Hi Sir/ Mam,

I am working as an HR in IT Company in Mohali. Present employee strength is 20 .I have a query regarding Extra Working hours in my office. Our office Timings are from 9:00am to 6:30pm. Normally we allow people to reach office by 9:20max. After 9:20am , if a person is coming without informing we mark half day . Recently we have framed a new policy regarding overtime hours for our Team Members. If anyone is working after 7:00pm, we keep a separate record of that many hours daily . If it comes out to be 8 hours after the total addition , we add one leave to his/her account for that particular month. I would like to explain this using an example : if any employee left the office at 8:00pm( 1 hour added ) and the next day she comes at 9:45pm, we deduct that many hours from the previous day hours( means she is late by 25 mins , so subtract 25 mins from the previous day hours and so on...) . However personally I am not convinced regarding this as I feel that we are not able to set a discipline in the office. Earlier we use to reward employee every month with the "Star Performer of the month" award keeping in view his extra working hours as well as other parameters.

I would like you to please guide me regarding this policy. Is it correct ? I would really appreciate if you could suggest me some other alternative .

Looking forward to hear from you soon!!

Thanks and Regards
Divya Manocha
HR Manager

From India, Chandigarh
Hi Miss.Divya Manocha,
Some IT companies following this above said policy to give their workers advantage of flexible working hours and if you desire to change this than my suggestion would be is that
If workers working for extra hours better you pay them or else give them off rather than giving the room for coming late to the office. This bring some discipline and uniformity. And one more thing if worker working for extra hours is not mean they are performers so i also request you to redefine your star performer criteria.
With Regards
Mr.Thumbs Up

From India, Chennai
Dear Divya,

The working hours that you made do not satisfy the requirements of labour laws. Either follow the labour laws earnestly and start paying the overtime (OT) as per the rules. Otherwise, since you are from IT company, do not pay any overtime. That is what IT companies do. Generally labour authorities are lenient towards IT companies for excess working hours. Since the work of the IT companies is project based, rigid rules cannot be followed, hence the lenience.

Nevertheless, the arrangement of carrying forward of the excess hours/minutes put up by employee is equivalent to Savings Bank Account of some Bank. It is also equivalent to earning points when we swipe our Credit or Debit card. By working extra, employees in your company are earning extra minutes. When employees come late, the accumulated minutes will get deducted. Whose brainchild is this?

Since the employees earn the minutes for their long stay, will it not promote culture of prolonging stay at the office in the evening? What is your focus? Meeting the deliverables or keeping time account of the employees?

Against this backdrop, I recommend you keeping the working hours as 0930 to 1830 hours. Let there be flexihours. Each employee must put up minimum of 9 hours, provided yours is 5-day week.

If employees are required to work extra, then have you done analysis why employees put up extra hours? Is it because of gap in some knowledge or skills? Is it because of wrong processes? Is there repetition of the processes in your company? If yes, then did you map each process and did you measure turnaround time for each process? Tell employees to maintain "Time Sheets". Let them do analysis of these sheets and find out where the time leakage is taking place.

There are so many issues associated with your post. You may give further clarifications.


Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Dear Divya,

I concur with Dinesh and what he has projected through his pertinent queries is in essence a clear picture of lack of effective time-management in your establishment. Overtime work is as much contagious as a viral fever and it is normally indicative of inappropriate time-scheduling of work. But it does not mean that every employer can do away with overtime work altogether. Type of industry, nature of the work to be performed, time-line set for its effective completion, skill levels of the employees engaged in the work, timely co-ordination among the different stages of the process, delivery commitments measurable in terms of time as well as quality and the like are the contributory factors to over time work in general.

Legal compensation for overtime work is not uniform across the globe. If I were correct, in the U.S it is 1.5 times of the normal rate of wages, in Canada it is 1.5 times of wages plus compensatory time-off and in our country it is twice the rate of normal wages for working beyond 8/9 hrs in a day and in case of work on a weekly off it is overtime rate wages plus a compensatory rest day with normal wages. The reasoning behind such restriction is to curb the tendency to compel the employee to work beyond normal working hours of the day for it would not only affect his health but also the quality of the work done. Strictly speaking, grant of proportionate off only for the overtime hours is a tacit exploitation of labour as well as contravention of the relevant legal provisions. Another reason appears very pertinent to me is that prolific overtime affects employment opportunity.

Allowing grace time for late-attendence and grant of attendence bonus, in my personal view, are age-old concepts of incentivizing the illiterate labour to be punctual to work. Therefore adjustment of the overtime hours against late attendance would, as suggested by Dinesh, induce the employees to wantonly increase their stay in their seats under the guise of overtime.

In I.T and ITES sector, if the management is cueless about the actual time required for a project and commits to artificial time schedule for the sake of continuous inflow of work, it can not have an effective time-management.

So, do try sincerely to respond to the queries raised by my learned friend in his post.

From India, Salem
Hello Divya Manocha,
Without going into the specifics of the Extra Working Hours Practice of your Company that you mentioned.....since other members have already given you clear steps to address the aspect......all I would say is something that's fairly simple to address seems to have been made complicated.

From India, Hyderabad
Hi Divya,

There is no HR policy which is "beneficial for all". It varies person to person, & case to case.

In your policy, you are benefiting people who work late & also arrive late. The people who are not arriving late would not benefit from this policy (Unless these leaves are retained beyond the month). Also, people arriving on time & leaving on time are not affected. So, you are actually encouraging the employees to come late to work, if they have to stay late due to project deadlines.

Employees know that in IT, work is chargeable in terms of "hours", so the culture is cultivated such that "logging hours = working".

In such cases, employees would try to work very calculatively & find loopholes if they can't. (Tendencies promote like, "I worked 20 mins late yesterday, so I can go to office 20 min late tomorrow...", or "I arrived at this exact minute, so I can leave at this particular minute in the evening...", or "I will have to be late tomorrow morning, so instead of applying leave, I will just 'stay back' in office till late evening today, as I have nothing to do today at home anyway"....)

These effects are seen, when the HR policies are too much detailed about macro calculations. The policies should be guidelines & the deviations should be managed case by case. Your mentioned policy seems to be very detailed about hours calculations on macro level. This may set up 'rules' for employees, but does not clarify your 'expectations' from them.

If possible, try to make the policy simple without calculations, & focus on how you can win employee confidence about these policies with transparency in your expectations.

If you take this one step, surely employees would take one as well & you would see improvement in the discipline.

Best Regards,

Amod Bobade.

Hello Divya Manocha,
I think Amod Bobade MEANT "micro' when he mentions 'macro'.
And just to add to what he said 'try to make the policy simple without calculations, & focus on how you can win employee confidence about these policies with transparency in your expectations'............formulate the Policy in such a way to be just a guideline & NOT the Reference Point. Let the employees be THEIR Reference Points vis-a-vis each other. That way you don't need to do daily policing in the long-run & there would be a healthy competition among them.
I would also record appreciation of your effort......when you are laying down such Policies when your employee headcount is just 20.....quite often Companies begin to think of such Policies when things are almost out-of-control when the headcount reaches much higher figures.

From India, Hyderabad
Dear Divya,

Please don't mind, if I say, your organisation's policies are just like creation of a zig-zag jungle within the city premises to create mere hurdles for the management as well as the employees. It seems as if your organisation is believer of mere long hours of working of the employees OVER and ABOVE their productivity. Keeping extra working hours of attendance of any employee, as one of the criteria, over and above his productivity to declare an employee "Star Performer of the month" is certainly absurd and a thoughtless idea.

You may better review the organisational policies by questioning yourself :-

1) Whether your organisation prefers productivity on the part of the employees as well as the organisation as a whole ,

OR prefers to waste productive time and energy of management in keeping account of each bit of minutes spent extra on duty and incidents of late arrivals of each employee individually for each day of a month?

2) Whether your organisation wants simplified work processes for the management as well as the employees for the productivity, efficiency and profit for the organisation and incentives for the employees,

OR prefers to waste precious time in petty issues on daily basis?

3) Whether your organisation is desirous of keeping work-life balance of the employees with their increased efficiency, health and happiness of their family life as well as dedication & loyalty of employees resulting in to the enhanced efficiency of the management,

OR to play with the physical & mental health and happiness of the employees & their families, resulting in to the decreased efficiency of the employees and unpredictable losses to the organisation?

If you give answer to the above questions along with description of managementís efforts to enhance productivity of the employees, simplification of work processes and maintenance of work-life balance of employees, I may like to help you with my suggestions towards these factors.

From India, Delhi
Hey Divya
Instead of making it so trivial in calculations, you should directly give employees a flexible working hours policy... give them atleast an hours flexibility to enter in & to leave the office.
Say for an example you have 8 hours working an employee who has entered by 09:00 Am can leave the office by 05:00 PM... & wise versa...
In a kind of option you are giving here, employee can take the disadvantage of the things... If one wants to come next day by 10; he / she will do time pass till 09:00 PM before night...

From India, Mumbai
Policy on Time:
1. Grace Time of 15 minutes is allowed for 3 times in a given month. Fourth Time, If an employee turns up late in the same month, you may deduct 1/2 day salary.
2. If an employee works OVER TIME, it should be calculated on designation basis.
For Example, If Executives/ Low Level Management work one hour OVER TIME, this can be taken into account; but If Mid Level Management/ Senior Level Management, Only more Three hours/ more than that should be taken into account in a day.
3. COMP OFF should be taken within 2 months from the date of applying

From India, Madras

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