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

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

Know the rights of women related to equal employment, working in shifts, maternity, 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 rights of women at 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. But 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 around rights of women at workplace. 

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 organization 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

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

To know the answer to this question and have other questions around safety, maternity and grievance management answered, sign up and access this exclusive Women’s Web member content

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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...

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