Hr Manager
Sovik Bhattachaerjee
Md- S.s Enterprise
Executive Assistant
Recruitment Specialist
+3 Others

Can a company ask its employees to work on a Sunday to compensate the holiday of the election day?
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The election commission of India has clearly stated in all news papers that all IT companies must provide a paid leave to the employees on the date of elections/voting in their respective cities. But there is no mention about any compensatory working in the statement. I request members and HRs to please let me know their views.
Dear All
It is our responsibility as citizens to help create a stable and better government. A better and stable government will cause and create better governance which would invariably effect the Corporates also.
Please be a responsible citizen and corporate citizen.
Desist from making people work extra for performing their social and constitutional duties.
If your employees don't vote on the day of election (doesn't have his finger marked) then please deny him appraisal and promotion along with two days deduction towards leave without pay. An employee who cant be responsible towards his nation and country never can be useful and responsible to his employers
Hi, Company can ask employee to work on weekend in lieu of election day holiday.

During my MBA & professional career in corporate houses, I faced this question again & again. Currently being a student of CS under, ICSI , I read different cases & corporate laws in details, clause by clause, section by section. Spent 8-10hours, in studies. Additionally taking care of business.

I don't know why this question is placed? Trying my best to understand from managerial perspective, finance perspective & legal compliance perspective. Hope after completing regular MBA, and student of CA /CS , I have the competency to understand this critical issue.

Q1.What laws says, about holiday?

Ans. Legally 3 holidays should or rather must be there- MANDATE & should be paid in nature, viz

1. Jan 26

2. Aug 15

3. Oct 02

4. Any specified day/days/date mentioned by Government of India, its wings or Judicial system as per constitutional requirements & following the constitution of India. Eg: Government possess rights to declare holidays during national emergency like war. All companies/firms(PVT,LLC,Public etc) are bound to follow such instructions.

Q2. We have seen, due to needs of business sometimes companies ask employees to work during these holidays, especially this happens in IT/ITES. Question is , can a company legally do it? (I have seen this a lot, work in national holidays like jan 26,Aug 15, Oct 02 when I was in IBM Kolkata, use to work as double payment was there & a lot of fun activities used to be there atleast for 30 minutes)

Ans. Yes. Now question arise how?

Ans. Say suppose monthly fixed salary an employee is INR 22,000 & total no of working days in that month=22.

So, Per day salary in that month =22000/22=1000 (We are not considering variable part).

Now, say month is August, and company needs employees to work in Aug 15th.

Ideally, since August 15, is a holiday, so PL /paid leave should be provided. Whether an employee work or not work as per law, he/she must get INR 1000 for Aug 15. Any deduction- part or wholly, in lieu of absenteeism on Aug 15, if done, it will be considered Illegal. And Employee has legal right to challenge the decision in such cases.

If any employee, agreed to work on Aug 15 (Should not be forced by employer & employee should take this decision by free will), he/she is allowed to do so. Here, since its a paid leave by law, so he/she will get INR 1000 credited in his/her salary account in lieu of paid leave & additional Overtime for the no of hours he/she will work in Aug 15 . If employee work for full day, then he/she will get additional INR1000. Thus total salary on Aug 15, will be INR 2000.

OT have to paid as per clauses ,mentioned in Appointment letter. Forcing someone to work on Aug 15, is an offence. Working on national holiday, is entirely between mutual understanding of employee & employer, I would rather say goodwill gesture. If any employee is not ready to work even for OT, he/she should not be forced to do so.


Election day is a holiday, as per direction provided by election commission of India. All companies, be it LLC,PVT,PUBLIC are supposed to follow guidelines of Election Commission. Violation of it, will means , interfering in someone's fundamental rights & fundamental duties as mentioned in Constitution of India. Additionally it would also imply challenging Election Commission. No, where compensating of work has been mentioned.

Who are eligible for leaves?

Only Citizens of India, who possess right to cast vote on that particular election date. Say, Office is located in Kolkata, And April 23,2014 is the date when people in Kolkata will cast vote. Then April 23,2014 should be holiday for all those employees in Kolkata who will cast vote. Not for employees, whose residence is in Delhi or Birbhum, West Bengal (employees cast their vote/prefer to cast their vote from Delhi/Birbhum) if date of election is different.

Q. Can any company ask employee to work on weekends, or sunday to compensate the holiday due to election?

And. NO.

Employer (Firm, Company, PVT company, LLC, Public) can ask employee to work on Sunday/week end, but it should be as per appointment letter clause, with reference to Over Time. Thus, guidelines, procedure, laws or rules what we follow under normal situation for over time or work in week off /Sundays, that should be followed. It must not have anything in relation with 'Compensating Holiday due to election'. Since, work in weekends /weekly off/Sunday is equivalent to performing OT, so here mutual negotiation for overtime must be followed.

If any employer, ask any employee to work in order to compensate a holiday for election, it will be considered Illegal.


Say April 23,2014 is a leave due to election.

Now, employer wish employees to work on April 27,2014 (Sunday). Employer have to follow normal rules, laws, guidelines, clauses in appointment letter & procedure , what they follow during work in Normal week off/week ends/Sundays. Like paying OT for working in Sunday/week off. This should not have any link with , with compensation of work due to holiday for election. If any employee/employees claim such things with circumstantial evidence which clearly signifies that employer forced employees to compensate a holiday for election, employer is violating the legal compliances. And can be legally challenged.


Sovik B

MBA- HR & Finance

Managing Director


Ph: 9051547598, E-Mail:
I find this stand unhealthy, extreme and somewhat autocratic. What if an employee has re-located recently and their name is not in electoral list? What if an employee falls sick on the day of election and is unable to vote? What if the name itself gets vanished from the electoral list (as it happened in Pune last week)?
An individual doesn't have control over these things and it would be unfair to punish him/her for that. Of course everyone should vote and then talk of bringing in the change in the system and so on. However, checking if employees have voted or not and cutting salary (and appraisal, promotion) if not voted is as childish as it is fascist and preposterous.
Aditya, I agree with you. To be very honest, half of the private companies don't follow laws & employees remain silent. But somewhere I feel, Octavious has done a mockery or I don't know why, it seems funny to read his comment.
But Personally I like Octavious's comments, as a touch of fun is there. Either way our routine life has become so complicated & complex , a little fun like this brings a smile for sure. It does not mean that, he is not aware about all these. He may know details more then us.
I would like to thank Octavious, for sweet and funny genture, he used in his comment.
Sovik B
Yes. If the Govt. is not declared as holiday for the Election Day.
Also the company can ask to work to meet the customer requirement of production. Nothing is against. You have to co-operate with the
management when need as an responsible employee.

Mr Gurumurthy,

I believe there is a confusion between goodwill gesture & legal requirement. Question is, Election Commission has said nothing for compensating a leave for election. So, I think for sake of discussion 'Compensating a leave for election' should be avoided.

What has been said, for compensating work/production 3 days before or after polling date, By Mr pariwal that's correct. But here again, we have to follow normal rules, Guidelines, clauses in appointment letter like working for Overtime, since there is no circulars as such stating it is to be done from any concerned authority. Technically we cant say it as 'Compensating leave for election'. This create legal barrier.

With regards to election, I believe Election Commission of India , possess rights to direct what needs to be done & what not. Even, possess authority to override action of central /state government machinery. Since, election commission has specifically mentioned to provide leave on polling day, so that voters can cast their vote. I believe, it will be equivalent to circular issued labour department of state to provide holiday- at least in terms of authority, jurisdiction & weightage.

Better option is, if possible exchange 'Week off ' of Normal day with 'Polling Date', is this not a better solution?

Like if week off is Saturday, and Polling date is 2days before, i.e Thursday, then make Thursday a week -off instead of Saturday & make Saturday a regular working day. This is possible as per law.

Don't you all think its better?


Sovik B
This is very interesting and knowledge based query and the election date is nearing and we could not get the firm submission from the seniors or other hr personal what they are following
as in our place it is declared as a paid holiday and as per above posting some may take it has declared holiday and may say their employees to work on the holiday day to compensate it


I would like to thank Mr Pariwal, for his e-mail that he sent today. I respect Mr Pariwal's feedback & would definitely take care of the same in future . And somewhere I feel its my moral liability to clear this confusion. Lets not make this rocket science. Hope Mr Pariwal would agree with me & would bless me.

Question placed is important here but language selected is wrong- 'Compensate the holiday'.

If objective is: To get work done from employees, which is pending or not done in appropriate time on any week off /Sunday due to a leave provided for election. It can be done. And there is no second thought. Company can ask employee to co-operate.

Why 'Compensate the holiday' has created confusion? (That's why in my 1st posting I have said I have failed to understand from which background this question is asked-HR, Managerial, Finance, Production or operation).

Compensating a leave means: If employee is provided a paid leave then he is bound to work for another day (week off/Sunday) with/without paid for work. Which means a liability is created on employees end . This cannot be done under ordinary situation & Illegal in nature.

How objective can be achieved:

1. Convert Polling date into week off, only for that week. And there by week off will become a workable/productive day.

2. Make Polling day's leave as Paid Leave/Non Paid Leave. And ask employee to work for additional day, week off /Sunday, which will be paid in nature/ OT will be provided. Follow laws, guidelines ,rules & clauses in appointment letter , that you all follow under ordinary situation for work in week off. This should be done on basis of mutual agreement between employer & employee.

3. steps provided by point 2, can only be done either before or after 3 days from polling date.

Very Important : Leave provided for election can be paid or non paid in nature-discretion of management. But if worker /employee is working for an extra day, he must be paid for his work. Even if a paid leave is provided for election, then also employee must be paid again for his work ,if he work on week off/Sunday.

And yes, employee is not liable to compensate the leave (means like bound to work, work without pay) under any circumstances. Its employees choice whether to work for an extra day or not. Or in other words, mutual negotiation between employer & employee should be done. If employee & employer have no problem, then its all right.

Hope now its clear. All can understand it, even a layman. Lets close this discussion here only.

Thanks & Regards

Sovik B
Dear Seniors, Is it mentioned in any act that on the date of Election it will be a holiday? If yes, kindly give the name of act and section in which it is described. Regards Abhishek Bhardwaj
Govt of India / EC; from time to time, by notification in the gazette, mailers, newspapers, notifies that election is to be declared a Holiday.
I am facing te same situation here in my company.We have elections on Thursady and company has asked employees to come on Saturday due to project criticality.
But employees are objecting like hell.Please let me know how to handle it.
The Representation of the People Act, 1951:
The above Act is a Central enactment which declares a holiday for all eligible voters working in any business, trade, industrial undertaking or any other establishment on the day of a poll to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly. The relevant provision is in Section 135B, which is reproduced as under:
“135B. Grant of paid holiday to employees on the day of poll.—
(1) Every person employed in any business, trade, industrial undertaking or any other establishment and entitled to vote at an election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of a State shall, on the day of poll, be granted a holiday.
(2) No deduction or abatement of the wages of any such person shall be made on account of a holiday having been granted in accordance with sub-section (1) and if such person is employed on the basis that he would not ordinarily receive wages for such a day, he shall nonetheless be paid for such day the wages he would have drawn had not a holiday been granted to him on that day.
(3) If an employer contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1) or sub-section (2), then such employer shall be punishable with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees.
(4) This section shall not apply to any elector whose absence may cause danger or substantial loss in respect of the employment in which he is engaged.”
2. Constitution of India:
Article 246(1) states that Parliament has exclusive powers to Legislate under the Union List, i.e. List 1 of Schedule VII to the Constitution of India, while Article 246(3) states that a State Legislature has exclusive power to legislate under the State List, i.e. List II of Schedule VII.
Both the Parliament and the State Legislatures are given the right to legislate over elections, although the Parliament’s right extends to legislating over the Central and State Legislatures, whereas the State may only legislate over elections to the State Legislature, subject to any central enactments. The relevant Items in the respective Lists are stated below.
List I (Union List), Item 72:
“Elections to Parliament, to the Legislatures of States and to the Offices of President and Vice-President; the Election Commission.”
List II (State List), Item 37:
“Elections to the Legislature of the State subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament.”
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