HR Laws in India

HR laws or human resources law in India are synonymous with the labor laws and industrial laws in India. Labour laws in India govern the relationship between employer, employee and the Government and ensure that the rights and obligations of all parties are satisfied. It is important for all HR personnel to know the laws pertaining to HR practices in India and ensure there is no violation. In this article, we look at some of the main HR Laws in India that must be abided by all organizations in India. This article has been written keeping in mind a small or medium sized enterprise in the service or trading industry.

HR Laws pertaining to recruiting

Indian employment laws do not provide any rules or procedures that must be adopted while recruiting a person. Hence, it is mostly upto the organization to determine a procedure for recruiting, interviewing, screening and hiring. However, it is important to note that during the recruitment, interviewing or hiring process, the fundamental rights provided to a person like avoiding discrimination or maintaining confidentiality of private information of applicant must be upheld.

Recruiting: No major rules or procedures. However, the organization must notify the vacancies to the local employment exchange, though there is no requirement to appoint any person forwarded by the employment exchange.

Interviewing: There are no regulations against an employer asking for information about the candidate, including personal questions relating to health, race, religion, case, et.c, However, asking such questions are deemed unethical and could lead to discrimination, which is an offense.

Pre-employment Enquiry: There are no regulations or requirement to conduct pre-employment enquiry. However, it is a common practice for employers to conduct such an enquiry. Employers are required to obtain the consent of the employee by fax/email/letter for carrying out a pre-employment enquiry or background check.

HR Laws pertaining to employment offer letters

Indian employment and labour laws do not mandatorily require an employer to issue an offer letter, except in certain states and in certain establishments. However, it is an accepted practice in India amongst medium and large businesses to provide an offer letter. In case an offer letter is provided, it is not binding on either party until it is construed as an employment contract and there is a valid offer by one party and an acceptance by another party.

HR Laws pertaining to employment appointment letters

Indian laws have no prescribed standards for providing employment appointment letters. However, it is a good practice to have an employment appointment letter with all employees. Employment appointment letters in India usually include the following:

Name and Address of the Employee
Title of Job
Job Description
Place of Work
Date of Commencement of Employment
Wage/Salary Details
Benefits, if applicable
Length of employment contract: fixed or indefinite
Leave entitlement
Conditions for termination
Non-solicitation and other restrictive covenants.

HR Laws pertaining to termination of employment

Termination of employment could be due to voluntary reason or involuntary reason. If an employee terminates employment based on his/her free will, then it is termed as voluntary reason. If termination by Employer, then it is considered an involuntary termination. Termination of employment must be as per any prior employment contract entered into by the employee with the business. In addition, termination of employment must also follow other laws and regulations, which ensure that employees are not unduly harassed.

HR Laws pertaining to workplace health and safety

Central and State Governments place certain duties and obligations on the employer to ensure the wellbeing, health and safety of its employees. The duties of the employers are mandated by various regulations. Hence, it is important for all organizations to maintain a safe and hazard free work environment.