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Just instal log in attendance / performance tracking system in each PC , which will automatically record actual time spent on the job on daily basis....keep track of record and confront the concerned employees on facts n figures ! Its a one time investment and many BPOs have installed the above system !
Rgds
Santosh

Dear Bob ,
I do agree with Banerjee . It is safety for employee ,you can publish on the Notice Board ,Without Head of Dept./ Adm /HR in charge one cant go out without permission .
As far as Smoking is concerned seperte booth cab be provided .
no one can challenge as somethings goes wrong outside the gate Employer is liable , as how one has gone out while on duty .It is safe to avoid Management Action against HR Dept . / Police Action if culprit individual get involved Under IPC Act .
This similar action has happened in day time in one of the Factory ,But due to correct procedure & Security Occcurance book noting Management became safe .
Regards

All call enters I know have similar practices. Specially those that are not in the heart of the city
Dear Madan Gopalaswamy,
Practice and legal implication of the practice are two different things. I have already stated, it is OK on the security point of view, but not forced confinement of the employees. The organise has to enforce discipline ethically that needs to be observed by the employees voluntarily, not by keeping them forcibly confined to a place. If they still tend to break discipline they should be made subject to penal action as per the conduct and discipline rules prescribed for the employees.

I agree with Mr. Banerjee, most of the service sector who are into 24x7 have a smoking zone and a canteen within the premises, wherein the employees can smoke, rest, eat during their break which is scheduled for all the employees during that shift. We in hotel industry give 2 breaks of 15 minutes each during night for light snacks and Tea after completion of 3 hours work respectively. With regards to smoking the employer does not entertain smoking break, but employee can smoke during their break at the smoking zone only.
Hi,
I agree with Dhingra...it is high time employees know their rights and that they are not pet animals to be confined and taken with a thread around the neck & told where to go for natural calls.
Many companies have wrong practices and because certain section of the society have been made to feel that because I pay you will do what I want. We have not learned enough from many Western Office Culture and attributes and their attitudes but everything else.
There are many good suggestion on providing amenities but having even provided that "No company on this earth can dictate employee on certain aspect of their life and they way they wish too". As for the employee work and performance, attendance and target etc; I feel they must have their own standards to measure but not at cost of employee liberty.
Ukmitra
Ukmitra

Western Culture should be adopted to the extent possible, but the liberty of employee during working hours should not be at the risk of the employer and employee as well. God forbids if any mishap happens during the working hours of the said employee, the employer are questioned by the law enforcement team and the family members too. Keeping that in mind the basic facilities can be given within the premises wherein the employee can relieve themselves without going out of the premises.
A factory known to me, where the employees were send outside the factory premises during break, committed suicide jumping over to a running train so as to avail compensation from the factory too.

Dear Mr. Bob,

Nice for raising a question. No matter the shift time is, Employee can relax during his break time if he has a canteen inside the premise or adjacent to his office for a fag or for a tea or for whatever reason may be. However the timings of Eight Hours is calculated including his break time.

Closing of Gates is no-where connected with the freedom of work. For security reason of the factory /office it is the prime duty of the management to take a decision on safety and security of employees and their premise. So feeling of slave are some thought of that kind is ruled out.

With the concern of the duty manager, supervisor or whatever designation for that nature, the employee can go on a permission slip or book in book out register at the security gate. Under the law, whatever incident happens during his tenure of duty whether legal or illegal (inside the premise or outside), the management is answerable. Why we precisely restrict from such activities is to avoid legal implications unnecessarily and to become prey for the occurrence. It is only the Safety & Security policy of the management and not for any ill treatment. Ultimately it is for the welfare of the employee and take sportive. Mr. Bannerjee also said that it is an unnecessary headache for the management in case of anything wrong. I too go with it. Unwanted interrogation and action may perturb the management.

Generally in factories they provide tea and snacks as a welfare measure for the workers.

Jai Hind
Sathish G

Hello Bob,

Any reason(s) for your silence after so many members have given their suggestions/views?

You said this is a Call Center--BPO.

The usual facilities every/most BPOs have are what Saswata Banerjee already mentioned.

IS THIS BPO any different....and if so, in what aspect(s)--meaning no canteen, smoking corner, etc, etc?

Unless you give the full details, whatever suggestions/advice you get in this Forum is bound to be erroneous or half-baked. Then pl don't blame anyone for the fallouts.

Coming to your usage of the terms/words 'enslaved', 'detained', 'captives', etc, forget for a moment that this is night shift.

Would the employees in any Company working in DAY/GENERAL SHIFTS get the right to walk out of office as they please without the boss's permission? And I am NOT referring to a BPO environment here.

And the Security aspect gets added IF it's a Night Shift.

Now add/include the BPO aspect here.

This is where I find surprising/baffling about some members remarks about the state of affairs in India vis-a-vis Western practices. The BPO environment, by it's very nature, involves the employees to be PRESENT @ the desk during the WHOLE shift.....that's part of the game. And during breaks, someone else substitutes him/her....so that the clients in USA, NA, Europe, etc don't feel the gaps--sort of seamless operations.

This, in principle, is the primary reason for the Breaks in BPOs to be very planned & systematic, unlike other software or non-IT companies where there's some amount of flexibility on this count.

And as far as I know about BPO sector, the number of planned/scheduled Breaks in a shift in BPOs are higher than in Software Companies, where the purpose of the breaks are different. The Coder can continue his/her work even into late nights after freaking the whole afternoon.....while in a BPO, the employee can't/doesn't have that advantage/facility.

IF there are any specific issues/situations that need resolution, the best way is to sit together with the effected employees & figure-out solutions/options. But making sweeping statements/generalizations, not only just doesn't jell but also COULD lead to hardening of stands leading to IR issues.

Rgds,

TS

Thank you all for your insightful information. I was only busy with the ongoing issue in my company hence i was not in active discussion.

I agree with most of you. The tone in my statements were couple of times undermined this I can understand, because you are only reading my experience with neutral mind but you can take my words as such unchanged. So coming to more details asked, this is a starter company a Callcentre with no complete infrastructure yet. For snacks canteen close by 9pm. There is a coffee machine with doesn't mix sugar and milk properly etc to name few. Has smoking zone.

To summarize, I believe as I mentioned " for a brake" no employer can say "night time not allowed to go out''. As some of the panelists have said there should be a register to enter in and out timing, system to record workers working hours, and a no liability note by the employee at the gate. And such night shift policies if exist should be informed to all for consent to have an argument from the management side.

Thanks

Regards..

Bob


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