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Is Instant termination lawful? I am working as an admin officer in a construction project. Some times I had to terminate worker instantly for
negligence of duty which might hampered our work schedule that we committed to our respective client for completion in due time.

From Bangladesh, Dhaka
Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
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Dinesh Divekar

Dear Mostafa,

Immediate reply to query would be yes, it is unlawful to terminate any worker on the spot. If the misconduct of the employee is serious then employer should order domestic enquiry. If the misconduct is proved, then worker may be terminated. Nevertheless, there are practical difficulties in implementation. If this legal process is followed in letter and spirit then at the construction site, you need to have a dedicated room for conducting the enquiries. In Indian context, it is beyond anyone's imagination.

The downside of the instant delivery of justice is that innocent person may not get chance to prove his point. It vitiates the work atmosphere. But then construction companies have to handle far larger issues and hardly they have time to think human as valuable asset of the business.

As a via media, you may give show cause notice to the worker and ask for explanation. If the explanation is not satisfactory, you may terminate the employee. If you do this, you will have at least some documentation at hand.

By the way, why the need was felt to ask the legality of the termination of construction worker? As such they are short in number and even if you remove them, they get the job somewhere else. Thinking that such person(s) could raise industrial dispute is stretching one's imagination to the unreasonable level.

Last but not the least, why bother about workers when your industry is known for on-spot removal of the managers also? Though I am making bit sweeping statement, but then in the construction sector, bulldozers are used for construction activity as much for bulldozing people. Therefore, be as it may and move on!


Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore

Hello Mostafarabbani,
Like Dinesh & Nathrao suggested, there's nothing like 'Instant' Anything, be it termination or anything else........except MAYBE "Instant Coffee".
Not sure what you mean by saying 'I had to terminate worker instantly for negligence of duty..............'. Who's pressurizing you to terminate--management? You always have an option to think differently & act differently.
Like Dinesh mentioned, use other means of acting against such employees as the First-level step.
Quite often, the very fear/threat of the possibility of drastic action helps in controlling such employees.
Having said this, I also understand that there COULD be absolutely incorrigible workers......what you do as a routine step MAY be applicable to them. But DON'T use it as a general practice.

From India, Hyderabad

Instant termenation is not at all improve to any company's goodwill.There is no such law against it.Please have a talk with your management, H.R. and also if you don't make any big blunder in your work site then a show cause notice should be served by the company giving ample time to reply.Without knowing bothside alegation one side action is not legal in the Indian Labour Law.
From India, Calcutta


Sorry to see the sad state of affairs in this " Unorganised sector of the modern world" It is a regret to note that this construction/ real estate sector will never be organised because the investors & leaders would prefer to operate in grey areas. There is so-much of undercurrent to manage as most of them operate with tons of hard cash & the regretable part is the regulatory bodies turn blind eye to it.
Coming back to Instant termination in this segment is A very common phenomenon b'cos they also believe the nexus with antisocial elements is so very evident that they can be used to threaten such innocent victims of instant terminations.
By any length of professional imagination, we all as HR professionals should enlighten & educate the decision makers that it is highly illegal,against all principles of natural justice & no matter how big is the misconduct, you can at the most suspend pending enquiry, Thus you cannot terminate instantly any staff who is deemed regular without due process of law. Well I agree with points that Mr. Dinesh has made.I am sure you see the point " None can be punished without being heard....."
Actually you need a separate regulatory body to monitor these construction related injustices & break down of legal process which are glaring on day to day functioning of real estate cum construction companies.
My suggestion is to keep flagging such daconian acts & pursuade them to change their " hell let loose" attitude towards weaker sections of the talent pool.

From India, Madras

Dear Mr Mostafarabbani
If some of the casual / temporary workers directly engaged misbehave or negligent in their work and if some workers engaged through contractors also indulge in similar manner, you have to remove them in the interest of maintaining discipline and safety in such construction industry. But please be judicious and take the site officials and some senior workers into confidence in taking your decisions.
N Nataraajhan, Sakthi Management Services (HP : + 91 94835 17402 ; e-mail : )

From India, Bangalore

Dear Mostaffa,
In india, Industrial Disputes Act has provision of "Discharge Simpliciter". However, the very action of termination say Discharge Simpliciter has been not in favour of companies like us.Please issue show cause asking explanation within 24 hours and then you explain all about the nature of misconducts in its sequences loud out in termination letter that misconduct is so grave, clear and evident that domestic enquiry is not felt necessary to institute at this juncture . Write further that, later on in case you( workman) raise industrial dispute challenging action of termination to adjudicate upon then that time domestic enquiry before judicial authority will be conducted for satisfaction of competent court/ tribunal by management . After this you terminate him which should be a plea in your writeen statement / reply also in case he goes to fight his termination.
RDS Yadav
Labour Law Adviser
Director-Future Institute of Management and Technology

From India, Delhi

I appreciate Mr. Nathrao's reply but have a doubt when he says that Maggie noodles will find it difficult to make a comeback.I myself never eat noodles of any make as I don't like that kind of food.But it being a craze amongst the younger generation , I decided to hear their views.I was very surprised to find that many of them thought this ban as some kind of machination of our inefficient/corrupt bureaucracy.They almost unanimously agree to go back to their favorite food once the ban is lifted.And given the enormous financial power the maker of the brand enjoys, I think Maggie's future is not that bleak.
From India, New Delhi

Dear Saibhakta,
Issue is of instant dismissals.
It looks dramatic and thundering,but is bad for employee-employer relationship.
A sense of fairness is necessary in dealing with employees.
As as my thought process towards Maggi noodles is concerned,once faith is lost it is very difficult to win over people again.
New products will come up and consumer tastes will change.
Cadbury in 2003 got a worm shock and had used Bachan to win back customer faith.
But the impact of worm bomb has cost it quite bit.
Maggi faces uphill task.

From India, Pune
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