One of the key roles of HR is – Compliance.
In light of the current financial and salary crisis in Kingfisher Airlines, where the salaries for the month of February and March are still pending, my questions for discussion are:
Can HR be prosecuted for non-payment or late payment of salaries?
Can HR be prosecuted if the salary cheque gets dishonoured?
In such situations, what are the remedies for HR Pros?
Kindly share your views.

From India, Mumbai
Hello Sanjeev,

That's a good topic.

I am not sure if HR, per se, can be prosecuted, since any case filed by employee(s) will be ON THE COMPANY & not on a specific individual. The individual--in this case the HR executive--is only processing the salary and the Finance executive is passing the instruction(s) to the Bank for Salary disbursement [or giving the cheque, as the case may be]--unless, of course, there is a clear prima-facie evidence of the HR person [or Finance guy or any other functionary] playing mischief or acting with a willful malicious intent @ the individual level.

However, whatever the HR person(s) may think or do, they are after all a part of the Management & they are bound to take the flack in the situations you mentioned [KFA]--sort of a 'occupational hazard' so to say. The same would apply, I think, to any individual who is part of a team/crowd handling a situation, be it a cricket team or even the government. how many officers are attending the court cases on behalf of the department concerned, even though he/she wasn't even present @ the scene when the 'crime' or 'situation' occurred?

In a nutshell, even though HR professionals or department can't be held responsible for the situation [with the exception I mentioned above], they invariably end-up holding the baby & handling the fire-fighting exercise. But at the End of the Day, the buck stops with the Top-boss.



From India, Hyderabad
Can HR be prosecuted for non-payment or late-payment of salaries?
No because that is the decesion of the management not individual's
Can HR be prosecuted if the salary cheque gets dishonored?
No becuase that is processed by finance department not by HR
In such situations, what are the remedies for HR Pros?
No situation is pending for remedies :)

From India, Gurgaon
Few things are really important and common in this case which we need to keep in our mind while discussing this case….


Let me start with a question.

Is there any employment t&c any employer is using which can allow any employee to prosecute HR if found not able to pay salary to employee in this kind of situation/crises. Neither employee nor employer wants to have this bad condition.

Second, we use a clause of “Notice Period” for a special purpose (for both Employer & Employee) but never use anything like if HR/company is not able to pay salaries to employees in this kind of conditions, employee can take legal action against employer. Also everyone who is working under Organization is an employee of company, whether is from HR or Accounts or any other department, and departments are not an individual entity which can be prosecuted for some reason. I fully agree with TS and Gurgaon HR.

HR is not directly responsible for not paying salaries to employee where Finance & Accounts department is responsible for all financial activities (Fund Availability) and responsible for fulfilling the requirement of HR to pay salaries to their employee then why only HR be prosecuted??

This is an extreme situation where company and employees all are well aware of this worse condition of company and that they are not even able to pay salaries to employees but it’s not as they have denied paying salaries to employees.

From India, Gurgaon
let me share an incident:
everyone has seen people who try to play second fiddle to bosses...
in one such company, the personnel manager gave a suggestion for delaying salaries to staff...and the owner was more than happy..
however one particular employee who was facing hard circumstances committed suicide...
the manager got saved because of the system but wrong advise cost someone his life...

From India, Delhi
Mr. Surya, is that the advice has given to the Owner while crisis?
We are talking about the crisis/bad condition of company where the situation demands to hold salary. To hold salaries for sometime meant to save fund so that company can manage the financial situation of Company to survive.
Second this is really wrong and not acceptable if one does that with whatever reason while there is nothing like circumstances bother the company financially.
You can also imagine the internal and external situation of this company.

From India, Gurgaon
In this case, we are discussing about...bad financial condition of the company and lack of funds....they have not DENIED the payment...; they have delayed the payments. It is different.
From India, Mumbai
mr arora
its true
and there was no crisis.
i have seen hr managers in small concerns increasing their goodwill in the eyes of the boss by paying least amount of money be it gratuity/ notice pay/ allowances/ incentives etc while firing people.

From India, Delhi
in that case the personnel who have done this wrong to their employee and just to impress his boss or with whatever reason is at wrong path and one day will repent in his doing. Also this can be the reason of uproar in the organization by employees which can also ruin the image or company in the market consequently they gonna pay alot.
Also if employees found this kind of case, can make a complain to local labour commissioner/inspector anytime in written.

From India, Gurgaon
Very good Topic Sanjeev.....Mr.TS & Anil have made it very clear..Even though i am late the HR's are also the Employees of the company do you think HR's will get salaries if the whole company is delayed so the same applies for HR as well.....If the company is sick unit they may opt for lay-off, lockout, closure it cannot be done once the employees salaries are settled......
Can HR be prosecuted for non-payment or late-payment of salaries?
HR"s cannot be prosecuted only the Management should be prosecuted
Can HR be prosecuted if the salary cheque gets dishonored?
No the Authorized signatory who is giving a cheque where no funds are available (Again the Authorized signatory for signing in cheque will be Director atleast)
I hope all your queries have been cleared and please let us know if there is some other query on this...

From India, Bangalore

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