RIGHTS OF AN EMPLOYEE
Author : ISHITA ARORA
All the employees are entitled to certain rights. These fundamental rights are there so as to make the work environment comfortable and employee – friendly for every employee. An employer should know that he is legally safeguarded against discrimination on the basis of age, gender, race or religion and that their interests are protected. However, there is not a specific law which governs the rights of employees but the employment laws in India lay down various provisions to safeguard the interests of all the employees. Below mentioned is a comprehensive list which covers all the rights which the employees are entitled to:
It is a written document which contains the terms and condition of employment and describes the rights and obligations of an employee. An employer has the right to get the employment agreement signed by the employer signed by the employer at the time of joining. The agreement contains the designation of the employee, expectations from him, working hours, mechanism to solve a dispute or a conflict, provident fund, leaves, etc. The purpose of the agreement is to make the terms and conditions of the employment clear to the employee before starting the work.
Various types of leaves and holidays
There are a variety of leaves and certain holidays that an employee is entitled to during the course of his employment, which are –
1. Casual Leave – An employee can take this leave when he has urgent matters at hand such as a family emergency or any other personal matter.
2. Paid leave – An employee can take a paid leave which are available monthly, quarterly or annually.
3. Sick leave – They are fixed in number. An employee can take a sick leave if he gets sick. Generally, an employee has to submit a medical certificate for taking sick leave. If no sick leaves are available then the employee can take casual leave for medical issues.
4. Other leaves – if an employee does not have any leaves left, then he can take an unpaid leave for any purpose. The employer can deduct his salary for the unpaid leaves taken by him.
Also, it is mandatory for every organization to provide holidays on three national holidays of India which are Republic Day, Gandhi Jayanti and Independence Day. The remaining national and festive holidays are at the discretion of the organization.
Article 39(d) of the Constitution provides for equal pay for equal work. Hence men and women have to be paid equally. Every employee has the right to free and appropriate remuneration. The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976, mandates that an employee has to be paid his remuneration in time. If he is not receiving his salary in time then he can approach the Labour Commissioner.
Protection from sexual harassment
This right is guaranteed under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013. Also, under IPC this offence is punishable with imprisionment up to three year, with or without fine. It is the duty of every employer to protect all employers, women employees, in particular from any kind of harassment.
According to the Act, sexual harassment includes the following –
- Physical contact and advances
- A demand or request for sexual favors
- Making sexually colored remarks
- Showing pornography
- Any other unwelcome physical, verbal, or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature
The Act also mandates that if any organization has more than 10 employees, then an Internal Complaints Committee is to be established which will address cases of sexual harassment. Still many organizations have been negligent in enforcing it.
It is that amount which is given to the employee in the case of Retirement, Resignation, Inability to carry on work due to some disability, Death (gratuity is paid to the employee’s nominees) or Superannuation.
The Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 provides a right of gratuity to an employee who has been in service for more than 5 years. It is a way of thanking the employee for the work done by him. However, the amount to be paid to the employee depends on the time period for which the employee has rendered his services. It is calculated as –
Gratuity – Last month salary x 15 working days x Number of years of service.
Also, the maximum amount of gratuity which can be paid to an employee cannot be more than Rs. 20, 00,000/- Rupees.
The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, which deals with maternity pay for women in India, provides for pre-natal and post-natal benefits to a woman in an organisaiton. The duration of maternity paid leave is 26 weeks of which maximum of 8 weeks are for pre-natal leave. Also, pregnant women cannot be dismissed from by the employer due to their absence during pregnancy. Even if they are dismissed, then also they can still claim maternity benefits.
Men do not get any paid paternity leave. The Indian Government grants child care leaves and paid paternal leave but it is not compulsory for private companies to provide paternity leave. However, some private companies in India grant paternity leaves to male employees.
Under the Employees’ Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952, employees have the right to invest a portion of their salary in EPF (Employee Provident Fund). It is basically a long-term saving scheme. The Employees Provident Fund Organization of India (EPFO) is the national organization which manages provident fund of all the salaried employees of India. The employees and the employer make equal contribution to the EPF i.e. 12% of their salary. The employee can opt out of the scheme before starting his career but he cannot back out once he deposits money in the EPF. Withdrawals from the PF can be made in case of house construction, medicine, home loan, home renovation, marriage, education, retirement and going abroad.
However, there is only a specific amount that can be withdrawn and that is subject to the number of years that the service is rendered. Amount from the PF cannot be withdrawn during the course of employment. If amounts are withdrawn before completing 5 years of service, the amount which is withdrawn will be taxed.
Working time and overtime
The Minimum Wages Act, 1948 provides that if an employee works for more time than the normal working hours (maximum 9 hours per day), then the employer has to pay him for the time for which he has worked overtime. In addition to this, every employee is entitled to one day of rest per week.
If the employer wants to end the employment period of his employee, then he has to serve a notice to the employee so that the employee can prepare for the same. An employer cannot do this without giving a notice period.
Bonus for employees
The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, mandates that any organization which is at least 5 years old and employs 20 or more employees in a year has to pay a bonus to its employees. The eligibility for getting the bonus is that the employee must get a salary of Rs. 21,000 or less per month, and he should have worked for more than 30 days in a year. Rs. 7000/- is the maximum limit which is to be considered as salary for calculation of bonus. Minimum percentage is 8.33% and maximum is 20% of the salary or wage.
At last, a company or a designation doesn’t matter; a healthy and work – friendly environment is the right of all the employees.
RIGHTS OF AN EMPLOYEE RIGHTS OF AN EMPLOYEERIGHTS OF AN EMPLOYEE