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Employee Discrimination Laws in India

Employee Discrimination Laws

Employee Discrimination Laws in India

One of the main laws that deal with employee discrimination in India is the Equal Remuneration Act of 1976 which provides for payment of equal remuneration to men and women for work of similar wages. In this article, we look at some of the major aspects of the Equal Remuneration Act and employee discrimination laws in India.

Equal Pay

As per the Equal Remuneration Act, equal pay must be paid for same work of a similar nature irrespective of gender. “Same work or work of a similar nature” means work in respect of which the skill, effort and responsibility required are the same, when performed under similar working conditions, by a man or a woman and the differences, if any, between the skill, effort and responsibility required of a man and those required of a woman are not of practical importance in relation to the terms and conditions of employment.

Employers Responsibility

All employers in India have the duty to comply with the Equal Remuneration Act of 1976 while hiring and retaining employees. Some of the key duties of employers are:

Recruitment: During the recruitment process, employers should not make any discrimination against women for the same work or work of a similar nature. Also, with respect to promotion, training and transfers, employers cannot discriminate between men and women employees.

Equal Wages: All employers are required to pay equal wages to men and women employees for performing the same work or work of a similar nature. Further, to comply with the regulation, the employer cannot reduce the rate of wages of any worker.

However, based on acceptable criteria’s and job classifications, employers can pay different salaries to the employees based on factors like experience, performance, etc.

Maintenance of Register: All employers are required to maintain a register and documents containing the details of all employees in the organisation. Failure to maintain a register or proper documents could result in simple imprisonment of upto one month or a fine of Rs. 10 thousand or both.

Employee Rights Against Discrimination

Under the Equal Renumeration Act of 1976, employees have the following rights against discrimination:

  • The right to complain about employer’s contravention of any provision of the Employee Renumeration Act;
  • Right to file claims arising out of non-payment of wages at equal rates to men and women workers for the same work.
  • Right to appeal against an order of the Authority in respect of a claim or compliant within thirty days of such order.

Know more about employment laws in India or get in touch with an employment lawyer.