Although there are employment terms defining the specific rights of the employees, the people working in the private sector are governed by the following regulations.
- Equal Remuneration Act
- Payment of Gratuity Act
- Employees Provident Fund
- Payment of Bonus Act
- Employees’ State Insurance Act
- Miscellaneous Provisions Act
- Maternity Benefit Act
Along with the ones mentioned above, the right to work in places that are safe and offer the basic amenities, fixed working hours, and the right to receive the incentives are guided by the law as well. The Indian companies in the private sector often hire services of the labour law consultants in India to know how to stay protected from the breach of the labor law guidelines. The following points highlight the rights of the employees under the law and regulations.
1.Agreement of employment
The norm today is to enter into an employment agreement that includes the details related to the employment terms such as the compensation the employees need to receive for the services they render, place and designation of work and the hours the employees need to put in the office. The contract must also list out properly the obligations and the rights of the employers and employees such as non-disclosure of trade secrets and confidential information, issues of provident fund, and timely payment of salaries. In the case of a dispute or conflict, the agreement must include the solutions to be adopted for resolving it. Without a written employment agreement, the employees do not get the protection they need during a conflict.
2.Benefits of maternity
According to the Maternity Benefits Act of 1961, every employer needs to ensure that the female employees get the pre and post-natal benefits. On the basis of the amendments made to the same act, the duration of paid leave that the female employees need to get during the stage of pregnancy has been increased to twenty six weeks along with eight weeks of post-natal paid leaves. For cases of complicated pregnancies, delivery, medical termination, and premature birth, the female employees must get one month of paid leave. For the procedure of tubectomy, the female workers are entitled to get two months of additional support. However, the men in India do not get any paternity leave although the Central Government provides paid parental and child care leave. For the employers in the private sector, the issue of paternal leaves stays at their discretion. When conflicts arise related to maternity leaves in this country, every company needs to hire a labor law consultant to settle the disputes.
3.Issue of Gratuity
The Payment Gratuity Act of 1972 provides a statutory right to every employee to obtain gratuity when they are in the service for a period of more than five years. It is one of the primary benefits of retirement that the employees are entitled to get and includes a lump sum payment to be made as a gesture of gratitude towards the employees for their services. The amount the employees receive against gratuity increases with the increment and the number of years of their services. However, if an employee is dismissed for improper conduct or lawlessness, they need to forfeit the amount after dismissal.
4.Employee Provident Fund
The Employee Provident Fund is a national organization that manages the retirement benefits of the salaried employees in India. Every organization employing more than twenty employees needs to register with EPFO. However, an employee can choose to withdraw from this scheme, but it has to be done at the start of the career, and the amount cannot be withdrawn at their discretion. According to the rules, the withdrawal amount is restricted based on the number of years of service. Once the employer and the employee are registered with EPFO, both of them have to contribute about 12% of the basic salary to the fund. If the employer refuses to pay the share or deduct the required percentage from the basic salary of the employees, the labor law firms in India can take them to the PF Appellate Tribunal for redressal.
For meeting the necessary expenses and emergency needs, the amount can be withdrawn for a maximum period of two months. Apart from this, there are rules that specify the withdrawal limits according to the terms and years of service. Each employee governed by this law can withdraw a maximum of three times from the fund and the amount becomes taxable when withdrawn before five years.
5.Fair pay and time salary
One of the major reasons for an employee to provide service to an organization is to access proper remuneration for this purpose. According to the constitutional rights, there must be equal pay for equal work. On the basis of The Payment of Wages Act and Equal Remuneration Act, it mandates that the employees must get time and fair salary for the services they render. When an employee fails to get appropriate salary according to the agreement of employment, the employee can decide to file suit for recovering the arrears and the Labor Commissioner to settle the issues. No employee shall get an amount below the minimum legal wages.
6.Right to take leave
The employees have the right to obtain paid public leaves along with casual leave, privilege leave, sick leave, and the rest. For rendering twelve hours of work, every employee is entitled to get twelve days of annual leave and during notice period, an employee can take leaves only for emergency purposes, when the employer agrees to it.
7.Protection from sexual harassment
The female employees in the workplace can also get protection from sexual harassment according to Sexual Harassment of Women Act of 2013. It provides three years of imprisonment without fine for sexual harassment.
Every employee and employer needs to become familiar with the labor and employment laws and understand their consequences to maintain a healthy relationship.