Labour and employment—India—Q&A guide

The following Employment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Labour and employment—India—Q&A guide
  • 1. What are the main statutes and regulations relating to employment?
  • 2. Is there any law prohibiting discrimination or harassment in employment? If so, what categories are regulated under the law?
  • 3. What are the primary government agencies or other entities responsible for the enforcement of employment statutes and regulations?
  • 4. Is there any legislation mandating or allowing the establishment of employees’ representatives in the workplace?
  • 5. What are their powers?
  • 6. Are there any restrictions or prohibitions against background checks on applicants? Does it make a difference if an employer conducts its own checks or hires a third party?
  • 7. Are there any restrictions or prohibitions against requiring a medical examination as a condition of employment?
  • 8. Are there any restrictions or prohibitions against drug and alcohol testing of applicants?
  • 9. Are there any legal requirements to give preference in hiring to, or not to discriminate against, particular people or groups of people?
  • More...

Labour and employment—India—Q&A guide

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to labour and employment in India published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: March 2020).

Authors: Kochhar & Co—Rohit Kochhar

1. What are the main statutes and regulations relating to employment?

The principle sources of law and regulations relating to employment relationships in India are the Constitution, labour statutes, judicial precedence and collective and individual agreements. There are as many as 165 labour laws, including nearly 50 central (federal) laws. Most of the employment laws are applicable to employees in the category of workers (blue-collar employees).

A workman is defined under the Industrial Disputes Act 1947 as a person who is employed to do any manual, unskilled, skilled, technical, operational, clerical or supervisory work for hire or reward, excluding a person:

  1. who is employed mainly in a managerial or administrative capacity; or

  2. who, being employed in a supervisory capacity, draws a salary exceeding 10,000 rupees per month or exercises functions mainly of a supervisory or managerial nature.

Apart from certain employment statutes that may be applicable to the non-workers category of employees, the employment relationship with a non-workman is governed by the employment contract (provided the terms thereof are not less favourable compared to certain applicable statutes).

The main statutes and regulations relating to employment are the:

  1. Industrial Disputes Act

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