As per our company appointment letter one month notice to be given on either side for termination of services.

Now one of our top official has instructed to send advance notice to two of our employees for not requiring their services effective from one month of the notice.

These two employees are working with us for more than 10 years. Recently they have been put to work in a new project headed by this top offical. According to the top official their performance is not upto the mark and their skills is also not as required for the projects. Inspite of oral advise to improve their performance, they have not done so. There is no written communication regarding this. He has informed me that he does not require these two staffs for his projects. When checked with other departments, they also have sufficient staff and there is no chance for transferring them to other departments.

Is it legally correct if we give one moth notice to them and relieve them after one month. What will be legal consequences for doing so.

Also please suggest alternative measures for the above. What are the compensations we need to pay for such type of termination by advance notice.



From India, Madras
Dear erv Please clarify whether these employees are workmen or Management Cader employees? This is very critical information.
From India, Mumbai
Dear erv,

While you can take action as per the terms of appointment letter, but more than legal angle you need to think on its impact on the organisation culture.

These two employees were working for the last ten years. In that case what steps your organisation has taken to groom them to handle the projects of this kind? Were they trained to develop the required skills? If the training was given, then what performance feedback was given to improve those skills? What preparedness your organisation had to handle projects of this type?

Taking into account legal aspects only, you may remove these two employees but then it will create a fear in the minds of other employees. To avoid removal, if employees start becoming proactive and start quitting what would be cost of the additional attrition, have you thought of?

Please remember the incident of Jet Airways. Management had terminated 1,950 employees. Yes, their termination was legal but then the move had recoiled on the management and they had to eat the humble pie.

Is your company is as strong as GE? In GE, Jack Welch used to remove bottom 10% employees every year. But then employees knew what what would be stored for them if they fell in bottom 10% of the performance matrix. But while removing, GE was quite generous and did not stick to the terms of employment.

HR is responsible for the organisation's culture. If the employees were under-performing and still worked for 10 long years then who allowed them to continue in your company? What action will you take against these seniors for allowing under-performers to continue in your company? First take action against these seniors and then come down to junior level. If you take action against these two employees only winking at these seniors, you would be sweeping under the carpet.

I tried analysing the case objectively. Objective was not to ruffle your feathers!


Dinesh V Divekar

From India, Bangalore
  • Legally you can not remove workmen, on the basis of clause in the appointment order. Doing so may land you in a humiliating position of reinstating their services with back wages.
  • Removing workmen from services is not easy and you will have follow correct and long procedure, stipulated by law and still it can be challenged by workmen in courts.
  • Please consult a lawyer specializing in labor laws and go by his advise only, before taking any further steps. Also consult your seniors in this matter.
  • Better arrange a meeting of the lawyer with your Project Manager to appraise him of possible legal complications in this case.
  • Also advise given by Mr. Dinesh Divekar is very important and relevant in this case apart from legal issues.

From India, Pune
I totally agree with Mr. Dinesh. If you have nurtured an employee for ten long yrs & now all of sudden you are planning to terminate him, though it is legally correct, but its absolutely wrong wrt to ur org culture.
This will set a very bad example in front of all other employees as well.

From India, Pune
Dear HR experts,
There are cases with Seniors (AGM/ GM) who are asked to put up the papers without giving chance to serve notice period (though one month notice is agreed), by management and asked to handover charge with immediate effect.
Subsequently management neither settled F & F, nor answered any further communication.
Since the seniors are not covered by Labour Laws. what course of action be taken to settle the dues.
The Management has done this to many of the seniors of the company and are being exploited.
Your reply will give direction to many of them.

From India, Mumbai

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