Umakanthan53
Labour Law & Hr Consultant
Saswatabanerjee
Partner - Risk Management
Stephen_7
Senior Officer - Hr
JayDG
Hr Professional

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As per the Standing Orders of my Company, some of the major penalties of a misconduct do not have a time period. For Ex. Stoppage of "one" Increment or "Stoppage of N (nos.) of increment or Reduction to a lower grade or post or lower stage in a timescale.
The promotion policy states that for the purpose of promotion, the employee should not be under any disciplinary enquiry proceeding under him or under punishment within the last one year. However, when a chargesheeted employee is found guilty and punished by say "Stoppage of one increment" does it imply that the period is one year, since the punishment is immediate and without a time-frame ?
Your comments are solicited. Thanks.

Before imposing the punishment, you should seek permission from government (Labour Officer) requesting them to grant permission to impose the particular punishment as per the standing order for one one year for the misconduct for which enquiry officer's domestic enquiry report also proves the misconduct.
After availing the permission you can impose the punishment. Otherwise you may end up paying back wages or whatever.
All the best.

Your standing order says that there should not have been any :
- disciplinary enquiry proceeding
- any punishment within the last one year.
So when you are looking to determine increment, you need to see whether there was any punishment ordered during the last one year. If the person had one increment held back, then the 1 year would count from the time the increment was held back. Basically, he has to miss 1 increment. Whether that was the one which you are now evaluating or whether it was the one that has already been withheld. You cant withhold twice - once because the disciplinary committee ordered and once because the 1 year has not passed.

Generally, promotion of employees is based on several parameters such as merit, seniority, blemishless service in the feeder cadre etc. Blemishless service of the employee otherwise fit for his due promotion could be objectively evaluated based on the punishment, if any awarded to him in the near past. Punishment is the final aspect of disciplinary control in any organization. Punishment, per se, attaches some stigma to an employee's career advancement. However, if it is attached too much of consideration in every turn of one's promotion its impact will be very much negative as it would amount to multiple punishments.That's why in the promotion policy of any organization relaxation to any past punishment is reflected in the form of a definite time frame of its operation. At the same time a delinquent employee can not be permitted to stake his claim for promotion as a matter of his employment right on the score of no punishment within the stipulated time frame because of the pendency of any disciplinary proceedings. To curb such tendency only, a restriction is imposed in the form of a bar on employees facing disciplinary action at the time of their turn of promotion.

Coming to your question, Jay, stoppage of increment of an employee as a punishment can not be indefinite when you have a standard time scale of pay with fixed annual incremental benefits. That's why the order of punishment should specifically state whether the stoppage of increment is cumulative or non-cumulative. Otherwise it is to be inferred as non-cumulative only as the employee will lose the increment for the particular year only. In the case of stoppage of increment with cumulative effect, he will lose one increment forever. In any case, operative period of such stoppage should be reckoned with the number of annual increments ordered to be denied for the consideration of his promotion purpose. For example, if it is one increment, the punishment will be in operation during that particular year his increment is withheld and if it is two increments, during period of the entire two years and the like.

Regarding Stephan's contention of prior permission from Labour Department in the matter seems to me not correct.

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