What are the Rights of Employees in India?

Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability“.

                                                                                               – Anne M. Mulcahy

There is many laws in India which are particularly enacted to protect the interest of the employees. A developed and committed workforce is a pre-requisite for any organization to grow. Here a few rights of employees starting from “ right to take leave” to “receiving gratuity benefits” that every employee must know-

Written Agreement

An employer is required to produce written employment before you commence work. An employment agreement is a legal document which specifies the terms and conditions of the agreement. It asserts the rights and duties of the employee and the employer. It gives both parties safety and protection. When you sign an agreement it renders a sense of security to both the parties. An employment agreement also restricts potential disputes between the employer and the employee. You can seek expert assistance before you sign or accept the employment agreement. Some of the important clauses of the written agreement are-

  • Compensation
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Working hours
  • Job Designation
  • Non-disclosure of confidential information
  • Dispute resolution method

Right to take a leave

In most cases, during the period of employment, an employee is given the following types of leaves-

  • Casual leave–  An employee is supplied certain causal leaves in a year to take care of any urgent or emergency family matter.
  • Sick leave– These are the leaves that an employee is allowed to take when he or she is ill.
  • Earned leaves– These are the leaves that are planned for in advance.
  • Other leaves– Besides the above-mentioned leaves there are some leaves that could be paid or unpaid and are rendered at the discretion of the employer.

Right to receive Gratuity 

Gratuity is the legal right of an employee which is given to those who have completed 5 years of continuous service with the organization. It cannot be dismissed on the ground that the employer is rendering for provident fund and pension benefits. The employee gets this benefit of gratuity on the achievement of employment which could be either on death, retirement or termination. It is a specified retirement benefit plan which is calculated on the basis of last drawn salary. It is a significant form of social security and it is considered as the gratitude of the employer. The measure of gratuity increases with the amount of liability and tenure of employment.

Protection from Sexual Harassment at Workplace

It is the principal concern of the employer to ensure that his/her employees are protected while at work. Aggrieved women can seek remedy under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act 2013. The company’s plan must clearly state what compounds sexual harassment and stipulate the online grievance mechanism.  As per the law, in the case of 10 or more employees, the organization should have an internal complaint committee. The committee should comprise a senior woman as a member and two other employees as a member.

Right to receive pay for public holidays

India witnesses 3 public holidays Republic Day (26 January), Independence Day (15 August) and Gandhi Jayanti (2 October). It is required to grant leave to all employees on all three days irrespective of the establishment.

Equal pay for men and women

Our constitution mandates just pay for equal work for both men and women under Article 39(d). Equal pay also covers all the other benefits and allowances. The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 obligates the employer to pay evenly for equal work.

Right of employees on probation

Normally, the probation period for employees is 6 months. The employer can increase the maximum for 3 months. The probation period cannot exceed for more than 2 years.

Right to get insurance

As per the Employee State Insurance Act 1948, in event of any kind of mishappening during the course of employment.

Maternity/Paternity benefit

Every feminine employee has the right to get 26 weeks of paid maternity and creche facility. Maternity advantage has been particularly enacted to safeguard the interest of the pregnant women at the workplace. The prenatal leave can also be availed for 8 weeks. The law also grants leave for 12 weeks on adoption of a child less than 3 months old.

Non-compliance with any of these duties entails penalty and even prosecution in some cases.

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