20 October, 2010

Labour Laws for BPO Sector


Several of below mentioned legislations have salary limits, only below which, they apply and even starting level employees of BPOs generally get excluded because they exceed these limits. The support staff which may be employed by BPOs, from cleaners to watchmen, have not been considered for the purpose of this compilation.

Trade Unions Act, 1926

Field work has indicated that there are no unions in the industry yet though associations are coming up. Any unions formed in the future would enjoy the benefits of this Act on registration thereunder.

Equal Remuneration Act, 1976

This Act provides for payment of equal remuneration to men and women workers for the same work or work of a similar nature and for prevention of discrimination, on the ground of sex, against women in the matter of employment and applies to BPOs. Employers are prohibited from showing any discrimination against women in respect of recruitment or promotion, training or transfer.

Maternity Benefit Act, 1961

Call centers are covered by the Maternity Benefits Act and the female employees working in these places have a right to all the benefits offered by the act including paid leave at the time of pregnancy.  

Industrial Disputes Act, 1947

This act provides for conciliation, adjudication and settlements, and regulates the rights of the parties and the enforcement of awards and settlements.Thus, for a BPO company’s employees to be workman benefiting under this Act, their nature of work has to fall within one of the categories specified in the act and it falls within the “operational” nature of work.  A team leader or other supervisor will not be covered by this Act.

The Payment of Gratuity Act, 1922

All kinds of employees in the call centre will be able to benefit from it irrespective of the nature of their job. The legislation provides for gratuity considering it as a retirement benefit for long service and as provision for the employee in old age.

The Employees State Insurance Act, 1948 

The Employees Provident Fund 

Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 

Employees Provident Fund Scheme,1952.

The provisions of these do not apply to employees drawing wages in excess of Six Thousand Five Hundred (Rs. 6500) per month excluding most starting level BPO employees.

- Writer Mr. Neelambar Jha is a Legal Expert and a regular columnist of leading dailies/news papers, he also conducts classes for Preparation of Judicial Services(prelims and mains) and Higher Judicial Services. He may be reached at - neelamber.jha@gmail.com. (copyrights reserved by Mr. Neelambar Jha)

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