Women’s Rights At Workplace In India: All You Need To Know

Know about women's rights at workplace in India - related to working in shifts, safety and more as lawfully provided by the Govt of India. 

What are the women’s rights at the workplace in India related to equal employment, working in shifts, maternity benefits, safety and more as lawfully provided by the Government of India?

Studies have shown that an average person spends more than 90,000 hours of the day at the workplace. Don’t you think any place where you spend such a significant chunk of your life should be a place where your safety, health, rights and dignity are taken care of?

Well, the Indian Government thinks so too, which is why there are a plethora of laws that have been enacted to protect you – Women – and women’s rights at the workplace. But there is no point in having these laws in place until and unless you know what they are and how you can put them to use for your interests and protection.

For example, did you know that your company cannot make different rules for men and women in matters of hiring or promotion or retirement?

Almost 30 years ago, Air India, the national airline carrier of India, tried to do that and got a rap on the knuckles from the Supreme Court. For its air hostesses, Air India tried to fix the retirement age as 50 vis-à-vis the retirement age of 58 years for their male counterparts. But our laws and our courts would not let them get away with something so blatantly discriminatory or retrograde.

It took one plucky air hostess to say that “No, this isn’t fair!” and demand that she be treated equally to the men working in the same position as her. She knew her rights, which is why she could ask for them to be upheld. Knowing how important awareness is, let’s answer some frequently asked questions about the lesser-known laws regarding women’s rights at workplace in India.

Women’s Rights At Workplace In India- Rights related to employment

Can I expect equal treatment from my employer if I work in the private sector?

Yes, you can. Equal treatment of women and non-discrimination are protected by the Constitution of India. Even if your employer is a private company or a multinational bank or a call centre, you cannot be treated differently from the men who work in the same position as you.

For example, if both you and another man in your organisation are working as Managers, your employer has to give both of you equal pay and equal opportunities for promotion.

Similarly, a company cannot have a policy to not hire women unless some law prohibits it. So the next time you feel your employer is unfairly denying you a promotion, or a company is refusing to hire you because you are a woman, don’t forget to remind them about your fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

Rights related to safety at the workplace

rights of women in the workplace

Is my employer responsible for my health and safety while I am at the workplace? 

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This article answers some pertinent questions about women’s rights at the workplace in India:

  • Can I still exercise my right to equality in the workplace if I work in the private sector?
  • What are some workplace rules laid down specifically for women?
  • What are the safeguards an organization must ensure if they expect a lady employee to work outside standard hours?
  • What are the maternity rights and benefits for regular and contract employees?
  • How does the law protect women from being discriminated against due to their pregnancy?
  • Where can I seek help if I am denied any of these rights?
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About the Author

Pallavi Mohan

Lawyer-Knitter-Reader-Dog Parent. I have two blogs - One knit at a Time (https://oneknitatatime.com/) and The Indefatigable Reader (https://indefatigablereader.wordpress.com/). Check them out if you like knitting or reading. read more...

6 Posts | 12,119 Views

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