Rights of Employees in India

September 01, 2018
By Advocate Chikirsha Mohanty

There are several laws in India which are specifically enacted to protect the interest of the employees. A developed and dedicated workforce is a pre-requisite for any organisation to grow. Here a few rights of employees starting from “ right to take leave” to “receiving gratuity benefits” that every employee must know-

Written Agreement

An employer is required to provide a written employment before you commence work. An employment agreement is a legal document which stipulates the terms and conditions of the agreement. It states the rights and duties of the employee and the employer. It gives both parties security and protection. When you sign an agreement it provides a sense of security to both the parties. An employment agreement also prevents potential disputes between the employer and the employee. You can seek professional assistance before you sign or accept the employment agreement. Some of the important clauses of the written agreement are- 

  • Compensation

  • Roles and responsibilities 

  • Working hours 

  • Job Designation 

  • Non-disclosure of confidential information 

  • Dispute resolution method

Right to take a leave

In most cases, during the tenure of employment, an employee is given the following types of leaves- 

  • Casual leave-  An employee is given certain causal leaves in a year to take care of any urgent or emergency family matter. 

  • Sick leave- These are the leaves that an employee is entitled to take when he or she is ill. 

  • Earned leaves- These are those leaves that are planned for in advance. 

  • Other leaves- Besides the above-mentioned leaves there are certain leaves that could be paid or unpaid and are provided at the discretion of the employer. 

Related Post: Are you working overtime? Know these Laws

Protection from Sexual Harassment at Workplace

It is the prime concern of the employer to ensure that his/her employees are protected while at work. Aggrieved women can seek remedy under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act 2013. The company’s policy must clearly state what constitutes sexual harassment and stipulate the online grievance mechanism.  As per the law, in the case of ten or more employees, the organisation should have an internal complaint committee. The committee should include a senior woman as a member and two other employees as a member. 

Related Post: Laws on Sexual Harassment at workplace in India

Right to receive Gratuity 

Gratuity is the statutory right of an employee which is given to those who have completed five years of continuous service with the organisation. It cannot be denied on the ground that the employer is providing for provident fund and pension benefits. The employee gets this benefit of gratuity on completion of employment which could be either on death, retirement or termination. It is a defined retirement benefit plan which is calculated on the basis of last drawn salary. It is an important form of social security and it is considered as the gratitude of the employer. The amount of gratuity increases with the amount of liability and tenure of employment. 

Right to receive pay for public holidays

India observes three public holidays Republic Day (26 January), Independence Day (15 August) and Gandhi Jayanti (2 October). It is compulsory to grant leave to all employees on all three days irrespective of the establishment.  

Equal pay for men and women

Our constitution mandates equal pay for equal work for both men and women under Article 39(d). Equal pay also includes all the other benefits and allowances. The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 obligates the employer to pay equally for equal work. 

Right of employees on probation

Usually, the probation period for employees is 6 months. The employer can extend it maximum for three months. The probation period cannot exceed for more than two years.  

Right to get insurance

As per the Employee State Insurance Act 1948, in case of any kind of mishappening during the course of employment.

Maternity/Paternity benefit

Every female employee has the right to get 26 weeks of paid maternity and creche facility. Maternity benefit has been specifically enacted to safeguard the interest of the pregnant women at the workplace. The prenatal leave can also be availed for eight weeks. The law also provides leave for 12 weeks on adoption of a child less than three months old.

Non-compliance with any of these obligations entails penalty and even prosecution in some cases.


These guides are not legal advice, nor a substitute for a lawyer
These articles are provided freely as general guides. While we do our best to make sure these guides are helpful, we do not give any guarantee that they are accurate or appropriate to your situation, or take any responsibility for any loss their use might cause you. Do not rely on information provided here without seeking experienced legal advice first. If in doubt, please always consult a lawyer.

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