Business Development, Employee Relations,
Raj Kumar Hansdah
Shrm, Od, Hrd, Pms
+1 Other

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We are a BPO and have cab facility which provides doorstep drop to all employees working after 8:00 PM. However, I have three pregnant ladies whose shift end at 10:30 PM and they would like to go on their own, either with their husband or father using their own transport. We have not yet allowed this, and have advised them to either work a flexi shift ending before 8:00 PM or else use the office transport compulsorily. Please can anyone advice if we can allow female employees to use their own transport at their own risk after 8:00 PM?
Also, our pickup starts at 6:05 AM as our shift starts at 6:30 AM. Currently, we do not provide a security guard as the first pickup is a male staff, however, in case he is absent is it mandatory that we provide a guard, because the shift is starting post 6:00 AM, the mandatory time to give transportation and security.
I look forward to your replies as they will help us tie any loose ends if they exist. Thank you in advance.
Kind regards,

From India, Bangalore
Hi Hari,
1. Pregnant Ladies - It good that they have opted for voluntary go for their own transport. Seek an application from them and have them counter signed by their Husband under their own responsibility. This letter should be good enough to safe guard your company interest. So, I guess here you will be giving them pick-up. Besides, you have also given them option to change their shift, which is a good gesture.
You will need to arrive at a appropriate compensation for them since they are using their own Vehicle for drop.
2. Yes, if you have second pick as a "Female", you will need to provide Security. (Horrific Pune case Just passed my mind.)
One question always dwelt in my mind, why BPO are not making using of "Female Drivers" like "Viira Cabs Services" in mumbai.

From Saudi Arabia, Riyadh
Dear Hari
It is so satisfying to know that your company is complying strictly with the norms set by the govt. while picking up and dropping female employees during night shifts.
The best solution in the instant case would be to shift them into other shifts.
In my humble opinion, the burden of complying with the law can not be shifted to their parents or husband. It is the employer's responsibility and it can not be diluted.
In case of any accident, such an excuse will only amount to be an excuse; and the company would still be found to be on the erring side.
Warm regards.

From India, Delhi
Hi Raj,

A good discussion on "onus of responsibility". I guess this exactly what Hari is trying to safe guard and protect his company. Let brainstrom here.

"Onus of responsibility", is a matter of discretion by employee and employer in their own safe interest; and has been so clearly laid down in so many judgments and labor office. Ofcourse, we cannot generalize based on these; as these are case to case basis, but I feel as matter for our discussion, the onus of responsibility end for a corporate and company somewhere and in this case employee completed the work and is picked by their family/Guardian.

Taking the case of pregnant employees. I am sure they are still continuing to work, confirms that they are doing so on doctors recommendation. Now, the employee have voluntarily asked the employer that they will go on their own transportation during late evening confirms that they "have concerned about their travel in late evening using company car". This itself is a trigger for Management to take a decision on the request which has come from staff. I hope you will understand the complexity the management have to go through later, if "God forbid" something goes wrong with the employee and the management did not act on their request.

It is well within the right and power of the company to accept the way of transport an employee chooses to go after the work is completed if the same is recorded and support by required documentation. In this case "an application from Staff" and thereafter "Approval from Management".

wish to hear from you and Hari as well.


From Saudi Arabia, Riyadh
Dear Mitra and Hari

I appreciate your views and your concerns.

Also, I am all for a mutually agreed arrangement (with documents to back it up) for the safety and care of the pregnant employees.

What concerns me, as you have rightly pointed out - "God forbid, if some untoward incident........."....

If such an incident happens when the ladies are on their way in their own personal arrangements; the blame can be easily shifted to the employer by the aggrieved family.

In the absence of any guidelines in this respect; I believe such EXEMPTIONS must be resorted to by keeping the Labour authorities involved. Rather than keeping their fingers crossed and hoping for the best; the company might FORWARD such request to the Authorities; so that the interest of the company can be safe-guarded.

When a company is taking so much care in legal compliance, it is better to go some extra miles and close all loopholes. This is not to create a bureaucratic barrier, but to take abundant precaution.

Warm regards.

From India, Delhi
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