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Legal Case Study :- Absenteeism

11 Nov

This is an attempt to compare the judgments delivered in the 1960 To 1990’swith that of judgments delivered from 2001 onwards. The Indian Economy hasundergone significant changes after the introduction of liberalization andglobalization. The Indian Judiciary has also taken a note of the prevailingcircumstances and there is a different direction taken by the Indian Judiciary inthe recent years.

Earlier absenteeism even for a period of 5 years was not considered as a major misconduct. In a judgment the Supreme court in the case of Syed YakoobVs K.S.Radhakrishnan and others reported in AIR 1964 SC 477 is relevent which dealt with that termination on the ground of absenteeism and found that it was disproportionate and set-aside the termination and granted reinstatement withfull back-wages.

Whereas the Hon’ble Supreme court in the case reported in 2008 LLR 715SC Chairman & MD VSP and others Vs. Gokaraju Sri Prabhakar held that despite of opportunities granted him to report for duty, he failed to report duty – Absence justifies dismissal from service – High court cannot set aside a well reasoned order only on sympathy or sentiments – Once it is found that all the procedural requirements have been complied, the courts would not ordinarily interfere with the quantum of punishment imposed upon a delinquent employee.


Pinal Mehta

Is HR the most Hated Department?

11 Nov

Dear Friends of HR Fathernity,

Today, while i was checking my mails, I came across an article published on SiliconIndia Website. The article is written by Renjith VP, Silicon India. The article is stated as below

“Bangalore: Waited so deadly long for an affirmative reply from the HR? An enquiry made to the HR which you thought would be confidential ended up backfiring? Embarrassed every now and then with constant neglect for your queries? If you think you are the only one facing this problem, a whole lot of birds of the same feather can tell you more stories of issues faced while dealing with the dreaded group – Human Resource aka HR.

HR department, which has been an integral part of every firm, instituted with the intention of effective integration of all nuances of the firm has been no more ‘HR’ in the real sense as we run by the several bitter experiences of employees and other low level staff in organizations. It is more a ‘Highly Reprimanded’ group than a ‘Human Resource’ management group these days. Employees seem literally nailed when they hear those deadly quotes so politely and strategically framed like “we will get back to you” or “the position is on hold” or ” we are waiting for the decision from the top” etc. HR segments which struggle to cater the rising woes of employees really seem to lack well defined principles of human resource management.

1. Transparency in communicating organization motives – Most companies have employees at any given point who whine about the ongoing HR practices and how they wish there complaints were solved as soon as they were posted. Many employees complain that they hate it when HR comes across just as a puppet of the top management hired to issue instructions which relates to a definitive lack of transparency in their actions. Most HR department and personnel seems like doing a formality and not really their jobs since they just follow processes where there’s no personalization. They think that it is difficult to even share their views and thoughts with the HR department for the fear of bearing the consequences for being vocal about the visible issues around.

2. Handling exit interviews – Another concern raised by employees is that HR personnel have no idea about the wealth of valuable information that is available at their fingertips. As they assert, exit interview information is not about collecting sour grapes information but about collecting factual data which shapes the future HR strategy and policy.

3. Failing to understand the business challenges – This is another main criticism pointed against HR. HR professionals do not look at their purpose as being strategic, which in itself creates an aura that HR is driving administration, not the strategy of the organization. Other staffs feel that they bother more about hiring than internal employee development. On all occasions HR should keep in mind that it is the current employee’s performance that actually reflects on organizations and their performance, which unfortunately is missed out many a time.

4. Lack of responsiveness – A concern raised against HR every now and then as they always ask for paper work whenever there is a concern and the turnaround time is so long that most employees get frustrated before any resolution is reached. Many people find themselves screwed as HR spills the beans on matters which they tell the HR taking them in confidence.

With scrutiny like Harassing Resources or Hardly Required, HR is an area which needs constant troubleshooting and a revival at the earliest. In case that HR is not knowledgeable enough to answer questions then they need to be truthful or to a level transparent, get the answers and revert back. The role of HR is to provide overall company assistance and guidance with the execution on a company’s missions, values and ethics, while ensuring the right people in the right job at the right time. Unless and until, they change the view of HR as contributing to business results nothing will change. The HR systems utilized, are just some of the tools we can use to provide factual data to support our contributions. Last but not least, all HR personnel must consider the question ‘What’s in it for me?’ and perhaps the quick and easy answer is ‘I have a job, and that job is servicing the internal customer’.

Would Like to know your views for the same.


Pinal Mehta


HR News – 1st Week of Oct

15 Oct

Bosses Have Changed From Evolutionary Bullies
A good boss will always try to save you from office politics even if you work independently, but a new study has shown that male managers have an evolutionary excuse for bullying non-team members. In fact, researchers in Australia have traced office politics back to cavemen days and found that the way male managers dress, posture and exercise power is due to humans’ evolutionary biology. As per the researchers, prehistoric behaviours, such as male domination, protecting what is perceived as their ‘turf’ and ostracizing those who don’t agree with the group is more commonplace in everyday work situations. Lead author, Mr. Jeffrey Braithwaite said, “This tribal culture is similar to what we would have seen in hunter gather bands o n Savannah in Africa. Groups were territorial in the past because it helped them survive. If you weren’t in a tight band, you didn’t get to pass on your genes. Such tribalism is not necessary in the same way now, yet we still have those characteristics because they have evolved over two million years. It’s a surprise just how hard-wired this behaviour is. It’s predictable that a group will ostracise a whistle bowler for instance. It’s not good, but it’s understandable in the tribal framework. It explains all sorts of undesirable behaviours, including bullying. The findings of Mr. Braithwaite and colleagues are based on an analysis of hundreds of interviews of health workers over a 15-year period – by using an evolutionary psychology approach.
Source: 09-10-08   Hindustan Times

Working Women Feel Insecure During Night Shifts
Nearly 53 percent of working women feel unsafe, especially during night shifts in all major hubs of economic activity across the country, particularly in the key sectors of BPO/ITeS, hospitality, civil aviation, nursing homes and garment. They call upon their establishments to change safety norms, according to the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry Social Development Foundation (ASDF). The assessment, based on feedback from the stakeholders reveals that 48 percent of the women working with small-scale firms are extremely worried about their external movements. Nearly 26 percent of such workforce in the medium sector is apprehensive of safety and security, particularly after dark. And about 23 percent of women feel th e same fear in large-scale establishments. Releasing the assessment, the Assocham said women in BPOs and ITeS were the most sensitive and prone to physical and non-physical attacks. In nursing homes including hospitals, 53 percent of women employees continue to feel insecure. This  percentage in leather and garment industries is 45 and 34.

Source: 10-10-08   The Hindu

Textile Sector Pays Less to Women Employees

Female workers in the textile industry are paid less than males, except in Uttar Pradesh. Men, who account for 40.74% of total work force of the industry, get Rs 151.10 as daily income and women, who comprise 59.26%, earn Rs 113.63 a day. In contrast to the trend across the country, in Uttar Pradesh, men get Rs 140.85 even as women earn Rs 152.77 a day. The highest difference in the earnings of men and women is in Maharashtra at Rs 177.08 and Rs 128.1 respectively, followed by Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, the Occupational Wage Survey 2008 has shown. The survey, carried out by Labour Bureau based on 2007 data included 128 units.

Source: 09-10-08   The Financial Express

Capita Plans To Hire 1, 000 Employees

Capita India, a subsidiary of UK’s largest BPO firm Capita, plans to add 1, 000 employees in the next 12 months, in contrast to job cuts and deferring of hiring plans by the Indian IT and ITeS firms. This is a part of ongoing initiative taken by the company to move work offshore. “Capita has over 30,000 people working for it and we have almost 55-60 percent of the UK insurance market. We have included an offer of a blended model for outsourcing with UK and offshore component to it. As a result, of the pound 3 billion new work that Capita is bidding, a substantial amount of this will be offshored to India, said Mr. Paul Pindar, Chief Executive, Capita Group.

Source: 04-10-08   Business Standard

Time For More Govt Officials To Travel For Work

Now, more government officials can travel on official work, or end up not having to pay for some quantum of official travel, all thanks to a Finance Ministry memorandum that was issued last week. The memorandum requires that all mileage points earned by government employees on tickets purchased for official travel be pooled in for utilization by the concerned department for other official travel. Till now, most officials had been purchasing tickets for official travel and adding the mileage points to personal ‘frequent flyer accounts’. As per the new rule by Department of Expenditure, all the collective mileage points pooled together would benefit the department.

Source: 06-10-08   Hindustan Times

Laid-Off Staff Being Employed At Delhi/Mumbai Airports

Developers of the Delhi and Mumbai airports are witnessing a rush of applications from laid-off airline employees for recruitment to various airport services. Both Mumbai International Airport Limited and Delhi International Airport Limited are likely to recruit more staff by May 2009 since more than 2,000 posts are expected to be vacant as employees opt for retirement.

Source: 06-10-08   Business Standard

Why Should Ad-Hoc Workers Be Denied Of Benefits?

The policy of some employers to deprive their ad-hoc employees of financial, medical and vocational benefits, which is available to regular staff, has received criticism from Delhi court which termed the practice as “violative of fundamental rights and exploitative”. Allowing the plea of an ad-hoc doctor, who worked for Delhi Jal Board, to get a salary on par with his regular collegues, the court said that such employees were entitled to all the benefits. “Employers making ad-hoc appointments and resorting to fictional break, subject the employees to arbitrary hiring and firing policy and deprive them of various benefits — which are available to all other government servants — and therefore, this pernicious system of appo intment is exploitative and violative of Article of 14 and 16 of the Constitution,” the court said.

Source: 06-10-08   DNA

Hard Times Are Good Times For Your Health

Contradicting popular belief, US study revealed that people are healthier during strife. The data on how economic downturn influences an individual’s health are surprisingly mixed. Economic studies suggest that people tend not to take care of themselves in boom times- drinking too much (especially before driving), dining on fat-laden restaurant meals and skipping exercise and doctor’s appointments because of work-related time commitments. Mr. Gran Miller, an assistant professor of medicine at Stanford, who is studying the effects of fluctuating coffee prices on health in Columbia, says that even though falling prices are bad for the economy, they seem to improve health and mortality rates. When prices are low, labourers have more t ime to care for their children.

Source: 08-10-08   Hindustan Times

Infosys Exceeds One-Lakh Employee Mark

Despite the pressure on the IT job market from fears of an economic slowdown, IT major Infosys has become the second technology firm in the country to exceed the one-lakh employee mark after industry leader TCS. Infosys and its ancillaries added 10,117 employees in the second quarter of this fiscal that ended on September 30, 2008, taking the total head-count to 1,00,306 employees, company announced in its quarterly results. This puts the company in the league of another Indian IT giant TCS, which had over 1,16,308 employees on its payrolls at the end of the previous quarter.

Source: 10-10-08

Merrill Lynch’s CEO Gets A New Job From Bank Of America

Merrill Lynch’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. John Thain will take over as the President of global banking, securities and wealth management after its merger with Bank of America (BofA), a top bank official said. His new responsibilities include the combined entity’s Global corporate and investment banking operations as well as most of the Global wealth and investment management operations. BofA also said that Mr. Brian Moynihan, the current president of BofA’s global corporate and investment banking, will take over as the president of private equity and global operations of the combined entity post merger. Mr. Moynihan will continue as President of global corporate and investment banking (GCIB) at BofA u ntil the merger occurs after which he will take charge of the new responsibilty, the statement said.

Source: 04-10-08   DNA

Two Of MphasiS Directors Resign

Mr. Michael Koehler and Mr. Thomas J Erhardt, Directors in IT solutions and BPO providers MphasiS, have resigned from the board of the company. This is the second instance of resignations from the company in less than two weeks. EDS Asia Pacific Advisory Board chairman and MphasiS founder Mr. Jaithirth (Jerry) Rao had resigned from the company last month.

Source: 11-10-08   Business Standard

Company Staff To Study In IIT – Bangalore

Not only students but several professionals with several years of experience will be seen in the IT-Bangalore campus. To develop their talent pool, Pune-based Bharat Forge Limited (BFL) – a multinational forging company – has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with IIT-B to start an MTech programme for its employees. The course will be designed as per BFL requirements to further employees’ research and development capabilities. Starting June, BFL employees will attend classroom lectures during the first year on a full-time basis. The second year will require them to work on a project at BFL and IIT-B. However, it is not for the first time that the company has partnered with an educational institure. It has tied up with Birla Institut e of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani, for Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Engineering and with UK-based Warwick University for MSc in Engineering Business Management.

Source: 05-10-08   Hindustan Times

R-Globalcom Appoints Mr. Bhatia

Anil Dhirubhai Ambani (ADA) group promoted Reliance Globalcom has announced the appointment of Mr. Mandeep Bhatia as the Business Head of its National Long Distance (NLD) business. Mr. Bhatia joins the company from Bharti Airtel where he was leading the consumer mobile business as Chief Operating Officer (COO) – Mumbai, Maharashtra and Goa.

Source: 09-10-08   Business Standard

Wipro Names Country Head of France Operations

Mr. Christophe Martinoli joins Wipro Technologies as the Country Head of France operations. In his new role, he will concentrate on defining a unified strategy for the France market, help build Wipro as a brand of choice and further enhance Wipro’s image.

Source: 09-10-08   Business Standard

Mr. Wasim Basir Joins Rediffusion

Rediffusion DYR has hired Mr. Wasim Basir as a group executive Vice President. Mr. Basir comes onboard from Red Lounge – A Coca venture in China where he was Managing Director. He has also worked with Chaitra Leo Burnett and McCann Erickson.

Source: 07-10-08   DNA

Aricent Announces New CEO

Aricent, an outsourcing company, has announced the appointment of ex-Wipro veteran, Mr. Sudip Nandy, as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company. He was earlier the President of the Technology Media and Telecom Business unit at Wipro, overseeing more than 18,000 people and a revenue run rate of $1.3 billion a year.

Source: 10-10-08   The Hindu