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Dear All,
Kindly help me! One of the employee of our organization has a birthday today. She mailed me the same info in afternoon. But, our rules says that an employee should provide leaves information a day before. My boss is very disappointed with me because I have considered this leave and approved. Now, he wanted me to spoil her birthday party today by conveying her that she is not supposed to come for this entire weak. She is on her probation period with first month no salary. Pls let me know what should I do to handle this situation....
From India, Delhi

Hi Ankita,
I would say allow her to avail leave since it is her Birthday and once she reports back tomorrow you can give her oral warning stating such instances will not be entertained going forward because your policy doesn't allow to do so. Convince your Manager that you would take care of such things going forward.
Amith R.
From India, Bangalore
Hello Ankita
Find out mitigating (gravity reducing) factors that go in her favour like that she is a very efficient worker and that this is the first instance or that she has been serving the organisation for .......years an dthat she is a team playerand that her absence for a week may affect team work and such other favourable factors that can prevail up on him to condone her lapse of prior intimation.
HR & Labour law Advisor

From India, Mumbai
Dear Ankita,

You could have given additional details. What is the length of experience that employee has? What is her designation? Is she junior person?

Now here you need to be a bridge between your boss and the employee. If she is junior employee then her antics could be condoned. Telling employee not to attend the duties for the rest of the week is too harsh punishment. Please tell your "boss" that you cannot use sledgehammer to kill the flies! Has your boss thought of consequences of this hobgoblin's decision? By awarding this kind of punishment will that dilettante employee get sympathy of other employees? Will this decision reduce morale of other employees? Will this punishment shatter motivation of the employee in question?

Is this yardstick made applicable to all the employees? If you keep the rule same for everybody then you should also have uniform punishment. What punishment is given for other employees?

By the way, who is your "boss"? Is he manager or Director or owner? Did he commit any mistake any time and what punishment he has awarded for himself?

The incident well illustrates the difference between "boss" and "leader". It is easy to be former and difficult to be latter. If your boss remains adamant then please do not communicate this decision today but communicate it tomorrow morning.


Dinesh V Divekar
From India, Bangalore
Hi Ankita,
Your manager is right in his place. At work, if need be we work till late nights on our birthday's, and probably the best way to gauge a persons professionalism is through these little things. However it is also true that a little bit of understanding turns a nice place to work, into an amazing place to work. Sometimes even a verbal warning can be quite demotivating. I would say set expectation, and be a senior who grooms their subordinates, after all that's what we all look for in our seniors.
Jintan Dinesh
From India, Kolkata

The Boss is clearly over reacting!

To correct one wrong by the employee he is committing a monumental wrong.

A person, especially one, who is on probation deserves some understanding, some kindness, some supportive climate and an inclusive approach.

This issue apart, if your organization imbibes these factors as part of your organization's culture, soon you will realize that what could lead to attrition will not happen and there will be good bonding and a sense of belonging on the part of members of the organization.

Either the Boss refuses to understand this golden truth or is incapable of understanding!

Be kind to Boss. Educate him on finer qualities of leadership and team work but not at this juncture. (It might prove counter productive!)

Try and reason out. You are NOT siding the wrong doer but are clearly protecting and furthering organization's interests is the message the Boss must get.

If he refuses to see reason and if good sense does not prevail, then so be it! Sometimes a "cost" has to be paid to "learn". This may be one such occasion.



October 22, 2013

From India, Pune
Hi Ankita,
In regards to your post, her salary should go as LWP (Leave without Pay) as she is on probation. Probation period states that employee is not entitled for approved leaves or other benefits from the organization till the time they are not confirmed.
And with regards to not spoiling her birthday, no one is telling you to do that rather inform her about leaves and other policies in respect to the work in writing :) :)
And also update your boss with the same as this shall never be repeated going forward.
All the best ....
From India, Kalyan
Dear Ankita,

This is a typical situation which any HR Officer has to face many a times in his carrier. But hardly any solution format is available. Here you have a scope of thinking and creating something not written in any books of HR Management.

I could see the dilemma of you. You have a boss who is a-bit-over-reactive and you have a subordinate who has just started her carrier but had a lapse.

I suggest that first you send greetings to the Birthday-Girl on behalf of yourself, your boss and the company. Let her enjoy her birthday.

Next day when she reports, call her. Tell her about the rules of leave etc. Inform her about the way she had taken leave and because of that how the boss was not happy etc. Also tell her that such things will not be tolerated. Get an leave application filled by her stating the reason of birthday party etc.

Next important step is : just you both go to the Boss and ask the lady to say sorry for not informing about leave and that she shall be always particular for all such things. Let the lady make a request to Boss to sanction her leave. ( By this time, you must have got what I am leading to. What I was trying to do was to have a direct communication between them. That certainly helps. If boss gives curses, there is no harm in listening them.)

Just doing all this, I think, it will clear everything and there will not be any points of displeasure of your boss. So just go for that..

With regards,

Adv. K. H. Kulkarni
From India, Kolhapur
Well, as she is on probation, better if you give him some strict warning as the same should not be repeated further otherwise some strict action will be taken against. You can warn her when she back to office after celebrating her Birthday.
Also, better if you have some advance employee management, HR or payroll software there you can save those details. that will help you.
From India, Lucknow
Dear Ankita,

My first query is do you state the leave rules/ policies/ procedures to the new employees during their induction/ orientation programme. If you have communicated to the employee about this may be she would have communicated it earlier.

From the employer's perspective did her birthday dawn on her on the day of her leave. Certainly not, it could have been planned by her in advance. Secondly, as per your statement, she is only in her first month of employment. This was the primary reason for your boss reaction. In my opinion I would not subscribe the view that he is over reacting owing to the aforesaid reasons.

Now the probable solution to the problem. Speak to your boss and tell him that you will speak to the concerned employee on her return from leave and give her a stern warning. Also seek an apology from your boss for having granted leave instantly without communicating the rules of the game (leave procedure) to the employee when she communicated to you.

I would recommend that you should not allow her to meet your boss, because you have to handle it yourself. HR has two sides of the coin. The good boss and the bad boss side. The good boss appreciates employees, motivates and cheers them when a good work is done. The bad boss chides, warns and punishes employees when they err.

Explain to your boss politely that 1 week LOP is a harsh punishment. Tell the employee that she has hardly completed one month of service and such an act of her is not considered proper.

Employee may feel demotivated when they are being told that they are on the wrong side but you can't help it.

One thing that is unanswered is, she has communicated to you. Does she report to your boss, in other words does she belong to your department? If she is in your department then you need to handle it. But on the other hand if she belongs to a different department, the department boss is equally responsible. Many a times we find the bosses sleep over such matters causing discomfort and pass the buck on to HR department to handle it.


From India, Madras
The probationer, who is in her very first month; may be someone fresh out of college, and equates taking an un-announced leave for celebrating her birthday as equivalent to bunking classes !!

Or, may be she has pulled off this feat earlier too, when she was a summer trainee/intern in her earlier assignment.

Now, it is clear that the company does not have a policy in place, to celebrate the birthdays of its employees (and probationers) !!

Rather than congratulating her on her birthday, the boss has other INNOVATIVE IDEAS of Employee Engagement !!

To make things appear more realistic and educate the new employee on the harsh realities of work-life; the boss takes it upon himself to make her forget her birthday till she is an employee of the company and to assert his authority to tell her "who is the boss here"; wants to punish her harshly by forcing a week of Leave without Pay on her !!!

I am pleasantly surprised at most of the responses which do not question the decision of the boss !!

Where does one get such loyal subordinates; or how does one make such docile subordinates??

I wish I had an opportunity to work in such a disciplined company. The kind of camaraderie and team-spirit I have shared so far with my reportees and colleagues, they would have been the first to point out my mistake, of being much too harsh on the new employee, a new team member.

Secondly, is not there any provisions of Casual Leave in such an organization ??

Casual Leaves are those which can be taken on exigencies and does not need prior approval.

Another aspect would be - Do such experiences not teach employees to become hardened and compulsive liars ??

The probationer, if she continues till one more year, will surely learn to give thee reason as someone in her family (father, mother - the closest the better) had suddenly taken ill, and she is rushing her to the hospital !!

I hope members would reflect upon these contrarian and divergent views.

Those who are liable to feel offended easily, may kindly take it in a lighter vein.

Warm regards.
From India, Delhi
Tough situation for a HR; as humanity we can't spoil her birthday but as per company rules & regulation or company leave act; we should not violate rules of any company. Otherwise we must punish or penalize under some circumstance. But as the HR point of view its better to notice her with a initial warning and aware her about the rules of your company (leave issues).
From United States, Los Angeles
Everyone is presuming that this is the first offence of probationer lady in this job, and suggesting to take a lenient view by giving oral warning etc.
Suppose this is her second offence. (First offence was also of some kind of minor issue, HR warned her orally, and expected that she will improve). Now she has committed 2nd crime of remaining absent without prior approval. Anybody will agree that Birthday cannot fall under category ‘last minutes planning’, since it is known well in advance.
My question : She is on probation, her salary for Leave day will be deducted, as per rules. What is the punishment to her for not obeying office discipline second time. Ofcourse, ‘Do not come for whole week’ is a very harsh punishment. What can be the punishment for such indiscipline behavior, if it is done second time, when 1st warning is already given.
From India, Mumbai
Dear Abhaybandekar
1. There is a whole set of progressive disciplinary approach.
2. There is a difference between Crime (as the term used by you), offence or Misconduct.
3. Good companies have a list of Misconducts in their Conduct/Discipline policy or stated in Standing Orders.
4. There is a laid-out procedure (and line of action) for dealing with any misconduct, whether it is committed First time, second time or for nth number of time.
Since in the present query it is implied that it is the newly-joined probationers first offence; accordingly the members have responded by assuming it as a First offence.
warm regards.
From India, Delhi
Dear Mr Rajkumar.. sincerely liked your above comments, and I feel this is the most logical answer to this discussion. Understood the necessity of making a Policy for attending misconducts.
Extremely sorry, for using the word ‘crime’ in my post, certainly it has some other meaning. Shall take care while writing, and will improve the language. Thanks.
From India, Mumbai
the fault is apparently yours not hers
she applied (though out of rules), its you who allowed her to go on leave.
Punishing her makes no sense in this context.
If you had not allowed and still she had gone, then it would be justified to punish her.
You need to tell your boss that it was your fault and that she should not be punished.
Offer to take whatever punishment he gives out to you
(thought i think my post is late and what you had to do you have already done ......)
From India, Mumbai
Thanks Guys!!
All answers are valuable for me. I know I'm very late in acknowledging your responses. But I really want to share one thing that this company's boss cannot make good employee base as far as I know him and his attitude toward people's emotional needs. I left that company just after 2 months of joining :D and really don't want to show his company's name in my resume.
He was actually exploiting everyone in his office.
But, now I know the things and ways of dealing with such situations with the help of great people like you. Thanks to citehr.com.
Note: Do not post anything derogatory about any company or entity. (I'm not mentioning its name)
From India, Delhi
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