My company management are asking every employee to work on a national holiday without extra pay! Is it illegal? How can we refuse to work on a national holiday, against the wishes of our management?

Our company is an India based IT firm, the national holiday I am talking about is Gandhi jayanti (2nd October).

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    Does your contract mention any circumstances where you would be due more than your ordinary pay? Unless Indian law says otherwise, it may be a case that if it's not mentioned in the contract, the answer is probably no. – user34587 Sep 8 '17 at 7:45
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    Poor Gandhi would not like the idea you have been forced to do this on his special day. Anyway, I have no idea if it is legal or not, but that also might depend on the reasons that you would have to work on exactly that day. (If there are systems to be kept running, human life in danger, that is one thing, if they just want to force every office drone into spending their holiday doing unpaid work that is another.) – skymningen Sep 8 '17 at 7:49
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    "Management" can ask whatever they want, check what your company policy says on the topic. My company offers a compensatory off (1 day off for 3/4th day of work) and food reimbursement when we are required to work on weekends and other holidays. Short answer to your question is, it is probably not illegal, I have worked on Independence Day, Republic Day, Gandhi Jayanti, Diwali and Christmas (not all in the same year). Whether the company is required to compensate you for it depends on the contract you signed. – Masked Man Sep 8 '17 at 7:49

As per Indian law, if you are asked to worked on national holidays, you either get a compensatory off or you are eligible to get double the pay. You can discuss with your manager. Only certain professions like emergency services/ public utilities etc are exempt from it. Make sure you mark your attendance on that day and keep a written record of it, in case it is disputed that you called to work in office.

On a side note, if you want to say No, just mention being a long weekend, you already made plans. Tickets are booked, and if cancelled, your manager should comp you for it.

There are N number of ways to politely decline. Figure out the best as per your situation.

Lastly, working on weekend is always a favor you are doing. If your manager is being polite and requesting it, then consider it. If he is ordering around, well then, its best to look for a change in team/project/org.

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    they are refusing to give compensatory leave as well as refusing for double pay. Neither we have that urgent deadline that they can force us to work on the day. I would also like to add that whole company is working on that day. That national holiday is not in our list of holiday of the calendar year. – Chirag Acharya Sep 8 '17 at 9:58
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    @ChiragAcharya then it's a legal question. Tell them that you have to be compensated by law. Else, get a lawyer – Mafii Sep 8 '17 at 10:56

The answer is in your contract of employment. If working on national/region holidays aren't explicitly covered, then you're bound by local employment law.

But your contract most probably has the answer here.

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