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Labour and Employment

India arguably has the world's largest educated workforce available at salaries that are still substantially below the benchmarks of developed economies. The availability of economical educated workforce facilitates foreign investors to source international quality services and products at comparatively lower costs.

There have been debates for harmonizing and rationalizing employment laws in India to improve the foreign investment and business climate. No significant legislative steps have however been taken so far, as the mainstream political views are against “hire and fire” policies.

To benefit out of the “cost advantage” of doing business in India, one needs to be careful in compliance with applicable laws as well as the local sensitivities and issues in hiring and rationalizing the workforce.

Professionals of LexCounsel have over the years advised many Indian and foreign businesses on aspects of employment laws, compliances and strategies including:

  • Employment, retainer, consultancy and advisory contracts, employee manuals, policies and benefit schemes and recruitment strategies;
  • Attrition issues, pre and post termination restrictive covenants and enforcement of post termination confidential, non-disclosure and non-solicitation obligations and protection of trade secrets;
  • Closure of businesses, settlement of employee dues, good-faith placement assistance, transfer of divisions with continuity of service and employment benefits;
  • Termination strategies, non-discrimination requirements, downsizing, workmen insurance and compensation, voluntary separation schemes, payment of retrenchment/termination compensation and benefits for employees;
  • Collective bargaining and negotiations with trade unions;
  • Conduct of industrial disputes, statutory registrations and certifications;
  • Dealing with tortious interference with employment and customer contracts, and employers vicarious liability issues;
  • Statutory registrations and certifications and labour law audits in view of different state specific regulations concerning leave, termination notice, right of recovery of training expenses, hours of work, etc.;
  • Agreements for outsourcing of workforce in information technology, insurance and security services and manpower services agreements for office support staff on an all India basis;
  • Representations, advises, replies to notices, calculation of statutory deductions and supervising compliances for clients in the outsourcing industry;
  • Engagement of child artists and differently abled individuals; and
  • Engagement of expatriates, relocation issues, tax issues and local assistance.

Notable Representations

  • Orange on potential claims for bonus, Paternity Leave Policy, issues related to the Industrial Disputes Act on termination of employment;
  • GEA, France on secondment of a French employee to the Indian Subsidiary, work visas; and
  • Shergroup UK in enforcement of post termination obligations; Arcadia on employees’ Performance Improvement Plan and sales incentive.