Rural Employment Guarantee Act: A Summary
The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 is a law whereby any adult
who is willing to do unskilled manual work at the minimum wage is entitled
to being employed on public works within 15 days of applying. If work is
not provided within 15 days, he/she is entitled to an unemployment
allowance. The key features of the Act are given below.
Any person who is
above the age of 18 and resides in rural areas is entitled to apply for
is entitled to work within 15 days, for as many days as he/she has applied,
subject to a limit
of 100 days per
household per year.
is to be provided within a radius of 5 kilometres of the applicant’s
residence if possible, and in
any case within
the Block. If work is provided beyond 5 kilometres, travel allowances have
to be paid.
are entitled to the statutory minimum wage applicable to agricultural
labourers in the state,
and until the
Central Government “notifies” a different wage rate. If the Central
wage rate is
subject to a minimum of Rs 60/day.
5. Timely payment:
are to be paid weekly, or in any case not later than a fortnight. Payment
of wages is to be made
the person concerned in the presence of independent persons of the community
If work is not
provided within 15 days, applicants are entitled to an unemployment
allowance: one third of
the wage rate for the
first thirty days, and one half thereafter.
entitled to various facilities at the worksite such as clean drinking water,
shade for periods of
rest, emergency health
care, and child-minding.
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