Who doesn’t require holidays for rejuvenation and some “me-time?” Whether you are a student, housewife, business owner, part-time employee, full-time worker or a government employee, everyone is entitled to holidays with wages i.e. paid holidays. Every employee working in a private, public or government organisation is given earned leaves (EL).
Under the Factories Act, a person gets a single day off for every 20 days of the work he has done. In short, an individual has the right to take 18 earned leaves / paid leaves which the employer cannot refuse directly unless there is some urgent work involved/.
Annual Leave with Wages
As per the Indian constitution, every employed Indian worker is given earned or paid leaves with wages. This is termed Annual leave with wages. An individual who works for 240 days or more in the subsequent financial calendar is granted annual paid leave. The calculation of its wages is done as -
- For Adults - one day for every twenty days of work done in the previous fiscal calendar year
- For Children - one day for every fifteen days of the work done in a previous fiscal calendar year
Factories Act, 1948
To safeguard employees’ health, the Factories Act was drafted in the year 1950. It is social legislation that has been implemented for several reasons. These are concerned with the occupational safety, health and welfare of all workers at the workplace. According to the act, the state of Assam formulated its own rules. These were forecasted under the Act and are popularly known as Assam Factories Rules, 1950.
With form 15, the act functions as a security guard for the labour. The form is a protective shield for the employees and protects the worker’s health in all regards. In layman’s terms, the act safeguards a worker at the workplace where machinery is involved. Not only about the healthcare but also ensures the workplace has good physical conditions and ensures that the employer has given basic welfare amenities. An important point to be noted is the Act covers factories only.
Under this Act, there is
- Restriction for the work-time hours
- Proper pay for overtime
- Spread of the working hours
- Empowers employment of young individuals and women
Women and Night Shifts
The act was recently amended to permit work for women in night shifts. This includes permission for certain sectors such as Textiles, IT sector and Special Economic Zone (SEZ). According to the Act, employers would be obligated to offer adequate safety for women employees in the workplace.
Furthermore, they should ensure equal opportunities as to their male colleagues, safe transportation i.e. pick and drop to the nearest point from the factory to the residential zone. (Section 66)
What is Form 15?
The Government of Assam has introduced From 15 to ensure all the conditions of the Factory Act are met. It also pays attention that an expecting mother is not compelled to work beyond the stipulated period which is already fixed by the government. Under the act, a woman has the right to go on maternity leave which is set for a maximum duration of 12 weeks.
It is also to be noted that when an employer fills Form 15, there are certain terms and conditions.
- The leaves granted to the employees shall be exclusive of all the holidays that occur in between or at the end of the leave period.
- Under the norms of form 15, in case of dismissal or an employee or his resignation from the work or if he/ she dies during the service period, then the salary amount will be paid to the employee’s nominee.
- The employer’s HR and Accounts department have to also ensure that while calculating the leaves for an employee, the fraction of half-day or more will be counted as a full day.
- The HR department has to check if the concerned individual has worked for the stipulated time in the balance of the calendar year as expected in the employee handbook. This ensures proper filling of form 15 for the considered year.
- While depositing a monthly salary, HR has to do a thorough check of the timesheet or employee register. Under the Factory Act, the employee must be granted paid leaves if he is sick (section 81). This entry should be made in form 15 and the concerned worker is allowed paid leave to recover from the illness and concentrate on the health.
Paid leave/ Annual Leave
The Indian Parliament has combined 25 labour laws in the year 2020. Under it, the laws have been divided into three codes - the Social Security code, the Code on Industrial Relations and the Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions. The Code on Wages has also been amalgamated with the four relevant labour laws.
What does the Form 15 Guarantee?
The annual submission of Form 15 keeps the employers on the toes. It ensures that the workers are not cheated by any means. As the employer must give correct details, he becomes more alert and ensures all departments follow their work routines properly.
The HR employee along with the Accounting department has to fill in proper details to ensure workers are duly paid their daily wage rates on earned leaves. It ensures there is no treachery in the payment process.
As every worker is given a fixed quota of earned leaves, he can take the annual leaves as required. It means, he can use all leaves at once for any emergency purposes, vacation or other reasons or use just a portion of the annual leave. The only condition in this would be informing the employer 15 days before the annual leave.
Giving former clarification on leaves helps the whole work stay in sync, prepares the team to process dependency actions earlier and ensures there is no delay on the deadline. The employer cannot refuse a leave request from the worker if it satisfies the agreed terms under the employment tenure. Even if the worker utilizes his leave period in portions, he cannot do it more than thrice a year.
On the other hand, if the employee does not fully utilise his leave period in the current year, it gets carried over to the next year of the employment tenure. However, according to the rules, only 30 days of leave will be carried over and sanctioned in the next calendar.
One more important point regarding form 15 is if the worker’s employment contract ends before he could apply and take annual leave, then the employer must give equal compensation. This is in proportion to the daily wage hours and the number of working hours in the week.
What does Form 15 contain?
In form 15, the employer has to properly maintain a leave with a wages register. It contains multiple columns as clearly depicted in the image above. The employer has to fill the form 15 individually for each worker. It helps in total transparency and maintains good records.
Here, the main role is of the HR department. It has to maintain the correct details of the number of hours the worker has been at work and when he was on leave. They should also check whether it was a paid leave or he had exhausted the number of allowed leaves to ensure there is no improper payment to the worker. He has to check all the clauses before he submits the form 15 application to the government of Assam.
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- Every worker has the right to take 18 Earned / Paid leaves in a financial year, which the employer cannot refuse unless there is some urgency
- It is known as annual leave with wages. The employee’s HR department has to maintain a register for every working person as its details are required in form 15
- Under the Factories Act, all employees - men and women are given equal rights. There are some special privileges for women. It is the responsibility of the employer to give her transportation services to the nearest point near her residence
- Form 15 safeguards an employee. With this and the Factories Act, it is the moral responsibility of the employer to help the individual in case of emergency. In case the person dies during work tenure, his nominee would have the right to receive the remaining wages
- The employer has to maintain good physical work conditions, restricted working hours, proper wages for overtime done by employees and good care of pregnant female employees until they come to work.
- It helps the HR and Accounting department maintain a correct register of the work hours of the employees and ensures proper pay