Every employee is a human who gives the best afford to the employer; they must know their employee rights in India. The employee is an integral part of the foundation of business. In that way of employment, every employee has some fundamental rights and duties. Knowing these employees’ rights helps create a friendly and comfortable workplace for employees. In employment laws are provide safeguards to every employee in India. However, some of these are not applicable in the same terms for all sectors. When we talk about the private sector, we can say no specific laws governing employees’ rights.
The constitution of India provides some guaranteed rights to the employees on that basis. If the employer is trying to harm any employee’s rights, an employee may be entitled to protect his right and can file a suit for breaches of rights in court.
What are employee rights and responsibilities in the workplace?
Every employee is entitled to more than just a safe workplace. But there is also the requirement for a perfect schedule of working hours, minimum wages, etc., which are protected by law.
In the organised private sector where the employees’ works that are governed under different laws likewise, Equal Remuneration Act, Payment of Gratuity Act, Employees Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, Employees’ State Insurance Act, Maternity Benefit Act, etc. here some fundamental rights of an employee which are covered under the various laws are given below;
To receive an employment agreement is a right of every employee because he has a right to know the terms and conditions mentioned in the employment agreement when they join the company as an employee.
Through this agreement, an employee can know about types of work, designation, working hours, his capability if any dispute arises, what types of leaves are available for him: also he has the right to know about wages, job responsibility of the employee, location of workplace, what is the method of resolving conflicts etc.
That contract is legally binding to both parties. That agreement enables the employees to take legal action in terms of breach of contract by the employer. Without a written employment agreement, the employee can not safeguard when a dispute comes out.
Right to take a leave
During the work period with an employer, employees have a right to leave and holidays. There are the following kinds of leave given to an employee.
Casual leave– that type of leave is given on any causal basis, for example, because of any urgency or emergency in family matters etc.
Sick leave – an employee is entitled to this kind of leave due to health issues or illness. That can be given in terms of a fixed number of sick leaves in a year.
Paid leave – these types of leave is given to an employee in advance planned, such as monthly, quarterly, yearly etc. In the term of paid leave, an employee’s salary does not deduct while taking this leave.
Other leaves – All though paid, unpaid leave is given to an employee as per the discretionary nature of the employer.
Maternity or Paternity benefit
Women in India are entitled to leave under the maternity benefit act,1961, which provides prenatal and postnatal benefits to a female employee. Held through this woman employee is allowed to leave 26 weeks during the pregnancy period. More so, women employees are also entitled to paid leave of eight weeks for postnatal paid leaves.
Thus, any pregnant female employee cannot be discharged or dismissed during her pregnancy period; however, if she is terminated due to that reason, she is entitled to claim her maternity benefits.
That benefit is only available for women. Men are not eligible to get paid paternity leave. The central government provides that kind of leave for child care and paid paternal leave in the private sector that will be the discretionary right of the employer.
The employee provident fund organisation (sort of “EPFO”) is a national organisation which is deals with the retirement benefits scheme. It covers all employees who work on a salary base. That encompasses all organisations where more than 20 employees are working; they are mandatory to register with EPFO.
After completing that registration, the employer and employee would have to contribute 12 % of the basic salary into the fund when the employer did not agree to pay his share or cut 12% from the employee wages. He might be liable for his conduct, and the employee has a right to claim that to provident fund from the appellant tribunal.
The employee can choose the way to withdraw from that scheme when starting his career. he can not withdraw as per his will. Such an amount can be withdrawn based on years of service as per the rules of this scheme.
That amount can be withdrawn for emergency needs or expenses after the maximum waiting period of two months. An employee can withdraw the amount three times, but that will be taxable if he withdraws before five years. Generally, followings cases he needs for withdrawal such amount;
- For the requirement of home construction
- For repayment of home loan
- For the renovation of home
- For educational purpose
- Immigration to abroad
- After the retirement
In the case of unemployment before the retirement period, the employee is entitled to withdraw his provident fund amount. Such an amount can withdraw 75 % after one month of unemployment, and the remaining amount can be claimed after two months. In some cases, it happens that an employee leaves his job and get another job. In that situation, his remaining 25 % PF amount can be transferred to the new employment provident fund account.
The Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972, regulates gratuities. We can say that gratuity is one of an employee’s statutory rights that can be given to the employee who completes five years continually with the organisation. Gratuity is also like a retirement benefit given to the employee. In terms of gratuity, the employee does not need to contribute to the amount. The employer provides a lump sum amount to the employee during his service. That can be increased with the increment and years of service.
Here the one thing you should be noted is that the gratuity amount can be forfeited; if the employee is proven dismissed for unlawful or unordinary conduct.
The employee gets these gratuity benefits after retirement, the job’s resignation, unable to continue due to disability. If the death of an employee, the gratuity amount is given to the nominees of the employee.
Prevention of Sexual Harassment at the workplace
Employees work ten or more for the organisation. That organisation maintain an internal complaint committee that manages a complaint regarding sexual harassment. Under the provision of The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, and the Indian penal code protects women for their workplace regarding sexual harassment.
The committee follows the law, which is the main aim and takes immediate action if an employee files any complaint. Generally, the committee includes a senior woman as a committee member, with other employees as members. They strictly follow the rules, regulations and policy and protect women employees from sexual harassment at the workplace.
Sometimes it happens that every women employee does not know their rights. A woman is entitled to file a complaint about the protection of sexual harassment at the workplace. As an employee, she is also authorised to file a complaint about such issues in the labour court or consult an employment lawyer to protect herself.
Appropriate Working Hours and Overtime
Every employee has a right to work in a safe, hygienic with basic amenities at the workplace. They are also entitled to works inappropriate working hours and overtime. The factories Act and the shop and establishment act protects that right.
If the employer does not pay the wage of his employee, he is entitled to file a lawsuit against the employer for that conduct and file a complaint about a breach of contract. He is also entitled to file a case with the labour commissioner to sort out that issue.
Timely and Fair Salary
Every employee entitles to receive a fair and appropriate salary or wages for their work. The constitution of India under Article 39(d) deals with the equality of payment for both male and female employees. The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976, also provides that equality in salary scale for male and female employees.
Suppose the employer give wages less than within the criteria of minimum wages or employee agreement. Then the employee is entitled to file a complaint against the employer from the labour commissioner or file a lawsuit for salary as per the law.