Employee Rights- Know Before Starting A Job!

When you go to work, you want to feel comfortable and safe and enjoy your job. If things are going well, you might not take the time to consider your employee rights. However, for several reasons, knowing and comprehending these rights is still crucial, irrespective of how you feel about your workplace. Read more to learn why being aware of your rights matters.

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Therefore, learning about employee rights in India is vital to deter discrimination. In India, numerous employment laws and provisions safeguard employees’ interests. The Indian Constitution is the foundation of individual rights and liberties. Moreover, the basic framework within which all Indian legislation incorporates labor and employment regulations must operate.

During work, all employees are entitled to specific rights and responsibilities. Likewise, employees have the right to privacy, fair pay, paid time off, and other perks. 

However, there are 7 most essential rights for all employees in India, namely: 

1. Employment Agreement

An Employment Agreement is a written document that states the terms and conditions of employment and sets the rights and obligations of the employer and employee. An employee is entitled to receive a written employment agreement duly signed by the employer before starting a new job. A well-written agreement drafted by a labor lawyer can stem any unanticipated friction between the employer and employee. Therefore, the employee’s agreement already stipulates the legal course to resolve any dispute. 

2. Leave

Employees are qualified for holidays during employment. Typically, four kinds of leaves exist namely: 

  • Casual Leave: An employee can take a casual leave in case of urgencies, such as a family emergency or unexpected personal matter.
  • Paid leave: An employee is entitled to paid leaves which is availed monthly, quarterly, or annually. The employer cannot subtract the employee’s salary from the paid leaves taken. 
  • Sick leave: An employee gets a fixed number of sick leaves in case the employee gets sick.
  • Other leaves: Unpaid Leaves can be taken by an employee for which the employer can deduct the employee’s salary. 

Generally, an employee must submit a medical certificate in case the sick leaves extend to more than 2 days. It depends on the company’s HR Policies. 

3. Maternity Benefit

A female employee is entitled to maternity/pregnancy leave for 26 weeks which can be availed during pregnancy and/or after the delivery. According to the Maternity Benefit Act, 2017 protects the interest of pregnant and lactating women employers in India. 

In addition, maternity leave can be claimed during any complications that occur during pregnancy, premature birth, miscarriage or medical termination of pregnancy. Some private companies in India also give paternity leave to their male employers, permitting them to take care of their newborn children. 

4. Timey Salary

An employee can receive a timely salary at the end of every month. An employer must pay the salary amount to an employee after making the needed deductions such as provident fund, TDS, etc. An employee can hire a labor lawyer to take appropriate legal action against the employer for not paying a salary.

5. Provident Fund

Under the Employees’ Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952, employees can keep a part of their salary invested in EPF, which is transferred directly by the employer in the PF accounts. The contribution by employer and employee are maintained by the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO).

6. Notice Period

If the employer wishes to terminate an employee’s employment, then a notice has to be served to the employee to prepare them for such termination. An employer cannot release an employee without giving a notice period. In such cases, if the employer has fired an employee for no substantial reason and no notice, then the employee can talk to a labor lawyer to file a complaint against the employer for wrongful termination of employment.

7. Protection against Sexual Harassment

The employer must ensure that all employers, women employees, are protected from any harassment. Any incident of sexual harassment with an employee has to be dealt with promptly and immediately. The employer has to enact a company policy forbidding sexual harassment at the workplace and build a redressal committee to deal with any case of sexual harassment in the office. A woman can file a complaint against sexual harassment under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act 2013. Moreover, an employee can also file a sexual harassment case in labor court by hiring an employment lawyer.

Final thought

As an employee, you must know your fundamental rights and understand what you need to protect them. By being acquainted with your rights as an employee, you can ensure that you are taking all critical steps to guard yourself and hold your employer accountable.  

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If you are fresher starting your career in the corporate world, then keep in mind the points mentioned above and become a responsible employee. 

All the best!

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