Termination of Employment
Termination of Employment takes place when an employee is terminated from work without any justification. It usually takes a harsh, unceremonious, and biased form. There might be several circumstances in which a dismissal can take place. If the dismissal is due to reasons such as theft, fraud, or causing intentional damage to property; it cannot be termed as unfair. But, a dismissal without any such reason will be unfair and the dismissed employee can take legal action against his employer.
Legal Protection against Unfair Dismissal
Major Acts governing unfair dismissal in India are:
- The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, and
- Industrial Employment Act, 1946.
Apart from these Acts, Indian courts routinely pass judgments which determine the legality of a dismissal. Moreover, the Maternity Benefits Act, 1961 also protects a woman against unfair treatment or dismissal on the grounds of pregnancy.
Legal Provisions in case of Unfair Dismissal
Before terminating the services of an employee, it is compulsory for the employer to serve a written notice of dismissal to the employee. This notice must give the employee sufficient warning along with the opportunity to respond. A dismissal without any such notice is not valid. Further, employers with more than hundred employees must also take permission form the appropriate authority before dismissing employees.
Who is Protected against Unfair Dismissal
Employment laws in India protect all employees, including regular as well as contractual employees. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind the following provisions.
- The work conditions as well as the payment for regular and contractual employees for the same type of work should be the same.
- It is perfectly legal to renew the contract of contractual employees any number of times.
- There is also no limit to the total duration for which the contract undergoes renewal. This means that a renewal of contract can take place for any number of years.
Remedies against Unfair Dismissal
The first and foremost action should be to send a legal notice to the employer. This notice may ask the employer to perform the following actions.
- State valid reasons for termination.
- Paying damages as well as compensation for wrongful termination.
- Reinstating the employee in case no valid reason for termination exists.
In case the employer refuses to comply with the notice, the next step is to file a case in the labour court. The court will direct the employer to perform any one or all of the above actions.
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