It is the wage that is sufficient to cover the bare physical needs of a worker and his family.
Wages defined by Benham – “Wages are a sum of money paid under contract by an employer to a worker for services rendered.”
Justice Higgin propounded the concept of the minimum wage as the irreducible level of wage paid to an unskilled worker, considering him a human being living in a civilized society. In this single sentence, he indicated three important considerations, namely,
(i) that minimum wage is an irreducible level which cannot be further reduced;
(2) secondly, it is paid to an unskilled worker who has not undergone any expensive training to acquire skill,
(3) thirdly, the worker is to be considered a “human being living in a civilized society and therefore he is entitled to the same basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter which any other human being requires.
Thus according to Justice Higgins, a minimum wage is that irreducible wage, which should enable the worker to get three basic necessities of life, namely, food, clothing, and shelter.
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