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RIGHTS OF PRIVATE EMPLOYEES’ VIS A VIS INDIAN LABOUR LAW

INTRODUCTION

Every employee needs to know their rights before joining a particular business organization to prevent any vulnerable situation from arising throughout their private job. The Indian government has passed a number of legislations to safeguard employee rights. Private sector employees are subject to a variety of legislations, including the “Payment of Gratuity Act”, “Employees Provident Fund”, “Maternity Benefit Act”, etc. In this blog, we will talk about some of the most essential and basic rights that every employee at a business organization should be aware of.

EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT

One of the most basic rights that every employee must be aware of is the Employment Agreement. According to the basic rules and regulations of every private sector organization, an employee must enter into a contract with the employer. The employment agreement talks about the basic details such as terms of employment, appropriate working hours, compensation, etc. Additionally, the legal agreement explicitly outlines the rights of both the employer and the employee. Other major rights listed in the agreement include -non – disclosure of trade secrets, provident funds, sensitive information, etc. A suitable structure for resolving disputes in the event of any disagreement with the terms and conditions is additionally provided in the legal agreement.

PROVIDENT FUND

“An allowance for EPFO registration” should be offered by businesses with more than 20 workers. “Employee Provident Fund Organization,” or “EPFO”, is an organization nationwide offering retirement benefit plans to all employees in the private sector. After registration, both the employee and the employer have to contribute around 12 percent of their salary to the fund. This is another basic right that every employee working in a private sector organization should be aware of.

GRATUITY

Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972, has been established for workers who have more than five years of experience in a certain corporate organization. It is a one-time payment offered to the employee on the basis of services that the employee delivers. Additionally, this one-time payment increases in proportion to the number of services the employee delivers. The provision of Gratuity is governed under the “Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972”. It can be called a lump sum payment made to the employee as a gesture of gratitude towards the services offered by the particular employee.

In the case of Irel (India) Limited Vs. P. N. Raghava Panicker, the court held that The Gratuity Act is unquestionably a welfare law, according to the court, and it simply prevents an apprentice from receiving a gratuity during this training term. But classifying a worker as a trainee, demanding regular labour from him, and then refusing him the benefits of the Gratuity Act on the grounds that he is a trainee would definitely undermine the purpose of the welfare legislation.

MATERNITY BENEFIT

This provision is governed under the “Maternity Benefit Act 1961”. “The major goal of this act is to give pregnancy leave and other amenities to women workers who are employed by private sector companies. According to Section 10 in The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 , female workers have the right to 30 days paid leave in case of a difficult delivery or premature birth.

In the case of Anshu Rani vs. State Of Uttar Pradesh And Ors, the court held that Maternity leave constitutes social insurance. The purpose of the maternity leave is to help families and promote mother and child health.

MINIMUM WAGE

Each employee in India is entitled to get a minimum wage under the Minimum Wages Act. It allows a person to live according to basic living standards. This is one of the most basic rights of every employee in the workplace. Moreover, if an employee is offered any wage below the mentioned minimum wage, then in that case, it will be considered a violation of Article 23 of the constitution, and the employee has the right to file a case against the organization to protect his fundamental right.

Fixing different minimum wages for different localities is permitted by the constitution and by labour laws, so it is incorrect to claim that any provision of the Minimum Wages Act is in any way in conflict with a provision of the constitution. This decision was made by the court in the case of “N.M.Wadia Charitable Hospital vs. State of Maharashtra, 1993.”

FAIR AND TIMELY SALARY

This is one of the basic rights entitled to every employee working at a private sector organization. Someone working as a regular employee in an organization is entitled to receive a sufficient salary within a limited period of time. These laws are mentioned in the “Equal Remuneration Act.” Moreover, “Article 39(d)” of the constitution” also gives each employee the right to get equal compensation for an equally hard effort. An employee can contact the labor commissioner or initiate a civil lawsuit against the company if they are not receiving a reasonable or adequate salary within the stipulated period of time.

APPROPRIATE WORKING HOURS

This is also one of the most basic rights that an employee should be aware of. It should be noted that all employees are entitled to work in a safe workplace with basic amenities, and they have the right to work under appropriate and legitimate working hours. These rights are safeguarded by the “Factories Act” and “Shop and Establishment Act”. According to Section 51 of the Factories Act 1948, “no adult worker shall be required or allowed to work in a factory for more than forty-eight hours in any week.”

PREVENTION OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE

All the women employees in the workplace need to be aware of this right. Women in the workplace are protected against the act of “Sexual Harassment by the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013”.

The Bhanwari Devi case, also known as Vishaka and Others v. State of Rajasthan, was a significant ruling by the Supreme Court of India in 1997 that established standards for the avoidance of sexual harassment at work. The case started when a number of women’s rights organizations, including the Vishaka Association, filed a complaint after Bhanwari Devi, a social worker, was gang-raped in 1992 while attempting to stop child marriage in Rajasthan.

CONCLUSION

It is important for every employee working at an organization to be aware of the basic rights that he/she is entitled to so as to avoid any kind of exploitation in the private industry. All the employees working in the private sector organization need to have basic knowledge of their rights. Moreover, it is important for an employee to stay updated with the latest rules and regulations in order to live a comfortable life during the course of employment. Finally, I would want to state that the employment agreement is the most crucial document for a private employee, and he/she needs to read it carefully before signing the same in order to prevent any kind of vulnerable situation from arising at the workplace.

Author(s) Name: Sanskar Garg (Asian Law College, Noida)