For any organization, the most important member is the manpower, the workforce known as the employees. They are the ones who work the most, they give their best efforts to make their organization achieve greater heights. It is the duty and obligation of any management to safeguard the rights and dignity of its employees. It is quite evident that an organization with the content employees achieve greater success. Employees utilize their best of knowledge in the welfare of the organization they are associated with if they are happy and satisfied. The human resource department has to look into matters related to employees’ welfare and communicate it with the management.
Here, are the top 5 important rights of private employees are entitled to as per the Indian Labor Law:
- No discrimination: it is the fundamental right of an employee to be in-discriminated. As per the law, no employee can be discriminated against on the grounds of religion, caste, creed, sex, place of birth or residence. The organization has to mandatorily adhere to the rule of equality amongst its employees. Employers can draft and implement equal employment opportunities along with the labor law consultant and must ensure the prohibition of discrimination based on the above grounds. The employees must possess the right of entitlement of social justice in case of any derogatory behavior towards them.
This prevents the employees from any written or oral, sign or representation for promoting or attempting to create a feeling of jealousy, enmity or hatred against each other. The law covers and safeguards the employees including LGBTQ and Scheduled castes and tribe category.
- Employment agreement: it is a legal document that consists of all the terms and conditions related to your employment. It enlists all the rights and obligations entrusted upon the employer as well as the employee. It ensures and entitles the employee with security and protection. An Employment agreement is given by the employer before the date of joining the organization. It gives a sense of security to both the parties and clarifies the obligations of an employee and confirms that the employee would adhere to the stated terms and conditions. It even consists of the solution to the situation of any dispute between the employee and the employer. An employee has complete authority to clarify or seek professional help by labor law consultant on any point mentioned in the agreement before signing it.
- Maternity benefits: it beholds all the provisions as per The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961. It gives the entitlement of prenatal and postnatal benefits for a female employee in an organization. It gives the entitlement of paid leave to a pregnant female employee. At present, the benefit of maternity leave has increased to 26 weeks, which includes the 8 weeks of postnatal paid leaves. It also has a provision for complicated pregnancies, delivers, premature birth, etc which gives the entitlement of an additional one month paid leave. No organization can discharge or dismiss a pregnant employee within 6 weeks of delivery or miscarriage. In case of dismissing by the employer, the employee still beholds the right to claim maternity benefits. Male employers can also be entitled to paid paternal leave for child care but it completely depends on the discretion of the employer.
- Right to Provident Fund: EPFO(Employee Provident Fund Organization) is the national organization which manages and looks after the retirement benefits scheme for all salaried employees. An organization is legally bound to register itself with EPFO if it consists of more than 20 employees. It is the right of private employee beholds complete right to opt-out of the scheme at the very beginning of the career. The amount of Provident Fund cannot be withdrawn at will but it depends on the term of years in service. An employee and employer must contribute a minimum of 12% of their basic salary to the EPF Scheme. An employer can be sued or taken to the PF Appellate Tribunal in case of non-submission or deduction from the employee’s salary. An employee can withdraw the amount subject to a waiting period of maximum of two months for emergencies and expenses.
- Gratuity: it is an important right of private employees and denial of it on grounds of entitlement of Provident Fund and Pension Benefits to employees is unacceptable. It is a benefit paid to the employees who are rendering continuous service for at least five years. It is a lump sum amount provided to an employee based on the total duration of their service. In case of cessation of employment either by retirement, death, resignation or termination, the amount of gratuity payable is calculated by taking the last drawn salary into consideration. It is a form of social security and is considered as a symbol of gratitude and empathy towards the employee by the employer. It is paid in monetary terms for the service period of the employee. It is one of the best and trusted retirement benefits offered by the employer to its employees. The liability of gratuity payment increases for the employer with an increase in salary and tenure of employment.