hi there..
My question for you guys is can night shift (call center)(male) employees be detained from going out of the campus gate
for a brake? Will there be any policy where campus gates are locked at nights and doesn't allow its employees out? I believe
if he is absconding from work we has to answer/face the music. Under what legal scope can the employer act in enslaving manner? Is there
any law to protect employees from such actions?

From India, Hyderabad
Simply mention in the appointment letter or in a memo that in case an employee goes out of the office campus in the break time the company is not liable in any manner in case of any mishap.
From India, Delhi
The campus can be locked for safety reason. That way no unwanted person can enter in the night and cause a problem. Irrespective of what you write in a memo, the company is responsible for any mishap, even if it was outside the campus. The police inquiry it's self will disrupt the working. The disruption due to any injury etc to the concerned person is an additional problem.
However, from a safety point of view, if the campus gates are locked, the keys must be available in a public place with easy access in case of an emergency ( eg fire) if people need to leave in a hurry. That should be considered.
Incidentally, it being allowed to leave the campus during the shift is not enslavement. Nothing and no one forced the employee to come to work and the next day he may decide not to come.

From India, Mumbai

Dear Mr Bob
Inputs of knowledgeable member is absolutely right , you can leave the campus during night shift , unless and until it is stated in your code of conduct or standing order as a gross misconduct. But my question is that why anyone required to go out of the campus without the consent of the Superviser?

From India, Calcutta

Nothing wrong with locking gates in the night-security considerations is one prime concern.
Key to be available for exit in case of fire,injury.
That will be managements responsibility for ensuring availability of key.
We lock our gates in houses and do not consider it a jail or denial of freedom.
If a worker leaves his work spot without permission,supervisor can report and take action as appropriate.
In my mind,no problem about keeping factory gates locked for basic security purposes.
Company can probably arrange some tea/coffee for employees on night shift.

From India, Pune
Me. Bob,
Your question is about locking of the campus gates to detain the employees from absconding, not for security reasons. That way, you will be committing a criminal offence by making your employees as your detainees, captives and prisnors. You can't do so. Locking of gates for the securty reasons can be understood, but not for detention of employees. Locking of employees cannot be used as substitute to effective supervision by the mangement. Better make your supervision and disciplinary system effective rather than locking of the employees, which is illegal. Suppose some employee falls ill or fire breaks in the office premises, would the employee or his colleagues wait for permission of sleeping management executives to unlock the gates to take him to hospital or to get out of the inferno or smoking environment?

From India, Delhi
Greatly appreciate all your responses. Thanks a lot.
My point goes further beyond locking campus gate for security reasons which is understandable, that the security personal wouldn't
allow the employees to go out to smoke/have snacks etc..on the instructions of campus manager ''night time.. not allowed''. So the
question is, can the management force its workers to stay within the premises? The concern reached HR like this saying you can take action if absconding but can't prevent from going out that too with no prior information of such restrictions.
Please comment.

From India, Hyderabad
Dear Bob,

The same thing happens, i.e., criminal act of keeping the workers as captives, when you say, "the security personal wouldn't allow the employees to go out," or management FORCE its workers to stay within the premises." In both the cases, the workers are treated as slaves and captives. Of course, the organisation can ban smoking by the employees within the premises and treat that as misconduct of the workers for penalising them, but cannot enforce ban in having snacks by employees. The question arises, why the management should fail in making proper arrangement for providing facility of light refreshment of the workers during office/factory hours? If not by providing canteem facility, why the management should make arrangement of supply of snacks & tea from outside, if that does not want the workers to go out of prmises to have snacks? In any case, workers should not be treated as slaves or captives of the organisation. If the organisation does not have canteen or other arrangement for providing snacks and tea to the employees, why not allow them to go out with due permission from the management?

From India, Delhi
I do not know why people don't give full information in the first place instead of making members of the forum run around in circles !

The company is fully within its rights in asking security not to allow any one out of the premises. That does not make you a slave. You have come to work, not to walk in the garden. The company expects you to put in full days (or shifts) work. Allowing the employees to go out for smoke and snacks will result in massive loss of time and create a chaotic work schedules. I am pretty shure that once allowed, people will be taking smoking breaks a very hour.

That said, the employees are entitled to breaks once in every 5 hours of work. And provision must be made for food / snacks, tea and coffee at reasonable intervals. You have not stated which state you are in, so you need to read your state shop act for details of the mandatory requirements. However, to the best of my knowledge, all call centres provide a good canteen and coffee / tea machines, so there should be no reason to step out.

From India, Mumbai
Employees are not animals to be kept inside a compound during working hours. You should have enough break-out space for people. Allow them to mix with each other. As regards smoking, you can dissuade people from smoking through posters. As a responsible employer (if you are !), whether it is day or night shift, provision should be made for snacks , coffee, tea etc. One cannot function effectively on a hungry stomach. By the way, why people come to work ? To earn their livelihood and eat and survive... Even machines and equipment require a break.... Governments keep making amendments to various acts mainly because of employers who want to run the business with an iron-hand. That wont work for long !
Best wishes

From India

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