Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
Deductions from wages fall roughly into three classes, namely. fines which are imposed for disciplinary reasons, deductions on account of damage sustained by the employer and deductions for the use of material and tools and for other benefits provided by the employer. In all three cases we consider that, there are strong grounds for legislative regulation. In the first place, the worker is utterly helpless in the matter. The employer, or more commonly his subordinate, determines when a deduction should be made and fixes its amount which is recovered from the wages due to the worker. Similar practices in other countries have led in a number of cases to statutory regulation. Moreover in many of these countries organisation on the part of the workers gives some security against excessive and inexcusable deductions. In India both forms of protection are generally lacking. Further, the fact that in many cases the workers' wages suffice for little more than the purchase of the primary necessities of life makes even a small deduction a definite hardship, while the larger deductions may increase their indebtedness and even cripple their resources for some time.
Even when actual hardship is not caused, fines have an irritating effect on the worker and create a sense of injustice. In the case of the other compulsory deductions, the worker usually pays for something definite; but even here experience elsewhere shows that protection is necessary to ensure that the deductions are made for a legitimate purpose and that the worker secures in return commensurate benefits. The enquiries which were instituted in 1926 disclosed instances of deductions, such as compulsory contributions to charities selected by the employer, which appear to be wholly unjustified. Our conclusion, therefore, is that legislation is both necessary and desirable, and we proceed to consider separately the protection which the law should provide in regard to each of the three classes of deductions.