International ILO Conventions on Decent Work

Read more about International ILO Conventions on Decent Work.

Work and Wages

ILO Conventions on work and wages:

Minimum wage: Convention 131 (1970)

Regular pay: Conventions 95 (1949) and 117(1962)

Compensation overtime: Conventions 47 (1935) and 106 (1957)

India has not ratified Conventions 47, 95, 106, 117 and 131.

Minimum wage

The minimum wage must cover the living expenses of the employee and his/her family members. Moreover it must relate reasonably to the general level of wages earned and the living standard of other social groups.

Regular pay

Wages must be paid regularly.

Compensation overtime

Working overtime is to be avoided. Whenever it is unavoidable, extra compensation is at stake - minimally the basic hourly wage plus all additional benefits you are entitled to.


Work and Holidays

ILO Convention:

Convention 132 (1970) on Holidays with Pay Convention (Revised).

India has not ratified Convention 132.

Paid holiday

Three weeks paid holiday is the yearly minimum, national and religious holidays not included.


Work during Holidays and Weekends

ILO Conventions:

Conventions 14, 47 and 106. In addition for several industries different Conventions apply.

India ratified Convention 14, but not Convention 47 and 106.

Pay on holidays You should be entitled to paid leave during national and officially recognized religious holidays.

Compensation holiday

If you have to work on a national or religious holiday you should be entitled to compensation. Not necessarily in the same week, provided the right to a paid compensation day is not forfeited.

Weekend work compensation

If you have to work during the weekend, you should thereby acquire the right to a rest period of 24 uninterrupted hours instead. Not necessarily in the weekend, but at least in the course of the following week.


If you have Children at School

ILO Conventions:

Convention 156: Workers with Family Responsibilities Convention (1981).

India has not ratified Convention 156.

School holidays

Your paid holidays should be allowed to coincide with the holidays of school going children.

Equal opportunities of parents

Employees (regardless of gender) with family responsibilities should have the same opportunities as their colleagues who have no such responsibilities.


Maternity and Work

ILO Conventions on maternity and work:

Convention 183 (2000). An earlier Convention (103 from 1952) prescribed at least 12 weeks maternity leave, 6 weeks before and 6 weeks after.

India has not ratified any of the Maternity Protection Conventions of the ILO..

Free medical care
During pregnancy and maternity leave you should be entitled to medical and midwife care without any additional cost.

No harmful work
During pregnancy and while breastfeeding you should be exempt from work that might bring harm to you or your baby.


Your maternity leave should last at least 14 weeks.


During maternity leave your income should amount to at least two thirds of your preceding salary.


Health and Safety at Work

ILO Conventions:

Convention 155 (1981) on Occupational Safety and Health. More Conventions deal with very specific Occupational Safety hazards, such as asbestos and chemicals. They are not dealt with here.

India has not ratified Convention 155.

Employer cares

Your employer, in all fairness, should make sure that the work process is safe.<

Free protection

Your employer should provide protective clothing and other necessary safety precautions for free.


You and your colleagues should receive training in all work related safety and health aspects and you should have been shown the emergency exits.


When you inform your superior about an imminently or actually dangerous situation on the job, you should not be made to take up that job while this situation lasts.


Work and sickness

ILO Conventions:

Conventions 121 (1964) and 130 (1969) concerning Employment Injury Benefits and Medical Care and Sickness Benefits.

India has not ratified Conventions 121 and 130.

Income when sick

Your rights to work and income should be protected when illness strikes. The first 3 days of your absence due to sickness do not need to be compensated for.

Minimum income

Minimally you should be entitled to an income during 6 months of 60 per cent of the minimum wage. (Countries are free to opt for a system which guarantees 60 per cent of the last wages during the first 6 months of illness or even during the first year).

Job security

During the first 6 months of your illness you should not be fired.

Disability benefit

Whenever you are disabled due to an occupational disease or accident, you ought to receive a somewhat higher benefit than when the cause is not work related.


Social Security

ILO Conventions on social security:

Convention 102 (1952). For several benefits somewhat higher standards have been set in subsequent Conventions 121 (1964), 128 (1967), 130 (1969) and 168 (1988).

India has not ratified Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention 102 (1952), nor subsequent Conventions 121(1964) 128 (1967), 130 (1969) and 168 (1988).

Pension rights

From the age of 65, set as a percentage of the minimum wage or a percentage of the earned wage. This basic ruling has been laid down in Social Security Minimum Standards

Dependents’ benefit

When the breadwinner has died, the spouse and children are entitled to a benefit, expressed as a percentage of the minimum wage, or a percentage of the earned wage.

Unemployment benefit

For a limited period of time the unemployed has a right to unemployment benefit set as a percentage of the minimum wage or a percentage of the earned wage.

Medical care

Employees and their family members should have access to the necessary minimal medical care at an affordable price.


Fair Treatment at Work

ILO Conventions:

Convention 111 (1958) and 100 (1952)
. Convention 111 lists the discrimination grounds which are forbidden. Convention 100 (1952) is about Equal Remuneration for Work of Equal Value.

India ratified Conventions 100 and 111.<

Equal pay

At workplaces equal pay for men and women for work of equal value is a must, regardless of marital status. Pay inequality based on religion, race or ethnic background is also forbidden. A transparent remuneration system and the clear matching of pay and position are in place and help to prevent wage discrimination.

Sexual intimidation

Sexual intimidation is gender discrimination.

Training opportunities
All employees, regardless of gender, religion, race or ethnic background are entitled to equal training and schooling opportunities.

Freedom to complain

You should know whom to turn to for help in case of discrimination. Whenever you ask questions about discrimination or file a complaint you should feel protected against intimidation and against being dismissed.


Children at Work

ILO Conventions about working children:

Conventions 138 (1973) and 182 (1999)

India has not ratified Conventions 138 (1973) and 182 (1999).<

Children under 14

At workplaces there should be no work performed by children that could harm their health and hampers their physical and mental development. All children should be able to attend school. Once this is safeguarded there is no objection against children performing light jobs between the ages of 12 and 14.

Hazardous jobs

More demanding jobs, that may carry health risks, are subject to sharper criteria.


Forced labour

ILO Conventions:

Conventions 29 (1930) and 105 (1957) specify the qualifications of forced labour. It is work one has to perform under threat of punishment: forfeit of wages, dismissal, harrassment or violence, even corporal punishment. Forced labour means violation of human rights.

India has ratified Convention 29, but did not ratify Convention 105.

Freedom to change jobs

Employers have to allow you to look for work elsewhere. If you do, you should not be shortened on wages or threatened with dismissal. (In the reverse cases international law considers this as forced labour).

No passport or ID

You should hold your own passport or ID. Not your employer. (One of the indicators of forced labour is whether the worker can freely use their passport or ID. Too often still, especially in the context of migration, the employer confiscates this personal document. Whenever this happens it is a matter of forced labour.)

Pay back loan

When you do not receive any pay since you still have not yet fully paid back the personal loan provided by your employer, this is considered to be forced labour.


Trade Union Rights

ILO Conventions:

Conventions 87 (1948) and 98 (1949)

India has not ratified Conventions 87 and 98. The website of the Ministry of Labour & Employment explains why.

Trade union at work

Trade unions are entitled to negotiate with employers on term of employment without hindrance.The freedom of a trade union to negotiate with employers to try and conclude collective agreements is protected. (The ILO has a special procedure for handling complaints from unions about violation of this principle).

Freedom to join a union and being active in the trade union outside working hours

Freedom of association means freedom to join a trade union. This is part of the fundamental human rights. Employees may not be put at a disadvantage when they are active in the trade union outside working hours.


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