Photo of Manishi Pathak

Partner in the Employment Team at the Delhi office of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas. Manishi is actively involved in complex employment law matters including advice and support on retrenchment of employees, closure of establishments, matters involving transfer of business and undertakings, complaints relating to sexual harassment etc. He can be reached at manishi.pathak@cyrilshroff.com

On August 11, 2016, the Government of India (GoI) introduced the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (Bill) in the Parliament. The Bill was introduced to amend the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 (Act) – the Act, as many may be aware, is the legislation to provide certain benefits to women in the context of pregnancy. The Act is applicable to factories, mines and plantations as well as to every ‘shop and establishment’ (a statutory term that would ordinarily cover various organizations in the private sector with an office/place of business in India) in which ten or more persons, are/ were, employed, on any day over the preceding twelve months.

On September 11, 2008, the GoI introduced the recommendations of the Sixth Central Pay Commission relating to enhancement of the amount of maternity leave and introduced child care leave in respect of central government employees. Effectively this resulted in increase in maternity leave and child care leave. Separately, several companies in the private sector introduced more beneficial provisions for female employees including better maternity leave than the Act provided. However, the Act did not introduce any changes in line with the changing needs of working women /mothers which the Bill intends to address.
Continue Reading Maternity Benefit Law : Key Developments

A Brief Background

Sexual harassment at the workplace was first recognized as a violation of basic human rights by India’s apex court, the Supreme Court (SC) in Vishaka v. State of Rajasthan (Vishaka Judgment) in 1997. In its judgement, the SC opined that sexual harassment was violative of the fundamental rights of women guaranteed under the Constitution of India, 1950 including the constitutionally guaranteed rights to life, equality, dignity and to practice any profession/carry on any occupation, trade or business. Accordingly, and in the absence of specific legislation at that time, the SC had enunciated guidelines for the prevention of sexual harassment at the workplace.

Continue Reading Challenges Faced by Employers in Addressing Sexual Harassment Complaints

From time to time, concerns have been raised by entrepreneurs and various Indian and international surveys about the challenges faced by start-ups and other companies doing business in India. India has also been rated very low on charts concerning ease of doing business.

India is a vast country with several states and union territories, which presents differences in culture, language, faith and food habits. But doing business in India also means complying with a long list of Central (Federal) and State statutes and their varied interpretations. In addition, judicial pronouncements of concerned High Courts and the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India must be taken into consideration.

Regulatory compliance with several laws is time consuming and complicated, adding to the financial and intellectual burden on start-ups. This, in turn, shifts their focus from development and growth of the core business to ensuring compliance with laws.

As a result, laws, rather than acting as a catapult and augmenting the growth of businesses, force several start-ups to reconsider their plans/strategies concerning doing business in India.

Continue Reading Employment Issues Faced by Start-Ups in India