Dinesh Divekar
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Thread Started by #pooja1108

Dear All,
I have recently joined a Visa & FRRO service provider company as an HR, Its a 10 years old company with a staff of around 30 employees. Previously there was no HR so I am the one who has to streamline everything and implement the policies. The major problem I am facing here is of employee late coming and taking unplanned offs on either Fridays, Saturdays or Mondays. Our company provides 12 paid leaves per year (1 PL every month) and no sick leave or casual leaves are provided (Management is not ready to increase the no of leaves as its not a CORPORATE). Though employees' salary is deducted when there are more than 2 lates or more than one leave in a month but still employees are keeping on this trend.
Kindly suggest, how to deal with this problem?
30th May 2015 From India, Gurgaon
Firstly you need to improve your HR Polices. According to your post description you need to work hard on your management system.
You can follow some steps to improve your polices :-
1. Act on the Information
2. Consider Terms of Employment and Bonus Schemes
3. Pro-active Management
4. Have a clearly written paid time off policy.
5. Absence Reporting Procedure
30th May 2015 From India, Delhi
Dear Pooja,

My comments are given in italics: -

I have recently joined a Visa & FRRO service provider company as an HR, Its a 10 years old company with a staff of around 30 employees. Previously there was no HR so I am the one who has to streamline everything and implement the policies.

Comments: - Your company was without HR for ten years. This shows psychology of the owner. This shows that he did not believe working in organised manner. For him HR systems and processes meant nothing. Probably he could save money by not employing HR but failed to calculate the losses caused by not having HR

The major problem I am facing here is of employee late coming and taking unplanned offs on either Fridays, Saturdays or Mondays.

Comments: - This is a reflection of the organisation culture of your company. Problem of this kind arise when owners fail to create culture of discipline.

Our company provides 12 paid leaves per year (1 PL every month) and no sick leave or casual leaves are provided (Management is not ready to increase the no of leaves as its not a CORPORATE).

Comments: - This is against Shops and Establishment Act of most of the states. As per shops and establishment Act, for every 20 working days, employee is eligible for 1 day paid leave. This is on and above ten closed holidays in the year. Therefore, deduct these ten days from 365 and divide by 20. You get 15. Therefore, it is not 12 but your company should give 15 days leave per annum. If you do not provide leave as per law, then do not blame employees for not showing commitment to the company. Commitment is not one-way street.

Though employees' salary is deducted when there are more than 2 lates or more than one leave in a month but still employees are keeping on this trend.

Comments: - This is happening because employees have reconciled to the salary deduction. Their priorities are different. To meet their priorities, they are ready to forego 1-2 days salary. As a remedy start attendance bonus.

Kindly suggest, how to deal with this problem?

Comments: - Your company's culture has been solidified already. It would be too difficult for you to change it. As a newcomer bringing change would be too difficult. In your company, you have person oriented culture and not performance oriented. Nevertheless, talk to boss about bringing culture of discipline. Sack 1-2 employees. Try shooting but keep gun on his shoulder. The problem is that you may not have career-conscious employees. The employees who wish to grow, they do not behave like this. However, your employees could be too institutionalised and they think that "boss" will not remove them.


Dinesh Divekar

30th May 2015 From India, Bangalore
Thanks Dinesh for your suggestions.
I am also in the same mindset. When I interacted with the employees and enquired about the salary deduction they told that are not left with any choice but on the other hand noone has discussed this issue with the owner of the company.
Also, you pointed out rightly that the employees are not that career conscious, they are either from a strong family background who are working just for the sake of it or they are the relatives or personal references of the owner of the company who are not aware about the corporate culture.
The boss has never regulated the late comers and now he wants the HR to keep an eye on each employee and maintain discipline which is becoming very difficult for me.
30th May 2015 From India, Gurgaon
One needs to talk to owner.

Put up the absentee figures,productivity loss(to the extent it can be quantified)

Unless the owner comes forward with a conviction,things will not improve.The owner should be explained the provisions of the Shops and Establishment act of your state and to give leave as per the regulatory act.

Explain also consequence of non adherence inn appropriate manner in discreet words.

Introduce some sort of biometric attendance system to get record of arrivals and departures.

Most frequent absentee needs to be pulled up to set an example,but after ensuring that legally your establishment is not violating local labour laws.

The owner needs to be pushed and prodded to play the game as per some laid down rules.

Non compliance with statutory requirement is a no brainer and can lead to consequences.

Employees must be knowing that labour rules are being flouted and they are also taking liberties.This culture can change only with top level intervention and making changes in way of working.
30th May 2015 From India, Pune
Dear Pooja,
This post has nothing to do with your query as such. It is more on grammar.
At some another thread of discussion, senior member, Mr NK Sundaram, has pointed out a mistake committed by another member on usage of the word "leaves". You may click the following link to refer his post:
Unfortunately you too have committed the same mistake. I recommend you taking cognizance of his post and correct yourself.
Dinesh Divekar
30th May 2015 From India, Bangalore
What happens when people get sick, and are unable to attend work for several days?
Do Indian employers refuse to allow people to be sick? How does that work?
I have to admit that some of the labour practices I read about daily here on CiteHR absolutely horrify me.
1st June 2015 From Australia, Melbourne
Dear John,

Falling sick is neither misconduct nor availing of sick leave is. Nevertheless, what matters is employees use sick leave as ploy to fulfil some personal requirement. Under such circumstances, the employers are in bind. Action cannot be taken against such employee but work suffers. That is the problem Pooja's company is facing.

As far as India's labour practices are concerned, India has very sound laws. India has far more advanced HR practices. Citehr is not (R) not a reflection of corporate practices of entire India. Leave aside the top-notch companies. Few levels below this level also do not appear on citehr. What you come across on this forum is bottom companies whose owners do not value professionalism. Reading posts from HR of these companies makes us sad too. Take the case of Pooja's company. It sustained without HR for 10 long years. What does this demonstrate? But then is this Pooja's fault? Obviously not!

Look at the quality of the posts as well. One is appalled at few posts' structure, choice of words, grammatical mistakes etc. All this speak of their grooming. But again it is not their fault per se because these members did not exposure of higher level.

The essence of citehr is to help HR professionals exactly from this sector. There are thousands of HR professionals, who do not have anyone to guide. They turn to citehr for helping hand. Seniors' advice is the aliment to their career.


Dinesh Divekar
1st June 2015 From India, Bangalore
Either you are being deliberately obtuse or have not read the points properly.

Assuming it's a language and culture problems, I am explaining the matter :

The basic labour law in india provides for only one type or grade of leave. There is no distinction there based in requirement or reason for the leave. Factory act provides for 1 day of leave for every 20 days in the company, and most shop and establishment acts (governing offices, shops, hotels and entertainment business) provide for 21 days in a year. In addition for low wage employees, there is a provision for government run health insurance which pay the salary for sick days.

Larger factories and offices are subject to standing orders, which provide for the rules that apply to many things in normal course of employee employer relations. The standing orders provide for splitting of the annual leaves into 3 categories, vacation leave (PL), sick leave, and casual leave. If you do not have sick leave left (you utilised them all) then you can use casual or vacation leave. If you do not have that either, then you go without pay.

Same rule applies to smaller companies. If your leave (1 for 20 days worked) is over, you are without pay. Yes, so, the employer does not say don't be sick. They say as per law I am not liable to pay you for absent days beyond x number of days, even if you are sick.

This being a small company, below the radar for corporate employee friendly rules, they will keep it simple by not providing separate set of leave days for sickness.

Incidentally, from what I know of American and Australian practices, they kick out sick employees without compensation. So it would do you good not to be condescending. We are mostly (even at the lower end) better off

1st June 2015 From India, Mumbai
Dear Pooja

As you said it is a 10 year old organisation and you are the first and newly appointed, do not get into aggressive mode and take stringent action against any employee.

Start creating the HR Manual and streamline the HR Activities one by one. Please buy a S&E Act and Rules of your state and try to follow as much as possible and implement them in its real meaning. As a part of implementing, there will be a register Leave with salary register, ask your employer how to maintain as you are giving them with less number of leave. Then he can realise his fault and may instruct you to guide on this subject. Afterwards you can implement your leave plan (___ days casual leave, ___ days PL/EL and ____ days sick leave (at the discretion of management)).

In HR manual you can add about the Leave / Holiday / Weekly Off policy and about the late coming policy, so that, in future you can tighten the employees for their improper attendance/irregular timings.

Try to implement EPF and ESI Facilities for your employees.

Further as advised by Mr. Dinesh you can create the punctuality/attendance bonus, so that they can bring more discipline in their office timings.
1st June 2015 From India, Kumbakonam
Dear Mr. John

Greetings of the day.

In line with Mr. Dinesh and Mr. Saswata Banerjee, I am also in the same view, that in India, we have all the acts and rules, which needs to be followed and Majority of the companies are meticulously following.

Here in Cite HR we are only guiding those needy HR Professionals / HR Students, those having any practical difficulties in following the certain procedures. It is not that they are not following the Rules & regulations in their organisation. They are facing some difficulties in some areas, for which they seek guidance from this site and afterwards they rectify the same.

Hope in Australia if someone avails sick leave need not to submit any medical proof for admission/discharge or any medical proof. That means all are perfect and not intending to cheat their employer.

In reality, the mindset of the employees are entirely different and always think to take maximum benefits from the employer. I have come across so many workers in some factories, who are availing maximum sick leave by influencing the State Insurance employees. Due to such act, the employers are curtailing the benefits of their employees.

We, the Indians can say proudly that we are having the facility of social security to all the employees in private and public sector as well as the Government sectors, to take care of the health and pension for their livelihood during the post retirement life.
1st June 2015 From India, Kumbakonam
Dear Pooja,

Dinesh & Bhaskar has already contributed so much on this topic, that it covers many of your concerns.

What I would like to add here, is to suggest to look at the issue from a little different angle. Employees taking excess holidays is not the issue, but the symptom. When you remove the root cause, the symptoms would go away.

The root cause you would need to work on, will be setting up 'acceptable' HR policies in this regards. It seems current practices are not very acceptable to employees & they are denying them through "Asahakar" (Non-compliance). Hence, there will have to be ‘visible’ changes in the policies (some good & some bad in perspective).

Give some perks like: Sick leaves, Casual leaves (Optional!), annual leaves increased to 15, etc. (Sorry, but since I left primary school, ‘attendance bonus’ has never 'attracted' me anymore. Hence it is not in the list!)

Give some restrictions like: Reduce the late arrival time allowance to half, Introduce individual performance monitoring processes, & indicate indirectly that unplanned/excess leaves would affect performance index. (Introduce performance awards. They are more value to employees than just monitory benefit. They will surely try more to get this award!)

...In short, don't give them milk if they don't value it; give them the cream, even in small quantity... :-)

Employees are people & they will set their preferences according to their way of thinking. They will take leaves when they think it is priority. You will need to 'train' them to think in order to align their priorities in line with company priorities. (This is what is done by organizations providing essential services, like public transport & hospitals. Nobody likes to work on holidays, but these organizations provide 'alternatives' which are accepted 'knowingly' by the employees.)

Giving performance awards can be one alternative motivator, even not directly linked to attendance policy. You can surely think of more such alternatives...

Surely, this will need amendments in the current practices. You would need to take care to:

1. Convince the owner that even though the policies look different, they are for betterment of productivity in long run.

2. Convince the employees that new policies are some restrictions, as well as some benefits; & Going forward, they would get better professional choices with these policies.

Any way you choose, you will face some resistance in initial phase, but in long term, people will learn to accept & adapt....

Best of luck!

Amod Bobade.
1st June 2015
Hi Pooja,
I can understand, how difficult it gets to manage the Office when the employees behave in that regards. The simple solution is that you need to Streamline your HR process. I am with sumHR and we provide HRMS solutions starting at Rs. 80 per employee/month.
We could schedule a free Web Demo with you guys and showcase the features and functionalities of our product and how it will make a difference to your lives. Below is my number, do drop me a message to connect.
Abbas Jafri
Business Development Team
1st June 2015 From India, Pune
Hi Pooja, I do Understand the situtaion its very easy to overcome this situation as your employee strength is low you can have a clear one on one session with employees and make sure what is the reason? unless and otherwise if there is no good rapo with the employees you can never control this. And also make sure how far is the distance for them to reach the office.
Any help further just contact me
+91 9894426841
1st June 2015 From India, Chennai
Dear Pooja,
You can have attendance machines which have late coming and early going policies which after a limit deducts available leave of the employee. Further attendance software also have leave module.
You can reach out to Safquid 9266663318 for one of such software and demo of the same.
2nd June 2015 From India, Gurgaon
Hi Pooja, Probably you may think of pasting some appreciation circulars for Punctual employees and counsel regular late comers and analyze the reason for their late.
2nd June 2015 From India, Madras
Coming on time for work is a duty to be faithfully observed.
I do not think one should be congratulated or specially appreciated for coming on time.
However latecomers should be counselled and if no improvement seen warned.
A cultural change should be brought about by top management coming on time or slightly early and setting examples.
Having a proper leave policy in accordance with standard industry practice and local laws is mandatory.
Communicate,update all policies to staff and try to enforce when counselling fails.There will be a minority of employees who fail to fall in line with timings.who can be corrected.
2nd June 2015 From India, Pune
Dear Mr Nathrao,

You have written that "Coming on time for work is a duty to be faithfully observed. I do not think one should be congratulated or specially appreciated for coming on time."

You are correct 100% Sir. Alas, this golden rule is observed by the employees. No, it does not happen. Gone are those days when employees had great commitment towards their job. Now a days many employees behave as if they were doing favour on their employers. If you question them, they just start quitting.

Once I had been to Nagpur for my training. Admin Head was ex-Col. He lamented that what discipline he had in army, not even ten per cent of it existed in his organisation. If he started inculcating the sense of discipline, people started quitting. Finally he mellowed down and reconciled.

Nevertheless, the entire blame cannot be laid at the doorstep of the employees. Employers do not make conscious efforts to develop culture of discipline right from day one. They mistake discipline as punctuality only. Nevertheless, organisational discipline is far more than that. Two essential ingredients of discipline are orderliness and timeliness. These should be driven to the DNA of the organisation. But then no HR can do this. It is the job of the leadership at the top.


Dinesh Divekar

Coming on time for work is a duty to be faithfully observed.

I do not think one should be congratulated or specially appreciated for coming on time.

However latecomers should be counselled and if no improvement seen warned.

A cultural change should be brought about by top management coming on time or slightly early and setting examples.

Having a proper leave policy in accordance with standard industry practice and local laws is mandatory.

Communicate,update all policies to staff and try to enforce when counselling fails.There will be a minority of employees who fail to fall in line with timings.who can be corrected.
2nd June 2015 From India, Bangalore
Mr Dinesh,
I am fully with you on this.
The top brass have to inculcate organisation culture and nourish towards making a productive and ethical setup.
If top brass come on time,employees will follow suit to great extent.
No one expects or wants Army discipline in a civil organisation,but at the same time,it cannot run when people cme and go as they feel like.
Punctuality alone is not discipline.
Discipline is a total way of life.
2nd June 2015 From India, Pune
Dear Seniors,

Thank you all for guiding me over this situation.

As a discipline measure, I have already started with the biometric system to regulate the attendance and also counselled the late comers and as a result some of them have started coming on time. But as Mr Dinesh has pointed out rightly that discipline is not only about punctuality it should be in the DNA of an organization. Now the situation is, the director has already counselled the employees over performance and discipline. He doesn't have time to get into all this and that is the reason he has appointed an HR(me) whom he wants to counsel the employees, change their attitude towards work in terms of commitment and issue PIP (or sack) if they are not performing well. As a prerequisite I had proposed a leave policy as per S & E act (as we are only providing 12 PL per annum) but the management is not ready to approve it until and unless the employees don't change their attitude or perform well. The problem is as I am not the reporting manager of anyone so can I question their performance or sack them? Or the management should hire a senior person who would keep an eye on their performance and motivate them. Because as an HR I can streamline the process, introduce new policies and maintain the office decorum but would not be able to monitor an individual's performance.

Please suggest.


3rd June 2015 From India, Gurgaon
First, the statement that you are not the reporting manager and therefore cannot sack or take people to task for improvement in their work is wrong. The way I see it, the owner himself has given you that right.
The solution then, lies along the same lines as you have been following. The next step is to identify people who are the chronic problems. Ask your owner for his help. Set up a one-on-one meeting for the concerned employee with your owner and yourself. During the meeting you can give my very clear warning to the concerned person that he will be removed from service if performance/punctuality/ attendance is not improved. Be ready to back up the allegations with data and impact assessment. Eg cases where his performance affected work or delivery
4th June 2015 From India, Mumbai
Dear Pooja
It is great to hear from you such positive results. If you bring the system to work in line, obviously the discipline, performance and profitability of the organisation will improve.
If you need to sack anyone on the performance basis, please get it recorded through the line manager, after 3 or more memos please issue the show cause notice to the employee and further conduct a proper enquiry proceedings and then finally sack the employee with proper separation process.
4th June 2015 From India, Kumbakonam
""Because as an HR I can streamline the process, introduce new policies and maintain the office decorum but would not be able to monitor an individual's performance.""
HR does not monitor individual performances of employees in other departments.HOD is responsible for that.
You can suggest polices but it is the call of higher management to accept or modify or even reject.
Culture of an organisation takes time to settle,so one will have to be patient and continue to motivate people by encouraging positive signs.
Everything takes time,so be possitive and press ahead with good initiatives and involve top management,HOD in all changes
4th June 2015 From India, Pune

"management is not ready to approve it until and unless the employees don't change their attitude or perform well."......

It's classic example of chichen & egg..... Who comes first...

How do you measure if the employees "perform well"? Do you have a appraisal process setup?

If yes, then based on the reports of this appraisal, you can question their 'value' to the organisation.

If not, then you should setup one.

Secondly, this is not an entirely true statement: "Director doesn't have time to get into all this and that is the reason he has appointed an HR(me)"

There is some organisational communication, which has to be delivered by the top management to become effective. A 'policy' can be questioned by employees, but it is difficult to question a 'Directive'.

About the proposal to "hire a senior person who would keep an eye on their performance and motivate them"... I think it is a whole different point on how to 'motivate' people & just a senior person may not be a complete solution. It will help you pass on the bug though... :-)

Best Regards,

4th June 2015
To those who commented on my posting, let me offer a few further words.

I am well aware there are labour (and other) laws in India. I would assume that most of the bigger organisations in India would comply with those laws. Whether some of those laws are in step with labour laws in western countries, is a matter I have no direct knowledge.

My comments about HR practices that I find appalling relate to things that I have read here, ie, people being sacked without due cause, indenturing people for several years and not allowing them to leave, withholding original certificates etc, to force people to stay (aka slavery), sacking pregnant women, and the list goes on.

Leave is a touchy subject - anywhere in the world.

I will say up front that Australians are not much better when it comes to leave. We have extremely high absentee rates here as everywhere else. Studies have shown that Australian employers lose billions of dollars over a year due to absenteeism.

Australians, like other nationalities, are fond of using sick leave for other purposes, aka "a doona day", where they just can't be bothered getting out of bed! Sick leave skyrockets on Fridays and Mondays, Fridays because they want a "long weekend" and Mondays, because they partied too much at the weekend.

Australia is maybe a little different to India, in that we only work a 5 day week in the main. Saturdays and Sundays are off days, so people have an opportunity to do personal things at weekends. We also have 4 weeks annual vacation leave, which many people tend to break up into small holidays during the year, rather than take it all in one go. In many companies, you can also carry leave over to the following year, so if planning a long holiday overseas, you could take 8 weeks of fully paid leave - subject of course to operational requirements.

Sick leave etc, is now mostly called personal leave, and encompasses being sick, medical appointments, leave for funerals, looking after sick children, aged relatives etc etc. I am not sure what the current awards give, but in my last position (government job), I got 21 days a year of personal leave. If I didn't use it, then it accumulated. I worked with people that had more than 24 months of accumulated sick leave. Quite handy if you get a serious illness. I was once off sick for 8 weeks, and had more than enough leave to cover it.

I would also point out that sick leave in particular is controlled to the extent that most employers will allow a person to take up to 4 single days in a year (in most cases) without a medical certificate, and no questions asked. Most employers will not allow an employee to take more than 2 consecutive days without a certificate. It has created a lot of debate here. If you get a cold, which could lead you to require say 3 days bed rest, you must go to the doctor and get a certificate, even though the doctor can basically do nothing for you other that order bed rest! The cost of seeing the doctor makes people reassess the need to stay home. That of course also leads to the problem of sick people presenting for work, and infecting everyone else in the office!

But, Australians do abuse the system, and once they have used up their vacation leave, start using up their sick leave for reasons other than being sick.

Leave without pay is another option, and some people will forego a day's pay, if they have no other options.

This is a very simplistic view of the situation here, but I reiterate that we are by no means perfect here, and I never said we were.

I hope that clarifies my comments.
6th June 2015 From Australia, Melbourne
Hi Friend
We also face the same issue and started a message given to those who are late through SMS to their cell phone and pass information to down the line ie we recorded his late comming. We control and get good result. Now the late coming is drastically down and no issue
7th June 2015 From India, Chennai
Late coming is a problem in many offices.
Some people are habitual latecomers,while some get delayed due to genuine reasons,while some more get stuck due to rains,late trains,buses etc.
If possible there should be a flexibility in attendance system where a time range of 30 minutes can be specified to cater for such delays.
Intentional late comers need to be identified and counselled first to inculcate the habit of coming on time.
Sending SMS,phone calls are some methods,but basically identify why people are coming late by discussion with employees and try to accommodate without diluting output and working culture.
7th June 2015 From India, Pune
Dear John,
As already acknowledged by our many other senior members, this forum is to provide a 'reference' to people who could see different opinions, & choose the best practices from these views, for their own work-styles.
Sometimes, it is easy to get emotional about these subjects, but once on public media, our views & expressions remain there forever.
I appreciate a lot your second response which is much more sober & suitable to the forum. Going beyond the boundries of Indian or Australian practices, this worldwide web online communicty should be on one same side of "Human Resources". It is very nice to see that people have started contributing from out of India, to broaden our views as well.
Please keep contributing your best experiences & thoughts for the further use of the comunity.
Thanks and Best Regards,
Amod Boabde.
8th June 2015
Ms Pooja,You have a strength in your organization of 30. If its manufacturing place, it should be "factory" and Indian Factories Act is applicable. If its commercial set up - it should be Shops and Establishment Act. Many colleagues have referred you to go for modest change. Before change management is practiced, its rather obligatory to start with self ie the organization. You need to implement atleast legal obligations like Leave rules as standard practice and then act in concert with all HODs.on Change management is not the job of only HR- its job of every body. Please make your best effort to accept this process of modeling by owners then it can happen, and there is tangible and intangible gains also else it is a tough going and you will fail in your efforts.
Thanks and regards,
RDS Yadav
Management Adviser and Trainer
Director-Future Institute of Management and Technology
14th July 2015 From India, Delhi
Dear Seniors,

I need your valuable suggestions.again.

Recently we have started a new policy that if someone takes an unplanned leave in any case on Monday, his/her Sat & Sun will also be counted as leave (because we had many cases of unplanned leave on Mondays). Now few days back an employee took leave on Monday as he was unwell (informed 3 hours before the shift time) and requested me not to count Sat & Sun in his leave account. As an HR I refused to accept it as people may take advantage of it in future and asked him to talk to the Director (as we don't have any reporting manager as such).and if he permits then only I can consider his (employee) request. The director is not so happy with it, he says I should have taken this decision & no employee should come to him for such things. I am hesitant to take such decisions as I am not the reporting manager of any employee and if I do people will start hating me and that will become a awkward situation for me to survive in the company. As per Director I have full authority to take decisions but the information has not been communicated to the employees. So, I think the situation demands that I need to work as an HR as well as their reporting mgr. Please suggest.


23rd July 2015 From India, Gurgaon
Dear Pooja,
These are just symptoms of some deep down root causes. We need to identify and work on those to get things streamlined. We can help you to do that in a structured manner by bringing OB/OD interventions. Do let us know your interest in this. Get in touch @ 8446613344 Or 9850775593
Thanks and Regards,
Pravin Ujegar
24th July 2015 From India, Pune
By the help of a biometric attendance system. pull out reports of late coming and absence. Share it with your senior management. I believe people are taking this thing carelessly due to the absence of HR Systems and person. You can even make a policy for deducting salaries for such occurences. For everything, take the supervisors and senior management in full confidence. This is kind of like an organizational change and expect few inhibitions and discouragement at the onset. All the best!
24th July 2015 From India, Delhi
Dear Deepa,

Please do not get confused between roles of HR & reporting manager.

The issue you have described indicates that the main concern is the leave deduction of weekend. If the issue was of leave sanction or Monday, then it was a reporting manager duty. But since the issue arise due to HR policy of weekend leave, then it is HR manager responsibility.

The decision you took to deny the employee request, was correct here as per the company policy, & you should not directly refer the employee to the director in such cases. You can just say this is the company policy & that’s it….

Now, if you want to help the employee from humanitarian view, you can ask him to refer this request to his line manager, as this case needs ‘management discretion’. The line manager can decide to take the case further up to director level if required, & then you will get intimation from management to cancel this weekend leave. OR may be he will also just deny the request pointing out the company policy.

This process is generally followed for all other discretion cases (like extra monitory advances, additional purchases, additional expenses, salary & position negotiations, etc) where business & money is involved. Why not for leaves?

In case employee directly goes to director to complain, bypassing his line manager, then at least he is not suggested to do so from HR… 

The word "management discretion" is quite tricky & the level at which this discretion is authorized is not defined. As HR manager, you may have authority for decision, but do you have authority for discretion?

I don't think HR manager has this authority to go against the written HR policies, unless there is an emergency. This is the difference between reporting manager & HR Manager.

Hope this helps... !!

Best Regards,

Amod Bobade.
25th July 2015
First point I would like to make clear is that the policy you are all doing is wrong and illegal. Deduction off Saturday Sunday as can be taken only is the person has taken Friday and Monday as leave. You need to find some other method penalise people for unplanned leave.

The other point in the post is about your suggestion the employee to take the matter you're managing director. What your ME says is correct. As giving you the right as HR to implement the policies that the company is following. The question of deviation should not come up. Line managers in any case cannot give approvals for deviation from company policy. So The fact that you are not reporting manager is immaterial.

You must also realise that your job as a HR is not to win a popularity contest. Therefore, you are required to your duty to the company and the job. If that job requires you to implement certain policies, that is what you must whether people hate you for it or not should not be the immaterial too. Since your management is supporting you fully, I do not see how it makes your existence in company will be a problem. Just do your work.

26th July 2015 From India, Mumbai
HR should help formulate proper legally compliant procedures on various issues relating to their domain.

Suggest to your higher management a leave policy which matches industry standards or even better(if possible)

Such ambiguities like unplanned leaves on a Monday are common.

This kind of sudden leave need to be tackled in different fashion.

If some one takes unplanned leave on Monday,you cannot mark Sat.Sun as leave.

Unplanned leave has to be tackled by concerned department directly by counselling the person and dealing with it by verbal warnings,written warnings etc.HR also has a role in controlling such unscheduled leave.

Play your roles with fairness,professional competence,by which i mean fullest knowledge of leave rules(in this case)

Two wrongs do not make it a right.

As learned member Saswata correctly mentioned HR is not a popularity contest.

Just implement rules fairly and if you feel any rule is wrong,discuss in private with management in writing if necessary.

Company can delegate certain powers to you in writing if they deem fit.
26th July 2015 From India, Pune
Dear Mr. Bobade,
Thanks for helping me out. I really appreciate your suggestions.
In my company the line manager is himself the Director so the leave sanctioning authority also comes to me. The best I can do is to internally ask the director whether to sanction the leave of a particular employee or not.
Anyway, its a start of my learning phase, so will have many instances where I'll need the guidance of seniors like you.

27th July 2015 From India, Gurgaon
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