Important Labour Laws
1. The Factories Act, 1948
This act protects workers of a factory, and its provisions include health, safety, proper working hours, etc. It specifies not only the working hours, but also provides for overtime pay to workers who work beyond their shift. Night shifts have to be on a rotational basis, and the company is required to inform the employees of them beforehand. No woman worker is supposed to work between 10 PM and 5 AM, and in the case of a night shift, a notice has to be given 24 hours before the shift.
2. Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972
Gratuity is a payment made to an employee by the employer either at the time of retirement or when he is leaving the job. It is given to the employee once he/she has completed at least 5 years of continuous service. It is mandatory for any employer in the private sector or public sector who has 10 or more employees to pay gratuity to all employees. It is a monetary reward for being in service with the company. In case the employer fails to provide gratuity, he/ she faces prison for a term not less than six months and not more than two years.
3. Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952
The EPF Act provides social security benefits like pension and insurance cover to the employee of an establishment which has 20 or more employees. In 2014, the government amended the act and extended the wage ceiling from ₹6,500 per month to ₹15,000 per month. The pensionable salary is an average of the monthly salary for the contribution for the last 12 months before membership ends.
4. Payment of Bonus Act, 1965
An employee working in an establishment with 20 or more workers has rights to a bonus under this act. The bonus is 8.33 %, and shall not exceed 20 % of the employee’s salary. In 2015, the government amended this act to extend the threshold of wages from ₹10,000 to ₹25,000, thus covering a larger pool of employees.
5. Equal Remuneration Act, 1976
This act prevents discrimination among workers on the basis of gender. According to this act, employers can’t discriminate among genders in matters of wages, training, transfer, and promotion. The act provides for equal remuneration to both men and women workers for the same work done.