Employment contracts require the optimum balance between rights and obligations of the employees and the legal validity and enforceability of such contracts. Employment contracts offered by our team vary from template to highly be-spoke versions depending on client requirements ensuring that such contracts strike the requisite balance between the obligations of the employees and its enforceability, in light of the existing judicial stands in India. Our team strives to ensure that the rights and interests of our clients are well protected, not only during course of the effective term of employment, but also during the post-employment duration.
We have extensively worked on drafting, reviewing and finalizing of both local and international employment contracts and related documents, including negotiations with senior management employees and standardization of contracts for employees across the company / group companies.
Being a settled position under Indian employment law regime, the employment policies and conditions cannot be enforced unless the same are in line with the statutory requirements laid down for employees. In view of the aforesaid, it is a must for all the employers to ensure that the internal policies and provisions of the employment handbook are drawn after a thorough consideration and analysis of the laws being applicable to the respective employees. The Firm has from time to time advised and drafted several handbooks for varied class of employees including those working in factories.
Protection of sensitive data and trade secrets is one of the key challenges which employers face on a day to day basis to ensure a strategic growth of their business. In order to overcome such challenges, the employers are generally witnessed to execute documents like confidentiality agreements, non-compete and non-solicitation agreements with the respective employees. However, implementation and enforcement of such documents have been questioned in the court of law from time to time on several counts. While drafting or advising on such documents, our team's focus is not limited to meeting specific objectives of clients in entirety, but also to ensure its enforceability.
We have a comprehensive experience with respect to drafting of ancillary documents and letters to be issued to employees from time to time in course of their employment on account of varied factors like introduction of bonus / incentive policies, change in employment policies, data consent requirements, compensation issues, non-performance, etc.
The concerns of employers with respect to their varied class of employees arise on twofold counts in India. The first one relates to compliance with the voluminous provisions under the Indian labour law regime and the other one relating to the myriad issues arising out of contracts executed with the employees. Our insight developed over the years by way of our involvement in both contentious and non-contentious practice areas allows us to foresee the complexities in advance and offer the client a blend of commercial cum legal solution.
The statutory provisions governing employment issues may be significantly misinterpreted if not read in line with the judicial stand taken by the Indian courts from time to time concerning such provisions. The systematic approach and knowledge- share mechanisms adopted by the Firm ensures that our employment law team is well abreast with the various judicial pronouncements on a day to day basis. Thus, advisory from our employment law team ensures a complete solution taking into account the legislative framework on one hand and an in-depth analysis thereof in terms of the tests and observations outlined by the judicial fora on the other.
We believe in providing solutions to our clients taking into consideration their business, commercial and practical objectives, rather than limiting our insight to the legal provisions surrounding them. Therefore, our solutions are not limited to just detailing the existing legal position to the clients, rather our team offers a blend of legal options with practical solutions.
Regulatory compliance is an absolute must for clients offering products and services in any regulated industry. However, application of numerous central and local labour / industrial laws in India burdens the employers with tremendous compliance requirements. Failure to comply with an applicable legal provision in course of operations of the business may not only invite fines and penalties but may considerably interfere with the business as well.
Most of the labour legislations in India prescribe for monetary fines to be imposed upon employers with respect to each of the non-compliances, as may be identified. Though, the said fines prescribed under various enactments are generally nominal. However, the Ministry of Labour has recently issued new Labour Codes (not yet notified), which proposes to substantially raise the prescribed fines for each of the contraventions.
Majority of the labour enactments in India provide for imprisonment provisions (generally up to six months) as a penalty for non-compliance with the respective requirements therein. It may be noted that under most of the said enactments, ‘the person having ultimate control over the affairs of the establishment / company’ may be held to be person in default and hence may be made liable for any non-compliance. Further, the Supreme Court of India in some of the landmark judgments concerning non-compliances under labour laws has clarified that the terms ‘the person having ultimate control over the affairs of the establishment / company’ includes the member of Board of Directors of a company. The said observation is more or less looked upon as a settled position in India.
Members of our team has successfully conducted several labour audits and due diligences with respect to various establishments and plants for several clients. Our team not only offers exhaustive and updated compliance checklists prepared specifically in line with territorial and industrial requirements, but also analyse the risks pertaining to non-compliance of such legal provisions and further assists with practical solutions towards complying with them. We further undertake liaising activities on behalf of our clients with various central, state and local authorities.
Expertise of our team members grown over years and PAN India presence provides clients with one stop shop for all compliance needs across the country without any legal hindrances in managing all labour laws legalities as per the government rules. Further, our team provides payroll processing services which reduces client’s cost and saves their time and mitigates risk of compliance by error free payroll processing work.
Unfortunately for employers in India, they are not entitled to adopt a uniform procedure for terminating different class of employees. The statutory framework classifies employees either as a workman or a non-workman depending upon position and salary of the respective employee. Whereas, the terms of conditions with respect to termination of non-workmen are generally governed by employment contracts, special statutory rights have been reserved for workmen. Further, termination of member of Board of Directors may not be validated unless the procedure prescribed for the same is strictly complied with. Members of our team have successfully assisted several clients thereby drawing the termination strategy, advising and implementing statutory compliances and documentation with respect to termination of various categories of employees including workmen, non-workmen, KMPs, directors and managing directors.
Termination of employees many a times are pre-conditioned with disciplinary procedure either on account of internal policies or statutory requirements. Members of our team have conducted / participated in several disciplinary procedures ensuring that the procedure is conducted in tune with the respective policies of the employer and the statutory guidelines are adhered to.
Termination of certain employees holding key position (especially those being a part of the management) many a times requires a distinguished approach in order to reach an amicable settlement and continuation of the business operations in an uninterrupted manner. On behalf of employers, our team members have successfully negotiated and reached a conclusive settlement with such employees at numerous occasions, ensuring that business activities remain unaffected on account of such terminations.
An employer may need to carry out internal investigations concerning its employees not only on account of its internal policy or any legal requirements, but also for the purpose of making a sound decision. However, under all the given circumstance, it becomes inevitable for the employer to ensure that such investigations are carried out fairly and thoroughly, as the outcome may form the basis for any decisions made regarding disciplinary action. The investigation reports may come under scrutiny if the employee later challenges the decision.
Making a decision without completing a thorough investigation in a legislative complaint manner can qualify any subsequent decisions or actions on the part of the employer as unfair, thereby leaving the employer vulnerable to legal action. Further, such investigations being carried out by external independent bodies substantially mitigates the risk of the processes being challenged on the grounds of unfairness and biasness.
Members of the Firm have substantial experience in carrying out such investigations at all levels of business, including those involving senior executives and board members. We ensure that the processes adopted for the said investigations and enquiries are in accordance with the applicable laws and internal policies of the client. In addition to the aforesaid, on the basis of outcome of the investigation, our investigation report also outlines the legal options available to the client with respect to the respective employees.
The Sexual Harassment of Women at Work Place (Prevention, Prohibition & Redressal) Act, 2013 is a very sensitive piece of legislation today exposing the employers and the management to several risk factors. The judicial trend in relation to non-implementation of this enactment is a serious concern for employers today. In a recent judgement, one of the employees of a company was allowed damages of Rupees One Crore Sixty Eight Lakhs on the ground that the employer failed to constitute the Internal Committee as required under the enactment. Several other judgements across the country have also allowed significant damages to employees on similar grounds.
The risks which an employer may be exposed to under the said legislation is not limited to monetary compensation and damages. Recent episodes involving alleged act of sexual harassment have significantly damaged reputation of the employers and their management. Additionally, an allegation in this regard may invoke criminal liabilities for the employers.
Our team routinely advises and assists clients with respect to implementation of this enactment in letter and spirit. This includes advisory on the compliances required under the enactment, constitution of Internal Committee, drafting of sexual harassment policy, guiding the Committee in course of investigations, etc. Further, pursuant to the statutory requirements prescribed by the legislation, our team also conducts workshops for employees.
Mergers & Acquisitions | Business Sale | Slump Sale | Closure of Units & Winding Up | Restructuring | Due-Diligence | Transfer | Change of Employer
An inorganic growth by way of strategic decisions like merger, acquisition, business purchase, asset purchase, etc. witness transfer of workforce and various legal and practical issues relating to them. The said issues commonly arise on account of the complicated labour law regime governing such transfer, specially concerning the 'workmen' category of employees who have been given special protections and safeguards under the said statutory provisions.
Failure to avail appropriate legal advice and implementation thereof with respect to transfer or termination of employees may expose the management with the risk of invalidation of the transaction, amongst other employment risks and liabilities.
Members of our employment law team have advised and assisted employers in course of various cross border and domestic transactions, including strategizing and advising on the roadmap, statutory conditions compliances, documentations (including letters and notifications to employees), transfer of registrations, dealing and negotiating with the employees, claim settlements, post transaction issues, etc.
Irrespective of the degree of legal proficiency introduced towards employment documents during the pre-litigation stage, the likelihood of disagreements and disputes during the course of employment cannot be ruled out. Our expert team of contentious and non-contentious lawyers, in line with commercial objectives of the clients, work seamlessly to advise them towards dispute resolution and protection of their interests, in an innovative, pragmatic and cost effective fashion.
Anti-Corruption Policy & Manuals | Internal Reporting Systems | Internal Audit & Due Diligence | Anti-Bribery Contractual Provisions | White Collar Crimes | Anti-Corruption Risk Assessments
The most prominent anti-corruption laws globally are the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the UK's Bribery Act, 2010. The guidance notes published by the US Department of Justice states that US parent companies can be held liable for bribery acts of their foreign subsidiaries even if these subsidiaries do not have any direct connection with the US. This makes it pertinent for companies to ensure compliance before entering into any third party contracts.
Our team specializes in formulating and implementing comprehensive anti-corruption compliance programs, including implementation of anti-corruption policy for our clients, conducting training and workshops for the employees in this regard, advising on policies and contracts, counselling key employees of the organization, carrying out investigations and due diligences, etc.
Protecting the rights and remedies of an employer under the voluminous labour laws largely depends upon the conduct and deeds of senior managers and HR members of the respective employer. However, time and again it has been witnessed that lack of legal awareness and training on part of the said managers have resulted into serious consequences to the employers and the officers in default.
Our team has conducted several training sessions for HR teams and management of various companies ensuring that they get well equipped with understanding of the legal positions and the required cautions to be adopted for mitigating the risk factors in future.