What are some important labour laws in India that every employee should know?

The Constitution of India governs the rights and duties of Indian citizens, it specifies a clear distinction between the ethical practices to be followed and unethical practices to be curbed. It also lays stress on matters relating to employment status in India, to which it provides certain guidelines and laws for employers, employees, government, municipal agencies, and judicial precedents to be followed with due diligence. These labour laws cover the basic issues limited to employment contracts and reforms for both the organized and unorganized sector.

Some of the labour laws that guide workplace behavior, work terms and related provisions for employers, employees and designated authorities include:

  1. The Factories Act, 1948

The Act specifies measures and civil procedures against any kind of exploitation of the factory workers by the employers and the work culture to be maintained between both employer and employee. The act has been proposed to defend the rights and interest of employees.

The Act clearly mentions the maximum working hours not to be more than 48 hours per week and a compulsory weekly holiday to be provided to the employee and numerous other related provisions.

  1. Workmen Compensation Act, 1923

The Act highlights the safeguarding measures with regard to health and security benefits and supports justifiable pay to employees. The Act proved to be helpful for employees and dependents of the employee in cases of injuries or accidental harms in claiming reasonable compensation from the employer.

  1. Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972

The term ‘Gratuity’ means a sum of money paid to the employee at the end of his/her period of employment. Gratuity is nothing but an aggregate amount contributed either by the employer or the employee himself towards gratuity deposits.

The Act provides certain rules and regulations regarding retirement benefits provided by the employer in terms of gratuity contribution and terms related to the fund usage, deposit and gratuity withdrawals.

  1. Payment of Wages Act, 1936

The Act aims at securing the employees from un-notified and un-ethical deductions made by the employer in pay of employees. The act also assures for provisions relating to the timely payment of wages, payment of dues on termination of employees, retrenchment, etc.

  1. Maternity benefit (Amendment ) Act, 2017

The Act aims at providing financial aid and employment security to maternal mothers during their tenure of employment. The Act defines rules for paid holidays to mother-to-be employee for taking care of themselves and their child. The present maternity leave period has been further extended to 26 weeks then 12 weeks along with facilities of work from home, creche, commissioning, etc.

  1. Apprentice Act, 1961

The Act aims at providing basic leaves and paid holidays to employees. Further,the casual leave of 12 days, medical leave of 15 days and leaves for other purposes for a maximum 10 days in a year has been specified. The Act highlights the maximum working hours, schedules, other terms and conditions for apprentice workers.

Thus, It overall specifies provisions for the work-life balance of workers.

  1. Employee Provident Fund Act, 1952 (“EPF Act”)

The Act aims at providing a specific contribution amount  in terms of percentage from the employer as employee provident fund towards the social security of the employee. The act applies to every establishment whether organized or un-organized and defines for terms, rules, and provisions for assuring such fund security of employees.

  1. Industrial Disputes Act, 1947

The Act aims at providing recourse to employees and rights to employers in matters of disputes between both. The act specifies the minimum time period for serving the notice for retrenchment or resignation by an employee, the minimum working hours, holidays and related terms of employment. It brings out procedures for negotiations and the regulations to be followed before proceeding with employer-employee disputes to the court of law.

  1. Payment of Bonus Act, 1965

The Act aims at protecting the rights of employees relating to the payment of wages and additional perks. It specifies for complete rights of the employee to drag his employer to court in case of disputes.

It states for the minimum time period to claim bonus from the employer and to aware the employees of their rights.

  1. Employee State Insurance Act, 1948 (“ESI Act”)

The Act aims at provisioning remedial measures for employees who are sick, suffering from a disease or got injured during working hours at the workplace.

The employer has to certainly deduct some amount from employee’s pay or have to contribute by self for insurance of employees. The Act also states for the basic rules and regulations to be followed by employers for assuring the health of their workers and their family members providing a contribution in a way as prescribed.

These are some labour laws applicable to specific industries and firms, which are to be duly followed and regulated by both employers and employees.

Any negligence in following any provision will favor or demolish the right preserved by law for you as an employer or as an employee.

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