and S.A. Bode said the principle of ‘equal pay for equal work’ was deducible from the Preamble and Articles 14, 16 and 39(d) of the Constitution. The principle applies to cases of unequal scales of pay, based on no classification or irrational classification, though both sets of employees (temporary and regular) performed identical duties.
The bench said all the temporary employees in the Punjab government mentioned in the appeals were appointed against posts that were also available in the regular cadre/establishment. It pointed out that during the course of their employment, the temporary employees were being randomly deputed to discharge duties and responsibilities which at some point in time were assigned to regular employees.
Likewise, regular employees holding substantive posts were also posted to discharge the work assigned to temporary employees from time to time. The bench said there was, therefore, no room for any doubt that the duties and responsibilities discharged by the temporary employees in the present set of appeals were the same as were being discharged by regular employees. The court said that the fact that the temporary employees did not possess the qualifications prescribed for appointment on regular basis or that the the temporary employees would not be entitled to pay parity does not make a case for the government.
It held that temporary employees would be entitled to draw wages at the minimum of the pay-scale extended to regular employees holding the same post.