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Protection of Wages Convention, 1949 (No. 95)

International Labour Organization
ILO: International Labour Organization
June 8, 1949
International law

Preamble

The General Conference of the International Labour Organisation,

Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, and having met in its Thirty-second Session on 8 June 1949, and

Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals concerning the protection of wages, which is the seventh item on the agenda of the session, and

Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of an international Convention,

adopts this first day of July of the year one thousand nine hundred and forty-nine the following Convention, which may be cited as the Protection of Wages Convention, 1949:

Article 1

In this Convention, the term wages means remuneration or earnings, however designated or calculated, capable of being expressed in terms of money and fixed by mutual agreement or by national laws or regulations, which are payable in virtue of a written or unwritten contract of employment by an employer to an employed person for work done or to be done or for services rendered or to be rendered.

Article 2
  1. 1. This Convention applies to all persons to whom wages are paid or payable.
  2. 2. The competent authority may, after consultation with the organisations of employers and employed persons directly concerned, if such exist, exclude from the application of all or any of the provisions of the Convention categories of persons whose circumstances and conditions of employment are such that the application to them of all or any of the said provisions would be inappropriate and who are not employed in manual labour or are employed in domestic service or work similar thereto.
  3. 3. Each Member shall indicate in its first annual report upon the application of this Convention submitted under Article 22 of the Constitution of the International Labour Organisation any categories of persons which it proposes to exclude from the application of all or any of the provisions of the Convention in accordance with the provisions of the preceding paragraph; no Member shall, after the date of its first annual report, make exclusions except in respect of categories of persons so indicated.
  4. 4. Each Member having indicated in its first annual report categories of persons which it proposes to exclude from the application of all or any of the provisions of the Convention shall indicate in subsequent annual reports any categories of persons in respect of which it renounces the right to have recourse to the provisions of paragraph 2 of this Article and any progress which may have been made with a view to the application of the Convention to such categories of persons.
Article 3
  1. 1. Wages payable in money shall be paid only in legal tender, and payment in the form of promissory notes, vouchers or coupons, or in any other form alleged to represent legal tender, shall be prohibited.
  2. 2. The competent authority may permit or prescribe the payment of wages by bank cheque or postal cheque or money order in cases in which payment in this manner is customary or is necessary because of special circumstances, or where a collective agreement or arbitration award so provides, or, where not so provided, with the consent of the worker concerned.
Article 4
  1. 1. National laws or regulations, collective agreements or arbitration awards may authorise the partial payment of wages in the form of allowances in kind in industries or occupations in which payment in the form of such allowances is customary or desirable because of the nature of the industry or occupation concerned; the payment of wages in the form of liquor of high alcoholic content or of noxious drugs shall not be permitted in any circumstances.
  2. 2. In cases in which partial payment of wages in the form of allowances in kind is authorised, appropriate measures shall be taken to ensure that--
    • (a) such allowances are appropriate for the personal use and benefit of the worker and his family; and
    • (b) the value attributed to such allowances is fair and reasonable.
Article 5

Wages shall be paid directly to the worker concerned except as may be otherwise provided by national laws or regulations, collective agreement or arbitration award or where the worker concerned has agreed to the contrary.

Article 6

Employers shall be prohibited from limiting in any manner the freedom of the worker to dispose of his wages.

Article 7
  1. 1. Where works stores for the sale of commodities to the workers are established or services are operated in connection with an undertaking, the workers concerned shall be free from any coercion to make use of such stores or services.
  2. 2. Where access to other stores or services is not possible, the competent authority shall take appropriate measures with the object of ensuring that goods are sold and services provided at fair and reasonable prices, or that stores established and services operated by the employer are not operated for the purpose of securing a profit but for the benefit of the workers concerned.
Article 8
  1. 1. Deductions from wages shall be permitted only under conditions and to the extent prescribed by national laws or regulations or fixed by collective agreement or arbitration award.
  2. 2. Workers shall be informed, in the manner deemed most appropriate by the competent authority, of the conditions under which and the extent to which such deductions may be made.
Article 9

Any deduction from wages with a view to ensuring a direct or indirect payment for the purpose of obtaining or retaining employment, made by a worker to an employer or his representative or to any intermediary (such as a labour contractor or recruiter), shall be prohibited.

Article 10
  1. 1. Wages may be attached or assigned only in a manner and within limits prescribed by national laws or regulations.
  2. 2. Wages shall be protected against attachment or assignment to the extent deemed necessary for the maintenance of the worker and his family.
Article 11
  1. 1. In the event of the bankruptcy or judicial liquidation of an undertaking, the workers employed therein shall be treated as privileged creditors either as regards wages due to them for service rendered during such a period prior to the bankruptcy or judicial liquidation as may be prescribed by national laws or regulations, or as regards wages up to a prescribed amount as may be determined by national laws or regulations.
  2. 2. Wages constituting a privileged debt shall be paid in full before ordinary creditors may establish any claim to a share of the assets.
  3. 3. The relative priority of wages constituting a privileged debt and other privileged debts shall be determined by national laws or regulations.
Article 12
  1. 1. Wages shall be paid regularly. Except where other appropriate arrangements exist which ensure the payment of wages at regular intervals, the intervals for the payment of wages shall be prescribed by national laws or regulations or fixed by collective agreement or arbitration award.
  2. 2. Upon the termination of a contract of employment, a final settlement of all wages due shall be effected in accordance with national laws or regulations, collective agreement or arbitration award or, in the absence of any applicable law, regulation, agreement or award, within a reasonable period of time having regard to the terms of the contract.
Article 13
  1. 1. The payment of wages where made in cash shall be made on working days only and at or near the workplace, except as may be otherwise provided by national laws or regulations, collective agreement or arbitration award, or where other arrangements known to the workers concerned are considered more appropriate.
  2. 2. Payment of wages in taverns or other similar establishments and, where necessary to prevent abuse, in shops or stores for the retail sale of merchandise and in places of amusement shall be prohibited except in the case of persons employed therein.
Article 14

Where necessary, effective measures shall be taken to ensure that workers are informed, in an appropriate and easily understandable manner--

  • (a) before they enter employment and when any changes take place, of the conditions in respect of wages under which they are employed; and
  • (b) at the time of each payment of wages, of the particulars of their wages for the pay period concerned, in so far as such particulars may be subject to change.
Article 15

The laws or regulations giving effect to the provisions of this Convention shall--

  • (a) be made available for the information of persons concerned;
  • (b) define the persons responsible for compliance therewith;
  • (c) prescribe adequate penalties or other appropriate remedies for any violation thereof;
  • (d) provide for the maintenance, in all appropriate cases, of adequate records in an approved form and manner.
Article 16

There shall be included in the annual reports to be submitted under Article 22 of the Constitution of the International Labour Organisation full information concerning the measures by which effect is given to the provisions of this Convention.

Article 17
  1. 1. In the case of a Member the territory of which includes large areas where, by reason of the sparseness of the population or the stage of development of the area, the competent authority considers it impracticable to enforce the provisions of this Convention, the authority may, after consultation with the organisations of employers and workers concerned, where such exist, exempt such areas from the application of this Convention either generally or with such exceptions in respect of particular undertakings or occupations as it thinks fit.
  2. 2. Each Member shall indicate in its first annual report upon the application of this Convention submitted under Article 22 of the Constitution of the International Labour Organisation any areas in respect of which it proposes to have recourse to the provisions of the present Article and shall give the reasons for which it proposes to have recourse thereto; no Member shall, after the date of its first annual report, have recourse to the provisions of the present Article except in respect of areas so indicated.
  3. 3. Each Member having recourse to the provisions of this Article shall, at intervals not exceeding three years, reconsider in consultation with the organisations of employers and workers concerned, where such exist, the practicability of extending the application of the Convention to areas exempted in virtue of paragraph 1.
  4. 4. Each Member having recourse to the provisions of this Article shall indicate in subsequent annual reports any areas in respect of which it renounces the right to have recourse to the provisions of this Article and any progress which may have been made with a view to the progressive application of the Convention in such areas.
Article 18

The formal ratifications of this Convention shall be communicated to the Director-General of the International Labour Office for registration.

Article 19
  1. 1. This Convention shall be binding only upon those Members of the International Labour Organisation whose ratifications have been registered with the Director-General.
  2. 2. It shall come into force twelve months after the date on which the ratifications of two Members have been registered with the Director-General.
  3. 3. Thereafter, this Convention shall come into force for any Member twelve months after the date on which its ratifications has been registered.
Article 20
  1. 1. Declarations communicated to the Director-General of the International Labour Office in accordance with paragraph 2 of Article 35 of the Constitution of the International Labour Organisation shall indicate --
    • (a) the territories in respect of which the Member concerned undertakes that the provisions of the Convention shall be applied without modification;
    • (b) the territories in respect of which it undertakes that the provisions of the Convention shall be applied subject to modifications, together with details of the said modifications;
    • (c) the territories in respect of which the Convention is inapplicable and in such cases the grounds on which it is inapplicable;
    • (d) the territories in respect of which it reserves its decision pending further consideration of the position.
  2. 2. The undertakings referred to in subparagraphs (a) and (b) of paragraph 1 of this Article shall be deemed to be an integral part of the ratification and shall have the force of ratification.
  3. 3. Any Member may at any time by a subsequent declaration cancel in whole or in part any reservation made in its original declaration in virtue of subparagraph (b), (c) or (d) of paragraph 1 of this Article.
  4. 4. Any Member may, at any time at which the Convention is subject to denunciation in accordance with the provisions of Article 22, communicate to the Director-General a declaration modifying in any other respect the terms of any former declaration and stating the present position in respect of such territories as it may specify.
Article 21
  1. 1. Declarations communicated to the Director-General of the International Labour Office in accordance with paragraph 4 or 5 of Article 35 of the Constitution of the International Labour Organisation shall indicate whether the provisions of the Convention will be applied in the territory concerned without modification or subject to modifications; when the declaration indicates that the provisions of the Convention will be applied subject to modifications, it shall give details of the said modifications.
  2. 2. The Member, Members or international authority concerned may at any time by a subsequent declaration renounce in whole or in part the right to have recourse to any modification indicated in any former declaration.
  3. 3. The Member, Members or international authority concerned may, at any time at which this Convention is subject to denunciation in accordance with the provisions of Article 22, communicate to the Director-General a declaration modifying in any other respect the terms of any former declaration and stating the present position in respect of the application of the Convention.
Article 22
  1. 1. A Member which has ratified this Convention may denounce it after the expiration of ten years from the date on which the Convention first comes into force, by an act communicated to the Director-General of the International Labour Office for registration. Such denunciation shall not take effect until one year after the date on which it is registered.
  2. 2. Each Member which has ratified this Convention and which does not, within the year following the expiration of the period of ten years mentioned in the preceding paragraph, exercise the right of denunciation provided for in this Article, will be bound for another period of ten years and, thereafter, may denounce this Convention at the expiration of each period of ten years under the terms provided for in this Article.
Article 23
  1. 1. The Director-General of the International Labour Office shall notify all Members of the International Labour Organisation of the registration of all ratifications, declarations and denunciations communicated to him by the Members of the Organisation.
  2. 2. When notifying the Members of the Organisation of the registration of the second ratification communicated to him, the Director-General shall draw the attention of the Members of the Organisation to the date upon which the Convention will come into force.
Article 24

The Director-General of the International Labour Office shall communicate to the Secretary-General of the United Nations for registration in accordance with Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations full particulars of all ratifications, declarations and acts of denunciation registered by him in accordance with the provisions of the preceding Articles.

Article 25

At such times as it may consider necessary the Governing Body of the International Labour Office shall present to the General Conference a report on the working of this Convention and shall examine the desirability of placing on the agenda of the Conference the question of its revision in whole or in part.

Article 26
  1. 1. Should the Conference adopt a new Convention revising this Convention in whole or in part, then, unless the new Convention otherwise provides:
    • (a) the ratification by a Member of the new revising Convention shall ipso jure involve the immediate denunciation of this Convention, notwithstanding the provisions of Article 22 above, if and when the new revising Convention shall have come into force;
    • (b) as from the date when the new revising Convention comes into force this Convention shall cease to be open to ratification by the Members.
  2. 2. This Convention shall in any case remain in force in its actual form and content for those Members which have ratified it but have not ratified the revising Convention.
Article 27

The English and French versions of the text of this Convention are equally authoritative.