Ten Basic Rights Every Indian Employee Should Know About

There are not many people who are happy with their jobs, especially in India and the major reason for that is the exploitation of the employee rights. Be it large multi-national firms or small-scale companies, maximum of the employees in India are not well aware of the rights given to them by the government. Forget employees, in a lot of cases even employers are not aware of those right. But with employment sector growing its way towards giving higher job opportunities, these basic rights must be known to every individual belonging to this sector.




1. Leaves

Normally, an employee is given the following leaves during his/her period of employment.

  • Casual Leave: These leaves are given to all employees for emergency or unavoidable reasons like child’s PTM, mother’s doctor’s appointment, etc.
  • Sick Leave: These leave facilities are given to employees for the times they get ill.
  • Privilege or Earned Leave: These are the leaves that one gets to plan in advance.
  • Other Leaves: Apart from the above-mentioned categories, there are some other paid, unpaid or half-paid leaves which are provided according to the preference of the company only. For example study leave, bereavement leave.


Medical certificate- An employee is entitled to give a medical certificate only when the leave exceeds more than two days. If an employee has only taken one day leave for being ill, the employer should not ask for any kind of medical proof.

Encashment leaves Encashment leave can be taken while quitting service, superannuation, discharge, dismissal or death. Leave encashment should be as per average daily wages of an employee.





Type of Leave Privileged / Earned Casual Sick Maternity
Quantum per year 1 day leave for every 20 days worked in the previous year (Eg. 300 days worked = 15 days leave) Nil Nil As per ESI Act OR Maternity Benefits Act
Entitlement On working 240 days in the first  previous year NA NA NA
Utilization To apply for leave 15 days prior. Leave not to be availed more than 3 times a year NA NA NA
Carry Forward Not more than 30 days NA NA NA

Leave during notice period- There is no restriction on taking a leave during the notice period for as long as the reason is genuine and the employer has not signed any document putting bars on it.


2. Protection from sexual harassment at workplace

It is the duty of employers at every workplace to ensure the safety of their employees, especially female employees and in case of an incident at work, employers and managers are authorized to take action immediately regardless of who was involved or how big or small the incident be. Women can take remedy under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013.


Every workplace must have a policy that prohibits sexual harassment and promotes healthy work environment. The policy must include the penalties, grievance redressal procedures and list of contact information of people which are to be contacted. The companies should also set up an internal complaint committee headed by senior woman employee so that immediate action must be taken.


3. Maternity benefit

According to the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, each woman working in the private sector gets 26 weeks of leave during her pregnancy, out of which 6 weeks are for the post-natal leave. Employees are also entitled to one additional month of paid leave in case of complications arising due to pregnancy, delivery, premature birth, miscarriage, medical termination or a tubectomy operation (two weeks in this case).


No employer can employ a woman in the six weeks following the date of her delivery or miscarriage. It is also illegal to discharge or dismiss her on account of such an absence. Employees cannot be discharged or dismissed while on maternity leave, nor there any disadvantageous change to their conditions of employment.


4. Gratuity

It is a statutory benefit paid to the employees who have worked in the company for at least 5 years. It is a lump-sum amount paid to an employee based on the duration of his total service. The benefit gratuity is payable to an employee on cessation of employment either by resignation, death, retirement or termination, by taking the last drawn salary as the basis for the calculation.


5. Provident Fund

EPF or Employee’s Provident Fund is a retirement benefit plan which is offered to all salaried employees. For any company, which has more than 20 employees, must be registered with the Employee Provident Fund Organisation and every employee, as well as the employer, must contribute 12% of the basic salary to the PF.



6. Working Hours

The Shop and Establishments Act of every state has fixed the maximum no. of working hours 9 hours a day and 48 hours a week and these stay true for all employers irrespective of those at managerial or non-managerial levels.


7. Right to get Insurance

Employee State Insurance Act allows all employees to be insured by the employer in case of any injury or miscarriage during the employment period.


8. Right to Strike

All the employees can rightfully go on strike without any prior notice to the company except for the public utility employees who are supposed to give a notice 6 weeks before going on the strike.



9. Equal pay for equal work

Equal pay for Equal work is a constitutional right and an employer is liable to pay equally to any men, women or temporary staff performing same tasks and undertaking same responsibilities. There can be no discrimination while paying any basis to employees.


10. Written employment agreement

A written employment must be given to the employer before starting the work period. It is a legal document containing all terms and conditions and rights of obligations. It is important to provide a sense of security to both employers as well as the employee.

About the author /

Ashmita is an ardent writer who loves to cover the emotions and write about facts, lifestyle and travel, her hobbies include reading and dancing. She is a fun-loving person whose sole purpose is to explore life as it follows. An appreciator of whimsical humor.

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