In our last article, we shared some ‘in-office’ wisdom for employees standing at crossroads do’s & don’t’s in a professional setup. In this article, we will highlight some of the fundamental employee rights each employee is entitled to in India.
While individual companies have their employee handbook, most of them miss educating their people about workplace rights. To create and maintain a symbiotic relationship with a company’s biggest asset, its people, every employer must talk about these rights.
Below are the 5 Rights Every Employee Should Know
1) Right to Keep Copies of Documents You Sign
How many of you remember that stack of papers you signed (without reading, of course) when you started your job?
Well, you may have agreed not to work for a competitor, not to communicate with clients and vendors of the company, or leave the company before the completion of a year or two. Whether you are leaving the company or plan to stick around for a while, get a copy of everything you sign. Having copies of these documents is your right. It gives both parties a sense of security that both are fully aware of their obligations and have agreed to comply with the stated terms and conditions.
2) Right to complain or protest about work
Ever wonder why a plethora of strikes (READ Recent sanitation workers strike, DLF site strike et al.) in India aren’t stopped in one swoop?
Well, that’s because they are legally protected under The Factories Act, 1948. The law says that every worker has the right to protest and object to working conditions. Does your company fail to provide decent working conditions to you and your colleagues? They may be breaking the law.
3) Equal Pay for Equal Work
Also, a constitutional right, equal pay for equal work means every employer is liable to pay equal to men, women or even temporary staff performing the same tasks or responsibilities. Unfortunately, even after repeated focus on women's empowerment and gender equality in public discourse, there’s still a considerable gap between men and women in pay scales.
For instance, a survey conducted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in 2017, point to the extreme levels of disparity in wages for women in India. The study reflected that men earn more than their women counterparts for similar jobs. The gap in many cases was as staggering as 30 percent.
Nevertheless, as an employee, you must know that it’s your right under India’s “Equal Remuneration Act of 1976.”
4) Right against sexual harassment in the workplace
The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention) Act, 2013 mandates employers to protect their employees, especially women, at the workplace against any incidence of sexual harassment.
In fact, as per the law, all incidents of sexual harassment – big or small – require employers or managers to respond quickly and appropriately. So, next time someone tries to cross the line, don’t hesitate to complain because of his/her position in the company.
As you all might already know, Gratuity is a retirement benefit under the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 paid to an employee at the time of retirement, termination, resignation or employee’s death. As per the law, an organization with 10 or more employees is supposed to pay gratuity to workers who have worked for 12 months or more.
It is the last drawn salary (sum of basic and dearness allowance) multiplied by the number of years of service. In case the employer fails to provide gratuity, he/ she faces prison for a term not less than six months and not more than two years.
That’s all for today, folks! Keep following Smartworks for more exciting scoops about work and work life!