Boss2966
Industrial Relations
Bijay_majumdar
Freelancer
Cite Contribution
Community Manager
Tajsateesh
Recruitment/talent Acquisition, Career Counselling
Nashbramhall
Learning & Teaching Fellow (retired)
Raj Kumar Hansdah
Shrm, Od, Hrd, Pms
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Thread Started by #Raj Kumar Hansdah

It is strange that there are certain MYSTERIES surrounding the Labour Laws that escape the attention of even seasoned HRM practitioners.

It is a valid and fair assumption that a considerable amount of thoughts and deliberation go into the making of any Act; .every "section", "clause" and nuances are discussed, debated and deliberated, before it is passed by the Legislature.

When it is notified, the Executive who has the responsibility to implement it, frames Rules for its implementation.

However, there can still be some gaps or grey areas, in which case such incidences are referred to the Judiciary, who interprets the Law.

This is how the democracy functions. Laws are made, implemented and any disputes are solved. while interpreting the Law, the Judiciary takes it upon itself to go into the thinking and rationale of why any clause or provision has been put in by the Legislature, their motive, and the issues it addresses.

In the light of the above; it is surprising that certain terms, contingencies and provisions are interpreted by layman and general public to mean contrary or differently to what it may have been intended to.

Let us consider the case of the term "Dual employment" as used by employees while seeking clarification on how their interest in another vocation or pastime, shall be treated.

One can understand the well established cases of a government servant, say a police officer moonlighting as a paid hitman for a gangster company; a government doctor merrily taking money from patient as a part of his flourishing "private"practice; or a government teacher taking private tuition of students in an effort to "pass" them!

However, when used in industrial or business settings in the PRIVATE SECTOR; what is the purpose of government in banning dual employment ??

Does the government want that workers and employees should EARN LESS MONEY and lead a miserable life??

Does the government want that an industrialist should not employ more talented people, if a worker is capable of doing work ??

What is the purpose of having the prohibition of "dual employment" clause in Mines Act, Factories Act, Shops and Establishment or other such Acts ??

All these Acts are meant to regulate employment and provide for Safety, Working Conditions and Welfare etc. of employees and workers.

What happens if a worker has already completed his shift in one factory, and the employer sends him to another factory of his to work another shift ????

Of course, the employer will pay him for both shifts; but HOW LONG will the workmen survive if he does another shift ???

So is the case of a Miner who has worked his shifts in an underground mine; will he have enough energy left to work another shift in another mine of another company ???

What about a salesman who has made a hectic round of selling the company's product in his territory and the owner asks him to do another shift in another office ??

Or is the clause meant to prevent a female salesgirl in a private company or shop, to teach Bharatnatyam to children of her locality during her spare time on payment of certain tuition fees ???

A member has asked, whether his investment in a friend's partnership business can be called "dual employment" by his employer and is he liable to face the "consequences"????

I think knowing the purpose, background and rationale behind any Act or its provisions will make us more proficient in interpreting the Laws; which is a very relevant skill for any HR professionals.

I invite more inputs on this from our members.
10th March 2014 From India, Delhi
In dual employment, one cannot do justice to the job.
It will be also difficult to the individual working in two companies unless it is part time basis..
Though the the Factories Act is preventing double employment, some persons are doing the double employment for their overburdened livelihood. It is common in Spinning Mills.
Ex:- one is doing day duty in one mill and doing OT in other nearby mill.
D.Gurumurthy
14th March 2014 From India, Hyderabad
Greetings!!!!!!!!!
Firstly, in my opinion, a person who is doing dual job is snatching livelihood of other person and causing to some extent unemployment.
He is also not taking care of his family and children affairs as well as to his health.
24 Hours of day are divided into three phases of 8 hours. 8 Hours working, 8 hours day to day activities and 8 hours rest to gain energy used in working and daily activities.
Since, legislature take care of life and health of its citizens and that is why dual employment is prohibited in most of the Acts.
Yes, money is all thing in life, yet we cannot devote whole life's enjoy to earn.
Rgds
V K Gupta
14th March 2014 From India, Panipat
This is a law,its made by people like us only.But most appreciated thing is that @ Mr.Raj kumar has Probably pointed this out in context of employment & economic situations prevailing today in industry.However @Vk Gupta Sir,has answered the fact.Nevertheless I feel that One is ever free to do the work as much as he/she wants. It (This Law) is an social welfare measure to help and support society at large so that shrewd and selfish business owner/employers should not take undue advantages of employees.
Workers/employees for the want more earnings will always be ready to work for more hours at one or more places but Law makers know that if such laws are not imposed,things may worsen the socio- economic balance and more of exploitation of manpower will be there.
I value employees as human beings and hence they need to be educated to understand the very purpose of the law and respect it.
Thanks
Bijay
15th March 2014 From India, Vadodara
Dear Bijay_majumdar
I appreciate your comments.
You have truly understood my sentiments behind this thread; "pointed this out in context of employment & economic situations prevailing today in industry.
Also, you have correctly understood the spirit behind imposing this restriction by Law. It is not, as some would probably think, to prevent workers from earning more;
but to SAFEGUARD their health, especially in Mines and Factories, where physical work is involved, and the working conditions are very tough.
I look forward to more suggestions and comments.
Warm regards.
15th March 2014 From India, Delhi
I have been away from India and worked in the UK for nearly 40 years. Hence, I am not conversant with the law now. In the days I worked in Bangalore in the 1960s, I worked full time ( 8 till 4 from Monday to Friday and 8 till 12 noon on Saturdays) in a defence establishment. The organisation started evening classes for their staff and I volunteered to teach (I was paid for that) and taught two nights a week. I was single and did not affect my family life.

In the UK, while working full-time, many of us enrolled on part-time evening courses to change our lines/improve employment prospects. That's with a young family. If that is allowed, I wonder whether the law about dual employment is about improving family life. I also did part-time teaching to get a lead into the teaching profession, as well as to try out whether its a line which I would like to pursue on a full-time basis. However, people working in two different organisations like that had to take permission from the parent organisation to ensure that there was no conflict of interest.

I know of a person in USA,who had started a firm with a friend before taking up employment. He told the would be employer about that and the employer said it's ok, as long as he was a sleeping [partner and not an active one.

In many American owned firms, the world over, staff work all sorts of hours and I wonder whether there is any law that prevents them from being overworked!!
15th March 2014 From United Kingdom
This is one of my favourite threads !!!
In the age of Google , where firm allow 20% of their productive time to explore , Dual Employment has a new meaning.
Drawing a line to avoid misuse of skills for which one is employed is essential .
Would want to see where do we conclude this ?
My gratitude to everyone who is joining this discussion with their experience and practices.
15th March 2014 From India, Mumbai
Dear All

i am extremely thrilled with the inputs from Mr. Simhan and Ms. (Cite Contribution) !

Mr. Simhan has been kind enough to provide his own experiences along with his views. As rightly pointed out by Ms. (Cite Contribution), the world has changed a lot and continues to.

It would be very unfair to restrain someone's talent and potential to the confines of a single employment, especially looking into the economic scenario where the income of even working couples is not sufficient to take care of their present and future requirements and financial safety.

For the HR fraternity, it is not enough to accept and implement the status-quo. For those who have spent a considerable part of their life dealing with such issues, must have become aware of every aspects of the Labour Laws, many of which dates back to the 19th century and many got their present shape during the post-World War era. While one can not dispute the philosophy of labour welfare which was foremost in the conscience of the law-makers, and in fact it can not be under-emphasized.

Post independence, in a socialist economy, the presence of the government represented by the public sector,was seen in every sort of economic activity, whether it was a Bank, airlines, tele-communications, power sector, even in specialized trading by organization like STC, MMTC, manufacture of consumer electronics and two-wheelers to other items of public consumption except commodities.

The growing presence of a fledgling private sector, brought out many more employment opportunities, wherein the employers enjoyed the benefits of stripping the employees of their privileges which were assured in a government sector, except those that were strictly applicable by the Law; such as the employment privileges enjoyed by the Workers under such acts as the Factories Acts, Mines Act, Industrial Disputes Act, EPF act, ESI Act etc.

While stripping the employees off their privileges which were restricted by Law to certain class of employees; it has been observed that those rules and laws that were to the disadvantage of the employees; were CARRIED OVER in tact, even to those employees who were not entitled to any privileges.

For example, the employer emphasized on his right to HIRE and FIRE managers, and in some cases, without providing them the notice pay, in case they resign, arguing that the notice of resignation itself is sufficient to fire the employee without giving him any notice pay; in a way implying that only when the employer FIRES an employee, he is entitled for notice pay.

With the advent of Liberalization and entry of companies from western and developed countries; all their employment practices were adopted which favoured the employers; whereas any policy or practice that apparently favoured the employees were DISCARDED with impunity.

Examples of some of such casualties were the fair treatment of employees without any prejudice to their sex, age, race, disabilities etc.; the personal freedom and independence enjoyed by the employees etc.

Not to mention, the WORK CULTURE of these countries, which values work, and where a housekeeper, janitor or a baby-sitter commands more respect than even the MANAGERS in blue-chip Indian companies !!

Another point, quite often overlooked by those who subscribe to the culture of Hire-and-Fire, is the economic realities of these countries where even the IMMIGRANTS get dole from the government for a living (which are much better than even the best salaries given to certain employees by Indian companies), the low rate of Unemplyment in these countries, the Unemployment allowances or Social Security provided to its citizen; the free Medical facilities and assistance provided by the government during exigencies; are often ignored or not known by many.

So when we accept the liberal interpretations when it comes to those favoring the employers; we should also take note of THOSE FAVORING THE EMPLOYEES !!

I would like to quote from Mr. Sinhan's post :

"However, people working in two different organisations like that had to take permission from the parent organisation to ensure that there was no conflict of interest.

I know of a person in USA,who had started a firm with a friend before taking up employment. He told the would be employer about that and the employer said it's ok, as long as he was a sleeping [partner and not an active one.

In many American owned firms, the world over, staff work all sorts of hours and I wonder whether there is any law that prevents them from being overworked!!"

In America, as in other developed nations, having two employment streams is neither banned, nor any stigma is attached to it.

In fact the amusing term "MOONLIGHTING" is used for such activities. So an under-worked young lawyer may moonlight as a cab-driver or work in a fast-food joint, if he wants to pay the installments for his new car or house.

Taking into consideration; what Ms. has written on this:

"In the age of Google , where firm allow 20% of their productive time to explore , Dual Employment has a new meaning.

Drawing a line to avoid misuse of skills for which one is employed is essential . "

The term "dual employment" needs to questioned and discussed thread-bare.

If dual employment means, doing the same job, having the same profile of work; in another organization, most likely a competitor or obviously in the same industry; then its a strict No-No.

Same goes for a worker in a factory or mines - it would be killing.

However, what about a job which is in an entirely different area, which is of casual nature and helps the employee in providing relief, de-stressing or enhancing his abilities and well-being.

A software professional may find much relief and fulfillment if he is a part-time paid faculty in a computer institute; or maintain his physical fitness as a part-time instructor in a gym or karate school.

Similarly, if a manager wishes to utilize his managerial skills in a private venture with a friend or family, that does not take up his official time and there is no conflict of interest; why should he be de-barred from giving the benefit of his business acumen to his family.

I think the only considerations that should go into prohibiting the so called "double-employment" should be :

- the other employment should not be a full-time (comprising of 8 hours or a shift) or a regular job

- it should not conflict with the working hours or performance of the employee

- there should not be a conflict of interest, and it should not be with any agency that has any dealing with the company

- an employee should disclose such information to the company

There should not be any compulsion to take permission, as it would only unnecessary work and give the company an undue influence over the employees. however, there is no harm in giving information to the company, as such disclosure and transparency will help the company in supplementing its competency pool to benefit in contingencies or starting a new venture.

Warm regards.
15th March 2014 From India, Delhi
Hello Raj Kumar,

As VK Gupta mentioned, the logic & reasoning behind the Laws related to Dual Employment focused on a combination of Economic, Social & Health aspects of the employee--very valid ones then & also now.

However, I think, that the gamut of reasons has only increased in this age of Internet, knowledge & frequent/regular technological advancements.

Earlier, many, and maybe even most, employment opportunities were of using the 'Brawn' but TODAY more & more fields include the use of the 'Brain' much more than the brawn--including those fields that were essentially lacking in any great technical upgrades regularly. A couple of fields comes to my mind right away--Civil Engineering, Automotive, and many more--that hardly had any regular technological advancements in earlier days [typically the timeframe mentioned by Simhan], which was unlike other Engineering branches like Electrical, Electronics, etc.

But now?

The face of Civil Engineering has changed in the past couple of decades that there are so many specializations within the super-set of Civil Engineering--with software being a regular part of every specialization.

How does this mix with Dual-Employment?

One very strong possibility is 'Conflict of Interest' that will be quite tough to track, let alone prove.

Second aspect would be adhering--in both practice & spirit--by the employees to the various Non-Disclosure & similar clauses in today's Offer letters--by themselves very valid & necessary parts where 'knowledge' forms a very important part of most employees' job roles & responsibilities.

I am not sure what (Cite Contribution) mentioned "...where firm allow 20% of their productive time to explore....." is related to Dual-Employment.

'Exploring' is a different ball-game when applied to Private sector, which to the extent I understand, is to inculcate & encourage the exploration-temper in the employee--THAT BENEFITS THE ORGANIZATION.......this being the key.

But in fact, Defense Organizations have had this practice since decades [Simhan would corroborate for it I guess]--with quite a large chunk of time, as a part of the regular work, going towards areas that have NO IMMEDIATE application/value.

But NOT many private sector companies are OK with an employee exploring a totally unrelated area......though there surely are some companies that do so....since @ the EoD, it boils down to economics from the Company's perspective.

But this aspect COULD lead to another angle to application & practice of Dual-Employment in the present-day environment. Maybe it's not such a bad idea of allowing Dual-employment in unrelated areas.......unrelated vis-a-vis the company's operational domains/areas.....based on the individual's interest?

However, that would need a lot of tweeting the existing Laws to ensure there's no misuse of such provisions.

Rgds,

TS
15th March 2014 From India, Hyderabad
I appreciate TS's views which gives a different perspective.

According to him, the emphasis has shifted from "brawn" to "brain".

The former, In my opinion, is why the lawmakers made the provision of not allowing "dual employment". Since this is no longer true , in the absolute sense, with many professions, and their development; - which he acknowledges; this reason should not be an impediment.

However, he goes on to give a counter-argument :

"How does this mix with Dual-Employment?

One very strong possibility is 'Conflict of Interest' that will be quite tough to track, let alone prove.

Second aspect would be adhering--in both practice & spirit--by the employees to the various Non-Disclosure & similar clauses in today's Offer letters--by themselves very valid & necessary parts where 'knowledge' forms a very important part of most employees' job roles & responsibilities."

attribution https://www.citehr.com/487134-why-du...#ixzz2w3dCBmk9

However, there is another angle :

that of "Dual-employment in unrelated areas" !!

"But NOT many private sector companies are OK with an employee exploring a totally unrelated area......though there surely are some companies that do so... "

.........

"But this aspect COULD lead to another angle to application & practice of Dual-Employment in the present-day environment. Maybe it's not such a bad idea of allowing Dual-employment in unrelated areas.......unrelated vis-a-vis the company's operational domains/areas.....based on the individual's interest?"

attribution https://www.citehr.com/487134-why-du...#ixzz2w3fMSxFa

In fact, as a beginning in this direction; we as HRs can explore this - "Dual-employment in unrelated areas".

As Mr.Simhan has rightly observed :

"In higher educational establishments higher level staff are encouraged to take up consultancy work. Universities and colleges in the UK take a part of the money earned."

attribution https://www.citehr.com/487134-why-du...#ixzz2w3gU1LDP

I know this for a fact, as it is a widely prevalent practice in the IIMs and IITs.

What is more, this is in a RELATED AREA. So, what is the pay-off for the employer, in this case IIMs, IITs and Universities ??

apart from the pecuniary benefits, it gives prominence to the Institute, it enables their faculties to keep themselves up-to-date, indulge and contribute to the state-of-art status of their chosen profession. Needless to add, it gives the 'employees' an outlet for their creative energies and gain excellence besides some financial gains.

It is a Win-Win scenario for both.

So, whether it is a related area or entirely un-related; the issue needs some fresh thinking and deliberation. Especially, in case of the latter, un-related area; there seems to be absolutely no problem except a change in the mind-set.

In fact, it can be a retention tool - the freedom to choose and pursue any un-related vocation during their spare time!

It might help in building employee motivation and make for more employee-engagement; as well as making the organization, (appear, if not really make), more employee-friendly.

As has been done in accepting new policies and work-culture coming from West, although at the behest of the employers, which favours the employer; it is time we shed our inhibitions and rigidity in respect of policies that would favour the employees. This can be a good start in shaping the workplace of the future.

Warm regards.
16th March 2014 From India, Delhi
Laws govern the Systems of work and working procedures with certain specific purpose.In corporate these laws are for providing social security.However it does never restrict anybody's growth &development.Looking at the over all vision of legislation, I do not find any problem.Amendments in laws also do keep on changing the course of law as per the present needs.As regards to dual employment "Yes. I agree people can do this, but question is every one has limitation as well as Certain obligations that has to be worked up in proper fashion, order & with in legal boundaries.

Today Talent acquisition and retaining talent has become the great challenge for the companies,Companies take immense efforts and spend huge amounts on training and sustaining such talents and hence expect their employees to pour all their talent and energy for them only.Thus the person opting dual employment even in unrelated domain may perform low due to low energy level/over working at other place.

On the whole,Talented stuff can earn enough by just giving his few hours, while low performers do think of such options like dual employment.At the end of the day We are all Humans and Laws are not our God or Boss.You do work as much as you want but Your skill and talent will decide how much time you have to work for earning.
16th March 2014 From India, Vadodara
Dear Bijay_majumdar
Thank you once again for your inputs.
The problem is, exactly what you have stated in your last para :
"At the end of the day We are all Humans and Laws are not our God or Boss.You do work as much as you want but Your skill and talent will decide how much time you have to work for earning."
attribution https://www.citehr.com/487134-why-du...#ixzz2w3xfYTw7
Its not just your "skill and talent" that decide how much time you have to work. In certain cases, the Law, rightly, decide how much one should work.
In other case, where there is no legal compulsion; the organization decides this issue.
And, although earning is important, but it is not just a question of earning, alone.
Warm regards.
16th March 2014 From India, Delhi
Dear Friends
It is great to see such brain storming thread on the subject of Prohibition of Dual Employment.
We are seeing many high level people (Directors) and their advisors are engaged in many companies. For them as well as for those who is doing service (Medical, Teaching, etc), it will not exhaust their energy as they are not doing any laborious work. But for those involved in strenuous activities like construction workers, factory workers and mines workers will get exhausted within the duration of 8 hours and they need to take rest. But if they got engaged immediately in some other company, obviously their health will get effected. To safeguard their health this Prohibition of Dual Employment got implemented. In case of any death caused in the workplace due to sleeplessness or tiredness due to excess work hours, then it will have great impact on the workforce as well as on the Industry.
19th March 2014 From India, Kumbakonam
Dear Members,
It's indeed a great feeling to be back on CiteHR AGAIN. Plus after logging in I found this thread at the top..Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Valuable inputs by all. Enjoyed going through them.
As far as my experience and thoughts are considered, I would love to add, certainly when Law for Dual Employment was made situation was diverse, experienced functionaries might have faced cons of Dual Employment.
But now, YES situation economic condition, working environment, pattern has changed , so DEFINITELY amendment should be done.
Points suggested by Raj Kumar Hansdah Sir are practical.
Thanks.
Vijeta
8th November 2016 From India, Delhi
Thank you, Vijeta. ... and Welcome back !!! Looking forward to more contributions and participation from you.
9th November 2016 From India, Delhi
Welcome back Vijeta......it indeed was a long gap !!! Rgds, TS
14th November 2016 From India, Hyderabad
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