rights of an employee

In this article, Aavish Kant discusses Ten basic rights of an employee.

One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.” Elbert Hubbard 

International Worker’s Day also commonly known as Labourer’s day is celebrated on May 1 of every year across nations to celebrate worker’s contribution towards national and economic development.

In India the first Labour Day was celebrated on 1st of May 1923 by the Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan at Chennai. Though it is not a gazetted holiday in India, many workplaces around the country are shut on this day to mark and respect the contributions made by their employees.

This International Workers Day know what are your rights as an employee. Myriad obligations have been imposed on employer by the government to empower the workforce.

Here are the 10 most important rights of an employee

Ten basic rights of an employee

Right to get Paid Leaves

Every employee has the right to be granted a Paid Leave by his employer, the provisions of paid leaves as given under the factories act are as follows

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

Right to Equal Pay for Equal Work 

Equal pay for Equal work is a constitutional right and any 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.

Right to go on strikes

The employees are provided with the Right to go on a strike without giving a notice, however if the said employee is a public utility employee, then he would be bound by the prohibitions laid down in the Industrial Disputes Act 1947, Section 22(1) lays down certain conditions on Strikes by public utility employees, the conditions includes giving out prior notice to the employer six weeks before going on such strike.

Gratuity benefits

Gratuity is a lump sum amount paid to employees and it is a statutory benefit given to employees who have rendered continuous service for at least five years. This is to provide social security to employees and an employer cannot forfeit the amount of gratuity.

Provident Fund

Every employer is liable to maintain an Employee’s Provident Fund (EPF). It s a retirement benefit scheme that’s available to all salaried employees. The law mandates that both the employer and the employee has to contribute 12% of their basic salary.  

Right to get Insurance

Every employee will have the right to be insured by the employer under the Employee State Insurance Act 1948, in case of any kind of injury or miscarriage occurring during the course of employment.

Maternity benefit

Every female employee has the right to get 26 weeks of paid maternity. Maternity Benefit Act has been enacted to safeguard the interest of the pregnant women at workplace. 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.    

Right Against Sexual Harassment at Workplace

The law mandates employers to protect their female employees at workplace against any incidence of sexual harassment as per the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention) Act, 2013. All offices, hospitals, institutions and other establishments should set up an internal complaint committee to address all the complaints made by women reporting sexual harassment at workplace.  

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. The Shops and Establishment act does not see any difference between managerial and nonmanagerial workers when it comes to regulations relating to working hours. The working hours may be increased up to 54 hours a week upon prior notice to the Inspector, but this increase would be subject to a condition that overtime hours should not be more than 150 in one year.

Written employment agreement

Typically in a private organization, most of the the labour laws are not applicable on employees. They are majorly governed by the terms and conditions of the employment agreement. In such an event, if there is no written employment agreement it may lead to unnecessary disagreements between the employer and the employee.  Therefore, an employment agreement gives both the parties a sense of clarity over their roles, responsibilities, and obligations. Your employer must give you a written agreement before you commence your work. In case, your employer denies, you can rightfully ask for it.



  1. A great and thoroughly covered article. There are so many good rules to protect the employs right but unfortunately no government body keeps track if those rules are followed by companies or not. It’s 21st century, modern and advanced India, still so many companies skips many many things like PF, ESI, Gratuity Etc. Some companies even don’t fulfill the basic needs of the employs at the office. It’s high time for the government to act against those organization who just ignore every thing and concentrate only on their profit.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here