We recently talked about labour laws from around the world that we need in India. That made us realise that we do not know much about the Indian labour laws. So, we decided to do a little research and find out what are the various labour laws applicable in India that are important for all of the working individuals to know about. And here is what we found out. 

1. Minimum Wages Act

As the name suggests, this act determines the minimum wage you should earn. Minimum wages vary by location, whether you are a skilled or unskilled employee, and your position.

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At the least, you should be aware of the minimum wage applicable in your state for the category you belong. 

2. Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act

In 2017, the paid maternity leave available for women was increased from 12 weeks to 26 weeks. If a woman has worked for more than 80 days in the past 12 months in an organisation, she is eligible to avail such paid leaves. 

If you have adopted a child below the age of 3 months, you are also eligible for 12 weeks of paid maternity leave from the date of adoption. A commissioning mother, that is, a biological mother who uses her embryo to be planted in another woman (surrogate mother), can also take 12 weeks maternity leave from the day of birth of the child.  

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Women may also take work from home after the completion of the 26 weeks’ leave period if mutually agreed with the employer. Under this act. creche facilities are also mandatory for establishments employing more than 50 employees and women are permitted to visit the creche 4 times a day.

3. Payment of Wages Act

If your employer delays your payment every month, then this Act can come in handy for you. According to the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, your employer must pay you your salary by the 7th of every month. If they fail to do so, they can be charged with an offense. 

The act also regulates the deductions that can be made from your salary.

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4. Equal Remuneration Act

If you are a female and you earn less than your male colleagues working at the same position and having the same experience, you can very well sue your employer. 

The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 states that you can not differentiate between two employees based on their gender, color, or race. 

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5. Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act

The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act was introduced in 2013. According to this Act, every employer is required to form an Internal Complaint committee which needs to complete the inquiry against the grievances within 90 days of the complaint. 

According to this Act, sexual harassment includes –

(i) physical contact and advances; 
(ii) a demand or request for sexual favours
(iii) making sexually coloured remarks
(iv) showing pornography
(v) any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature

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This Act is not limited to the workplace but also covers students in schools and colleges as well as patients in hospitals. If you, or anyone you know, are facing any kind of sexual harassment, please speak, and report it.

6. Provident Fund Act

This act aims to provide retirement savings to the employees. Earlier the amount contributed to Employees Provident Fund and the interest earned on it used to be tax-free. But from now on, if your contribution is more than ₹2.5 lakhs in a year, the interest earned on the excess amount will be taxable

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You also get a Universal Account Number (UAN) which makes the transfer of EPF from old employer to new employer hassle-free. 

7. Employees’ State Insurance Scheme

It is a social security scheme provided by the government of India which protects the employees in case of on-the-job injuries, sickness, or maternity.

Employees’ State Insurance Scheme could be understood as a combination of two types of insurance schemes, that is, medical insurance for you and your family, and accidental insurance for you. It is applicable in shops, hotels, and restaurants but does not apply to establishments like manufacturing, cinemas, newspaper, etc. 

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8. Bonus Act

According to the Bonus Act, 1965, it is compulsory for companies to give statutory bonuses. The minimum limit of the bonus is 8.33%, that is, your company is required to give you a minimum bonus of 8.33% of your wage.

It is applicable for employees who have worked for more than 30 days in a year and receives a salary or wages of up to ₹21,000 per month.

9. Gratuity Act

If you have worked for more than five years in a company and decide to leave, you are entitled to receive 15 days of gratuity for every year worked at that company. For example, if you have worked for 10 years in a company, you will get 150 days’ salary as per the last salary drawn by you as gratuity.

10. Shop & Establishment Act

The different kinds of leaves, like sick leave, casual leave, holiday leave that you receive in a year are governed by this act. The Shop and Establishment Actdiffers from state to state. You should check the rules applicable to your state and determine whether your employer is giving you leaves accordingly or not.

11. Industrial Dispute Act

This act is useful when you leave your job or are dismissed from the job. It governs the procedure to be followed at the time of termination of an employee. It also includes the compensation to be provided at the time of termination. 

These are some of the labour laws applicable in India and few of their provisions that each individual should be aware of. They empower the employees and ensure their rights are protected.