Legal Analyst, Hrm
Gopinath Varahamurthi
Mindhour Partner, Ass.professor/adm. Officer,
General Manager-hr & Admin
Asst.commissioner Of Labour..a.p.
Hr Manager
Learning & Teaching Fellow (retired)
Raj Kumar Hansdah
Shrm, Od, Hrd, Pms
Loginmiraclelogistics & Management) Pg
Senior Manager/freelance Consultant
Retired From Air India
Legal Consultancy
H.r Generalist
Dipal Shah
Recruitment, Competency, Performance Appraisal,
+9 Others

Thread Started by #Dipal Shah

I am an HR of Mumbai based Engineering company. One of our staff is pregnant and is in final stage of pregnancy (7+ months). She has applied for 1 hour concession to leave early till she goes on her maternity leave.
My issue is that we have never given any concessions like this in past and once allowed we need to give it to all such women. On the other side straightaway saying no may result in Employee resentment.
Request your guidance on handling this situation.
3rd December 2015 From India, Pune
dear friend,

Pertinently never give for emotional aspects a major hint in your work related fields, kindness and humanity are the eyes of work, but, they should not make a decision in the work environment. Pregnancy at the advanced stage certainly considered for concessions and the same should not be exercised for self benefits. Never worry about employee resentment, do they take the responsibility if the work suffers because of allowing concession. Let you decide one day concession for one hour for five days certainly it amounts to a half day work consumption, silently she enjoys the benefits of extending leave for the advanced stage. I agree we must respect motherhood and pregnancy is the rebirth of a woman, this does not mean we have to extend all such benefits beyond the limits for a benefit, this also proves costly from others point. Why not you grant leave for a male employee whose wife having the advanced stage of pregnancy for the benefit of the family, these questions arise at a later date and there will be a fix in the work force. Also, when a concessions initially given in a good faith will become a rule at a later date and many a organisations suffer because of the concessions extended find to be meaningless.

So, in the interest of the organisation you have to take a decision and not in the emotional situations. Permit usual leave (maternity leave etc.,) as applicable...

best of luck ...Never allow emotions tie your eyes ...
3rd December 2015 From India, Arcot
Dear Dipal,
Concession for one hour early relief just for a few days can prove to be rewarding for the management to buy the sincerity, efficiency and loyalty of the official, when she returns from matermity leave. So, there is nothing wrong if she wants to leave office early by one hour subject to accomplishment of her daily routine of duties and responsibilities.
3rd December 2015 From India, Delhi
Dear Shri Gopinath,
In response to your post, I can only say that the HRM does not warrant for the lack of human touch in tackling the problems of the employees. Exceptions are always there. Rigidity always mar employee-employer relations resulting in to dwindling of productivity of individuals in specific and of the organisation in general. Even you cannot deny to have availed concessions during your own service period. Balancing of attitudes and activities is a must even in private services.
3rd December 2015 From India, Delhi
The views expressed by the seniors are correct technically.However the learned member Mr.P.S Dhingra put forward a different perspective to the issue which I too endorse.I do not suggest Dipal Shah to accept or reject a woman employee's request for concessions on grounds of pregnancy but would like to acquaint her with the changing perspectives of HR and the circumstances that may have a bearing on the decisions to be taken in such situations.

Rules do not provide for every situation in work life and they leave many grey areas in employee relations and people management to the discretion,deftness and diligence of the management to deal with them.In most of these grey areas such as interpersonal relations or employer-employee relations,emotions control the consequences.So emotions do have a place in people management issues.Therefore organisations are now increasingly looking for HR professionals who are endowed with emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is now considered as a competency to understand and mange employee behaviors, moods and emotions. That is possible only when the HR professional is able to empathize, Empathy does not mean misplaced sympathy.Emotion lies at the center of the whole of employee engagement initiatives as it aims at bringing about employees' emotional involvement in contributing to the business only when it adds more value to it..

Pregnancy is considered as most emotional phase in the life of a woman and she does not like any circumstance that may interfere with her pregnancy.Even law seems to be not oblivious of this fact. That's why the Maternity Benefit Act 1961 in terms of Section 4 (3) & (4) makes it mandatory for the employer to consider requests of pregnant women for concessions from work of arduous nature or from standing for long hours or from any condition that may interfere with her pregnancy or pose the risk of miscarriage etc.The request can be genuine also. Probably the woman employee would like to avoid travelling in rush hour in a public transport if she is working in a metro city where there may be risk to her pregnancy.The doctor might have advised her about being extra cautionary while travelling or some more rest.Even if it is apprehended that it may become a precedent, it may be that such requests will be few and far between. However the benefits of such empathetic treatment can be that it may enhance the good will of the employer more so among women employees who may consider to stay longer with an employer who cares for them when they need it.It can make employees more engaged emotionally when they return to work.The HR need to examine the issue in totality of the circumstances and take a prudent decision.


3rd December 2015 From India, Mumbai
Please read 'extra cautionary' as 'extra cautious' in the last para of my post.The error is regretted.It went unnoticed even after I proof read it. B.Saikumar,
4th December 2015 From India, Mumbai
I agree and fully ENDORSE the views of Mr. Dhingra and Mr. Sai Kumar.

These experienced members have given the Right suggestions.

HR management is more than just Rules and Procedures, which are, no doubt, a necessity.

However, there is more to HRM.

The first is :

"The Human Touch" !!!

Next comes :

"Concern for People" !!!!

In this case, since this is a GENUINE case, as the emolyee is 7-month pregnant !!!

No doubt, she will have difficulty in moving around or commuting during the RUSH HOURS !!

Moreover, if anybody wants to MISUSE this benevolent gesture of the Management;

They will HAVE TO GET THEMSELVES PREGNANT and be 7-month pregnant !!!!

So, how many employees can misuse such a benefit ????

--- All males are out of purview...

--- all unmarried females and widows or women more than 45-50 years of age; are out of purview...

--- we may reasonably consider women having a few kids, to be out of this ...

So how many cases can come in FUTURE, for such misuse ????

Moreover, consider the amount of goodwill generated among the employees.... !!!

Consider, how it will drive Loyalty, Employee-Engagement and Motivation among the employees !!!!

How it will contribute to more productivity and good relationship !!!!

Considering the Pros and Cons, one can easily arrive at the decision.

Its a great chance for the management to show-case itself as a Great Place to Work !!!!

Warm regards.
4th December 2015 From India, Delhi
All that has been said is valid.
However, please note that it is possible for a pregnant woman to continue working right up to a day before her due date, unless she develops complications and has been advised a certain course by her consulting doctor.
Under the circumstances, it would be best to deal with such requests on a case to case basis and no precedents need be set. So the fear of such facilities being expected by other employees may be ruled out.
Please look into the exact reasons why the employee is requesting for such concessions. She may be having some genuine issues and the employee may not have shared the full situation with you.
Ask for the referring doctors certificate and based on all the evidences available, make a decision accordingly.
4th December 2015 From India, Mumbai
Dear all,
I have read the replies with interest. When I read a reply in isolation, I find that the response is right given the paucity of information about the scenario. Thus, I have appreciated responses which seem to contradict each other.
I am sure that some of you would agree that it is better to seek clarification about the scenario first, before giving solutions. For example, Nathrao has raised valid questions and we should have waited for answers to those questions before airing views and making comments on others' views.
Please forgive me if I have hurt your feelings with my observations.
4th December 2015 From United Kingdom
I totally agree with B.Saikumar.....Now a days HR are highly expert in Emotional intelligence....And every situation should be granted with both parameters rules and empathy to retain employee.....Only Financial Benefits cannot buy employee satisfaction....Other employees can also gain insight of company culture.....Companies like linked in facebook Amazon are going beyond the ways to facilitate woman employees and pregnancy....
Manashi Chakraborty
4th December 2015 From India, Haora
Just keep in mind that how you would expect a company HR to act if the lady asking for relaxation would have been one of your family member. HR acts as parent of the employees who have some moral responsibility also.
4th December 2015 From India, New Delhi
Dear All,
Same situation happened in our office where we have considered the concession of 2 hrs from normal working hours and the salary for those days calculated accordingly in this case the employee and employer both were satisfied and at the same time other staff was also not prompted.
4th December 2015 From India, Gurgaon
I would say be kind and helpful. But when it is company interest v/s individual interest company interest should be forefront. Comparison with family is not correct.
Do all employees take that much care of company as they would for their family, then why expect company to treat as family??
Be helpful and kind to employees but do not stretch rules in a manner that you will find it difficult.
4th December 2015 From India, Pune
I am actually an HR manager with international responsibilities at a US company. I have followed your blog for several years now, and have found it very instructive in assisting me in understanding our operations in India. Thanks to all who have helped educate me. This is my first post, however.
In the U.S., and in many of the other jurisdictions in which I work, this would be treated as a disability issue . . . that is to say, if the employee could provide a statement from her doctor requiring a shorter work day for medical reasons, it would be handled under our disability policies. This takes the emotional issues -- the debate over what is "right" or "wrong" -- out of the picture. It also solves the problem of others who may ask for similar concessions due to pregnancy by setting a defensible procedure for honoring or not honoring such requests in the future.
Is there a reason why such an approach would not be appropriate in India?
Jeff Hughey
4th December 2015 From United States,
Dear Shri Nathrao,

I am unable to make out what actually you perceive by the term, "compny intererst", whether to follow the company rules/ conventions rigidly or to facilitate work smmothly and efficiently without buying resentment of the employees; to compel a worker to become a bad worker by following the policies rigidly or to motivate him/ her to be a good & sincere worker; to make attrition rate high by rigidness and negative attitude of HR or to buy sincerity and loyalty of a worker; to encourage the sense of strangeness or to motivate the workers to feel the sense of ownership of the company; to feel the sense of alienation and disaffection or to make them feel the sense of closeness with the mnagement to foster cordial relations between the management and the workers; to discourage and disssatify the workers or to make them satisfied with certain facilities in order to motivate them towards bringing efficiency and productivity of the company?

For your kind information the Rules and Procedures are not of statutory nature, like the provisions of law. These are made as model guidelines to be followed in normal circumstances for bringing smoothness in company operations so that the same may not get distracted from the set pattern by use of arbitrary manners by individuals in the absence of guidelines. Rules and procedures are always subject to modification according to the needs of the organisation. Discretions are always attached to that for the managers to see how the work can be managed efficiently by not attracting any discomfort or dissatisfaction of the employees.

As regards your question, "do all employees take that much care of company as they would for their family," give and take is normally equal. For them managers come first and the company later due to attitudes of the managers. They take cre of the managers, who take care of them. So, at first managers has to discharge its responsibility to make the employees feel the sense of ownership and then they should expect sincerity, loyalty and affection from them for the management and the company. A company becomes good or bad due the goodness or the badness of the managers. Attrition rates are high in those companies only, where the employees are dissatisfied with the company's management and policies. For that only managers can squarely be held responsible.
5th December 2015 From India, Delhi
""am unable to make out what actually you perceive by the term, "compny intererst", whether to follow the company rules/ conventions rigidly or to facilitate work smmothly and efficiently without buying resentment of the employees; to compel a worker to become a bad worker by following the policies rigidly or to motivate him/ her to be a good & sincere worker; to make attrition rate high by rigidness and negative attitude of HR or to buy sincerity and loyalty of a worker; to encourage the sense of strangeness or to motivate the workers to feel the sense of ownership of the company; to feel the sense of alienation and disaffection or to make them feel the sense of closeness with the mnagement to foster cordial relations between the management and the workers; to discourage and disssatify the workers or to make them satisfied with certain facilities in order to motivate them towards bringing efficiency and productivity of the company?""

Rules are a guideline to be followed for all employees without any deviation.

When we start deviating for one employee, then others will follow asking for same privilege/relaxation.

Can every company afford that?

Company has to be fair and deal with employee in helpful fashion-does that mean every demand of employee should be met??

While rules and procedures are not statutory in nature but for an employee it is binding.

Unlike in Japanese companies where employees work till retirement in same company, labor mobility is high in India-poor working conditions, better offers.

So personally I would always like to see a company which is fair in treatment of employees but not over welfare oriented.

Discretionary powers bring in subjectivity.

Balance has to be struck between welfare and work.

Where welfare is too high, it necessarily does not mean higher output or happiness..

(For eg look at PSUs)
5th December 2015 From India, Pune
Dear Mr. Jeff,

On your post about disability policy, I can only say, try to trust your employee, he will pose much more trust on you, rather than in the name of the company he works for. His efficiency and productivity is your own efficiency and productivity to help development of your own career. For doctor's certification, use that provision only when your employee is distrustful by nature or the company has prescribed that as a must. If you always try to depend on a doctor by not using due diligence and discretionary power that is not warranted of you, as a manager. That should not become a hard and fast rule for all the time.

In fact the term management is required to be underastood in its right perspective. In my views, a manager, in the name of a manager, is not a real manager, if he always seeks or expects direction from the high ups or some outside agency (here, a doctor) rather than to manage the things by himself. If you are a manger, you have to manage most of the things yourself, unless there is any specific restriction imposed for any specific activity or operation or you feel any embargo due to some specific reason or doubt.
5th December 2015 From India, Delhi
After going through all the discussion according to me suggestions Mr Jeff have stated is both emotionally and practically correct, in a situation where an employee who is very important for the company is requesting something which cannot be denied in a straightway and canít even accept the request readily as before considering the same HR have to consider its future aspects and effects of the same on other employees. In that case disability issue can be used. Asking for doctorís certificates does not make an employee distrustful. It just helps to solve an issue in a logical way with a proper valid reason which can be documented for future reference. If an employee is true on his/her part and when his/her request is accepted on moral grounds I donít think they will have problem giving related documents. This will make every other employee realize that company is in favor of employees as an when they need it with valid reasons.

Also Changes in policy has to be done as and when such situation arises. This will help you to retain your Good employees and will bring good impression among others.
5th December 2015 From India, Pune
For a moment let's forget about the pregnancy. Many of the offices/works have their "permission" rule either to leave early or come late Policy enlisted among their HR policy. This policy when implemented in letter and spirit in the work places where attendance is marked (entry & leaving) by punching system either bio metric or otherwise takes care such issues automatically. This policy generally provide for certain permission hours subject to certain limits. Say twice or thrice in a month. When availed over and above the limit automatically debited to their leave a/c together per month. In these cases there is no provisions for emotional angle/reasons. Therefore pregnancy is a non-issue here. The policy applies commonly to all, both male and female. On the Otherhand, where such a policy is not in vogue requests used to keep coming now and then. In many places, the respective HODs who are normally given or assume such powers to allow permission for all kinds of reasons and tackle them as and when arises depending on the exigencies. Especially when it's not very frequent or regular it's always possible to accommodate irrespective of reasons. For e.g. to consult a doctor as per appointment, visiting the school of their wards, attending some functions/funerals etc. In small offices where the rapport among the staff involved used to be very close and it could be easy to adjust among themselves. And these are 'unofficial' permissions. We used to call this French Leave. Whereas cases explained in the post has the potential to evolve like some sort of a HR policy which will be quoted in such cases in future as well as a 'precedent'. It's always possible to demand certain facilities/concessions as per 'past precedent' which will be very difficult to deny when once established as a customary norms. Courts also recognises certain customs and conventions and precedents which may not found in rule books. Further this involves a longer period probably extends from the 7th month to say 9th or 10th month till she delivers and may even extend beyond also for child care etc. It is well understood a human touch is necessary to deal such requests at the same time be aware when you embarking on making a precedent that too for a prolonged period the HR should weigh the pros and cons of the relaxation policy with an eye on the future as it would amount to making a fresh rule which has to be followed commonly for all. As enforcing such a thing selectively would be inviting blame of partisan attitude of HR.
5th December 2015 From India, Bangalore
Dear Shri Nathrao,

Probably, you have earned experience only in the PSUs. There is a lot of difference between public limited company (private) and a public sector undertaking (Government). Perhaps, you would like to agree with me, while a public limited company solely works professionally, a PSU neither works professionally nor on a Government pattern. Further, while a private company is answerable to its stake holders/ share holders, a PSU is never made answerable to anyone. So, you can often find a situation of mismanagement or anarchy in a PSU. For example, if other mutual fund companies can earn profits and disburse handsome dividends why there arose the need for the Government to dump 9000 crores of the tax money of the public at large to make that stand on its legs. When the department of telecom was the most profitable organisation of the Government of India, why there was the need to convert that in to two different corporation (PSUs) to make them the losers. While the Delhi and Mumbai Telephone Districts of the Department of Telecome were the topmost revenue earners, why MTNL (PSU) formed with these earning units has suffered an accummulated loss of more than 6623 crores up to the end of the financial year 2011-12. On the other hand the BSNL (PSU), formed out of the rest of the Telecom Department, has resulted in to a loss of 8851 crores in a single year of 2011-12. These figures ar not fabricated by me, but were declared in the Rajya Sabha by Shri Milind Deora, Minister of State Communication & IT on 17.08.2012 in reply to a question by Shri Prakash Javadkar, the then Member RS, now a minister.

In fact (you may try to observe yoursef also) the PSUs are created to serve the interests of the political bosses and their touts to accommodate them to make their life comfortable and lucrative, not to serve any public interest in reality. In such PSUs the top brass treat themselves as the kings, while the subordinates as their personal servants. I remember at the time of incorporation of a PSU, the incoming MD brought with him 4 persons from his previous PSU out of which one of them was serving him and his family as a cook in the canteen of his previous organisation. He appointed him as Assistant Manager making him rise to the post of vice president later, whereas several spelling mistakes could be noticed from his 3-4 lines' of a simple application of his casual leave. I remember another instance, where the Minister in-charge got hired maximum number of vehicles by a PSU and used freely for his election campaign. In another unit, my boss in the presence of my other colleagues asked me, why he was not getting any work from my unit. My simple reply was, whatever was within my own competence, I did not feel to get approval from the high ups or to report them and that he should be interested only to see for the results.

So, any comparison of PSUs with the private companies is quite irrelevant.

About my views with reference to the topic, these are not based on any theoretical or hypothetical perceptions, but are based on my own practical experience in different organisations. Long ago in one organization my zonal manager tauntingly asked me how many people should he post in my unit, as employees approach him frequently with the request to post them in my unit. I simply asked him did I approach you any time to post some specific employee in my unit or to take some out of that, while my unit was specifically kept short. More so, the employees treated as the worst of all were being posted in my unit by taking out good workers from my unit. But, whosover wast treated as bad worker by other units used to work efficiently in my unit. Tthey used to give me the best performance to make my unit the best of all units in all respects. In one organisation, in the farewell party on my relief, even the managing firector appreciated that he had not seen any such farewell party where right from the security guard up to the level of managing director had participated without any distinction or difference. Why so? The reason was, I used to use my own styles of management, which I considered to be rational without violating the spirits of rules and regulations.

So, it is up to the sweet will of each individual executive/ manager to agree or not with my views. I express my views only as based on my own personal experience gained during my active service till my rtirement about 15 years back. So, you are also free to agree or disagree with my views and opinions.
5th December 2015 From India, Delhi
As I expected, Dipal Shaw has not clarified the scenario, yet; Questions raised by Nathrao have not been answered.
However, people have started to respond to each other based on assumptions. I wonder whether we are moving away from the topic.
5th December 2015 From United Kingdom
Dear Shri Dhingra,
I defer to your vast experience and knowledge but if you read my first reply,posted in italics then I would say while human touch is very important,then any decision to accord additional facility to lady employee would be fraught with danger of others claiming such facilities.
I have specifically sought to know any specific medical condition which necessitates this additional facility.
""How many women staff do you have?
How many days does she want this one hour concession??
Is there any medical condition necessitating this ?
Such concessions will become a precedent and so take greatest of care balancing employee need and future demands.
I would accept this request only if it is for short period and totally unavoidable.
Posted 3rd December 2015""
6th December 2015 From India, Pune
Dear Querist,
Sorry I saw your post only this morning.
Think of your near female relative, in similar condition. What would you do ? Irrespective of law, what would you do for say wife / sister / daughter any other near female relative or friend? what would you want the HR manager to do?
You will get the answer...If it is your management that you are afraid of, go and convince them.
A S Bhat
7th December 2015 From India, Pune
I am Head of Administration in my company, in situation like this, the pregnant employee should discuss with her Head of department with a signed medical letter or report from the company's doctor. This is to avoid abuse by other female employees in the future.
7th December 2015 From Nigeria, Lagos
It was indeed very interesting to read all replies to the original post.Even if diagonally opposite each reply had its own merit.This is the beauty of management (especially HR) that there are no readymade solutions available. To come back to the problem I suggest that Dipal can explore the possibility of 'give and take' with the concerned lady.Tell her that although laid down rules do not permit , AS A VERY SPECIAL CASE you can consider her request if she agrees to forego half day salary every week.If she is in real need then obviously giving paramount importance to her baby to be born,she would agree.Thereafter , for record purpose only you can mark her half day leave every Friday and actually allow her to go one hour earlier every day.Being in 7+ months this arrangement shall be required for a few days only, and shall not create any precedence.

Finally to add to Mr Dhingra's views on PSU , I would like to add an interesting incident when one of the members of a parliamentary committee visiting our PSU had to be provided with a car to take his puppy on a ride !
7th December 2015 From India, New Delhi
Dear Shri Nathrao,

My views are based on my purely practical experience, which was based on my own tested methods of management that were quite distinct from the theoretical concepts laid down in management books mostly by theoretical authors/ professors of management having nil or negligible HR experience/practice. You cannot find instances of practical experience in any management book.

With my views/ opinion, I am not putting any compulsion on any one to accept my opinion. So, it is up to the individual managers to agree with my views or not or to adopt the same in full or partially or apply their own methods to look for the results. In the case of pregnant employees, they are quite free to put several conditions before thinking to extend or denying any concession. However, as per my own experience, I have observed that even in normal circumstances, the HR people try to base their actions merely on letters and jotted lines, but not on the spirit of the rules and procedures, as if the employee is always wrong, and thereafter with negative productivity they squarely blame the employees for their non-cooperation terming them as indisciplined workers, when in turn they also adopt negative attitude towards the management with rigid attitudes. To be frank, my belief is that HR policies are responsible for making an employee a good or bad worker. No freshly appointed employee is bad worker, rather he/she becomes a bad worker by observing the attitudes of the management and their seniors in line.

Contrarily, during my whole service with various organisations, none of my employee gave me any chance to think, as if he/she is non-cooperative or bad worker, what to think of treating them as indisciplined. I can very proudly claim that I got maximum cooperation and respect from not only my subordinates in one and all the organisations I worked for, but also from other employees, who were not directly related to my units. That happened only due to my rational policies and humanly attitudes towards the employees. Rather, my superior authories used to complain why most of the employees even from other units/zones used to prefer working under my control.

I can count one one instance of my experience relating to year 1986 during the period of teething problems of a newly formed PSU after its conversion of a part of one Government organisation, where even a lady employee, although being wife of an SHO of police, cooperated me in working even late hours beyond 8.00 PM without any extra remuneration or favour just to help me complete my day's job, contrary to my caution to her that she being a lady must leave office in time to reach her home. Even on having talk with her husband, the reponse of the SHO was quite positive saying that he believed that her wife was not sitting with any wrong person. When she was to leave the office I had to entrust responsibility to the Asstt. Private Secretary of the MD to pick her up and leave her safely at her residence and let her confirm her safe reaching.

Instance of another employee relates to his constant sitting with me for up to 2.30 AM in the morning to help me complete the folders for the selection committee for interview of candidates to start at 10.00 AM for the posts of managers in that newly formed PSU, while I used to tell him that his family members would be worrying for not reaching home, as he was not having telephone facility to inform his family members of his being in the office by such late hours.

The third instance I cannot forget when the MD asked me that for the newly recruited GMs and Managers arrangement was to be done within 2 days. Not only I, but also the MD knew very well that in any Government/PSU recruitment was quite a long process and taking candidates from open market was not possible without notification to employment exchanges and waiting for their negative response. I was compelled to make interim arrangement on daily wage basis, but the question was where was the list of job candidates with me? I had to manage list of trained candidates from the YWCA. But another question arose, where was the arrangement to make the candidates appear for test and interview within 2 days. At that time an employee, who was considered to be the most arrogant and indisciplined worker by all of his previous bosses came to my help Out of thirty two (32) test cum interview letters that too addressed to lady candidates, he personally delivered 31 such call letters at their home addresses spread through the whole of the Delhi/ New Delhi areas on the very first day between 5.00 PM to 11.30 , while he was not resident of Delhi. The only discretion I gave to him was to use the most convenient transport. bus, auto or taxi, whichever he could get easily without losing any time in wait of his entitled mode of transport. He left for his home town in Haryana by night bus service only after accomplishing that task. The next day, without my asking, he came saying sorry for being late, as he had to deliver the last letter in Rajouri Garden Area, which he could do only after alighting at nearby station and thereafter reached office on account of which he was late. So, where was any reson for me to treat him an arrogant or indisciplined employee, like others? In reward, without caring for constantly worse remarks in his Annual Performance Appraisals of past years, I had to give him outstanding entries, which helped him getting his promotion, which ws not otherwise possible.

So, not a matter of boasting, but that accounts for a few instances of having taken open challenges of my career by posing trust on my workers and in turn getting their unstinted and unconditional cooperation to help me face with such challenging situations.

In one organisation, I observed that a very senior executive approached his boss how to tackle a difficult situation in short time, the pat reply was ,"I don't know, do in whatever manner, I want the job to be accomplished by the evening." Actually the job was not such to be expected to be completed within even 3-4 days. So, with all my frankness, I had to ask that boss, when you don't know what to do and how to do, how he was expecting the job to be accomplished by the evening?

So, at the time of challenges in your career, no superior authority would come to your rescue. You have to take some bold & spot decisions at your own level. Once you fail to rise to the occasion, you are lost and can be treated as inefficient and incapable wxwxutive to tackle the situations. A manager, if he is a real manager, must be able to manage the things efficiently, not to feel handicapped or dependant on others. Others would help, when in turn you help others.

Rest depends upon the wisdom of individual to individual how and what he/ she thinks fit.

Anyway, in my opinion, the management must give its workers chance to show results at their own, even if some concession is required to be extended. At places, I have observed some managers complaining that the employee went on leave on medical ground when the most important and urgent task was left unfinished on his part. So, do they believe that one or half an hour's concession in late coming or going will do more harm than his absenting on medical grounds for days together. If an employee needs half or one day's casual leave, if refused, he will try to go on leave on medical grounds for 3 to 7 days to get all his unfinished personal tasks accomplished in comparison to his official duty with the result of maximum harm to the office work. Needless to point out for unfinished or late finished jobs, only his boss can be treated as inefficient and incapable to handle the situation, not his subordinate. Contrarily, if the employee is already on leave and his personal task is already finished, he/she would try to come to office even during his/her remaining part of leave of a day and would try to help his/ her colleagues or the boss in accomplishing their official tasks in time.
7th December 2015 From India, Delhi

I had worked in state govt, central govt., central PSUs, autonomous organisations under central govt, private firms under proprietorship, partnership, co. etc for the last about 42 yrs. And my experience with PSUs at no measure like what has been described by Mr. Dhingra. If I put it plainly, my experience with many of the pvt. co. with which I worked and associated with I found pvt. sector is worse than many PSUs in terms of dedication, honesty and sincerity. Have ever heard of a full team working 24 x7 continuously for 45 days without going home and remained in office to complete a project. Ever heard of PSUs teams called in to rescue in men and material trapped and saved hundreds of lives, dead bodies and severely wounded in calamities happened in a pvt. firms. These were my experience with PSUs and never in pvt firms. In contrast, I found many of pvt. firms worse than many PSUs in terms of work ethics, sincerity. I have not had the opportunity to work with top pvt. firms. But I did found in many of the top pvt.firms including MNCs the corruption is rampant, inefficiency & unwillingness to handle sensitive matters etc. I cannot agree to comments generalising any sector so badly like this. Agreed there are inefficiency etc. in PSUs. But at the same time don't you know govt. employees are far superior than anybody else like police, defence, revenue, transport, railways, shipping etc. who are always found to be on duty 24 x 7 x (365). Personnel posted on election duty in remote places & villages, where no where to sleep, with no toilet facilities, trekking the distance by foot carrying election materials on their heads ?. Have you heard of these personnel had the privileges of celebrating festivals & holidays ? Have not you seen gang men patrolling railway tracks day & night in difficult terrains like ghat sections ? Are they not of PSUs.? Not able to be by the side of own wife in labour pains due to compulsions of duty ? Could you dare to say that these cadres short of sincerity & dedication compared to other sectors ? These PSUs are unparalleled, these will remain as temples of India. Profit or loss of these PSUs depend on various issues which has to be analysed individually taking into consideration of specifics. These are not issues here. Will you say there is no politics, hand of politics in pvt.sector ? At the same time, one cannot say pvt. firms also all are not good on these footing. Every sector has it's own weaknesses and short comings. I won't agree to views generalising like this Mr.Dhingra. The subject matter is different let's confine only on the issues.
7th December 2015 From India, Bangalore
Mr. Kumar,

It seemed, you have not carefully gone through my post, as your post suggests that you have not noticed that I made mention of three instances of staunch support and cooperation of workers that related only to the PSU, not of private sector companies. What you mentioned is about workers, not the top or middle management. I also talked about the contribution and support that I got from my workers, not the top brass of the PSU. What the querist asked was also about a lady employee belonging to worker class, not of the top or middle management category. My views were about how managers can enhance their productivity with the sincerity and cooperation of their workers by extending a few ignorable concessions. You can expect only commands and orders from the top management, not help or support. Only workers extend cooperation and support to the higher ups, provided they are properly taken care of.

So, I wonder, how you have treated my post as comparison between the PSUs and private companies or the corruption. My examples related only to the workers class, as you stated about railways, police, transport, shipping, etc.!

I must request you to re-read my post to find that my views are about how we can extract the maximum from the workers by extending just a very few concessions and timely reliefs to them. I have not gone astray from the main issue, rather your comparison between the PSUs and private companies with a pinch of corruption also makes the issue side-tracked, as goodness or badness of the companies or corruption was not at all the subject matter or the issue raised by the querist.

Anyway, you may or may not agree with my views that does not matter much to me or to the followers of my management principles and practices.
7th December 2015 From India, Delhi
Dear All,
Thank you for your inputs.
the Employee has asked for a concession as travel in the evening rush is becoming difficult for her. I am planning to give her an option to come half-n-hour early in the morning and then leave one hour early.
This will solve her issue of travelling in crowded trains and I guess the work / timings also wont get affected at large (half an hr instead of one hour). This concession will be going to her with a note that in case of work demands, she may have to wait and complete the same irrespective of concession given.
I hope, I have tried to balance.
8th December 2015 From India, Pune
Dipal, tthanks for the deed back. That's how the discretion needs to be exercised to achieve a win-win situation for the parties concerned. You do not find it in rule books.You need to fall back on your experience and wisdom to deal with them.

8th December 2015 From India, Mumbai
Good that you are reaching to some solution to the issue. And suggest, would it be possible to not to put on record and limit it to the HOD level so that the arrangement worked out not get exposed to whole of your estt. and would remain 'one time arrangement' so that others may not follow suit?
8th December 2015 From India, Bangalore
Such compromises are necessary at times in handling human problems.
But such favors/compromises can never remain a secret and will be known through office grapevine.
That is why great and careful consideration has to be given when .we help out staff in ways which are not fully covered by rules.
8th December 2015 From India, Pune
[QUOTE=Dipal Shah;2272909]Dear All,
Thank you for your inputs.
the Employee has asked for a concession as travel in the evening rush is becoming difficult for her. I am planning to give her an option to come half-n-hour early in the morning and then leave one hour early.
I wonder whether we would have such a lengthy discussions had Dipal told us, at the outset, that the employee was finding it difficult to travel in the rush hour.
Hence, my appeal to bloggers is to give complete information about the scenario in their first post rather than later. Such a detailed post will get precise responses.
8th December 2015 From United Kingdom
Dear Friend,
Perhaps you have reached a square solution, in what way this is going to help the lady and your organisation? Here in the absence of timing readily accept the better existing option. Since, you are willing to give the timing..coming one hour before and going half an hour earlier to the hours seems better it suitable for her and your organisation is not known to us, then why not you propose half an hour later to the office and half an hour before to the closing hours, both are materialised option, neither you are going to take her travelling in the mids of rush and relief at the evening hour, this is seems better as she could start her travel to the office by attending all her house with confidence? Taking a solution on the both the grounds is important..
Best of luck for coming into a square solution... A Solution is not a success it is the way to betterment ...
9th December 2015 From India, Arcot
Hello There,

I would like to add my two cents here. Being a mother of two and an HR Manager, I believe that as the pregnancy progresses it starts taking toll on a woman mentally and physically. At this phase a little support from the Employer goes a long way for the employee. By supporting the precedent of a supporting culture is set in the organization. By supporting her you may also set the precedent of letting employees deal with their difficult situation. If you are worried about the work getting hampered then if possible then she can probably provide support from back home.

We practice this in our organization which has helped us with gaining employee confidence and more engagement once they come back after maternity leave.

If you talk about the law, it also states that if the woman requires to take time off then it should be allowed.

We usually cut down the hours during the third trimester. We allow them to take work from home and once they join back they start with short hours at works which helps them with a smooth transition.

It has set wonderful examples here and has brought about a lot of positivity.

9th December 2015 From India
Hi Dipal Shah.
There is no hard fast rule that an employee should be provided concession. However, on humanitarian ground concessions can be granted
1. The employee is 7 months old pregnant seeking one hour permission
2. You should understand that when she is still working during advance stage of pregnancy clearly indicates she in need of money, to met her delivery charges at hospital and also meet her post pregnancy expenses
3. In circumstances like this you can consider granting her one hour permission, so that she can avail medical facilities like hospital consultation with gynecologist and some rest for her.
4. Please see how many days maternity leave can be granted to the employee, it is two months in statute with salary.
5. By doing so, you will earn good rapport from all your employees.
6. Try to manage your employees as a family.
These are some of the tips.
9th December 2015 From India, Bangalore
I fully agree with Mrs. Sanjukta. Those interested may read my response earlier on in this thread. A S Bhat
9th December 2015 From India, Pune
Dear Dipal,
I understand your mindset that if you allow one lady with the concession all others will also accept that as a norm. You can politely ask her to avail either half day leave or if she is unwell, then proceed with her maternity leave. But granting this concession will not resolve your issue
9th December 2015 From India, Pune
Hi Dipal,
This solution was the first that came to my mind (because the organisation where I worked did not have any door lock -it worked 24hrs throughout the year) but I did not know what kind of organisation yours is.If it was like any other office with 10 a.m to 5 p.m , then coming one hour early may not be of much use.Anyway,it's good that you made it a win-win situation !
11th December 2015 From India, New Delhi
Dear Shri Nathrao,
My belief is, any person afraid of grapevine rumours and gossips cannot effectively manage the affairs of an organization. Facility/ concession allowed or not by any manager, even otherwise also, rumours and gossips continue to be aired very frequently against the managers by groups of frustrated employees.
If you are afraid of the grapevine, you cannot assure even your own productivity, what to say of your team members. So, if any activity is made in good faith and intention in the mutual interest of employees and the organisation, why to be afraid of grapevine?
12th December 2015 From India, Delhi
I am little perplexed about this undue concern for precedents. Not all precedents are bad. Managements need not be apprehensive of setting up good precedents that convey positivism of the management, enhance it's image and good will among employees, help employer branding and smooth employer-employee relations which in fact may have a healthy effect on productivity.Work-life balance is one the important factors that is engaging the minds of employees in choosing their employers and that of employers in retaining employees. Precedents of this nature are not of daily occurrence and the management shall accord concessions on merits of each case and should it be so apprehensive of a precedent, it can lay down certain norms too to regulate their sanction.

13th December 2015 From India, Mumbai
I hope you know very well how in a work place Ďprecedentsí once created for one person sought to stay as a norm to follow for the future for everybody. In this query, itís likely to be created in order to manage the peak hour rush during the pregnancy associated uneasiness. Letís remember the concession is sought not for one day or a few days. Itís for a continuous period of about 3 months therefore we cannot rule out a Ďprecedentí is being created with the blessings of HR. Thus itís also possible to quote this precedent in other matters too. And when arises it may be difficult for HR to wardoff as the precedent is being created not of pregnancy per se but to manage the travel blues. And it goes without saying the blues are there for every body. That's why it's better to keep it at HOD's level who ultimately is responsible for managing the show in the respective dept.
13th December 2015 From India, Bangalore
Dear Shri Dhingra,
I have never stated one should be scared of grape vine.
I only suggested that such special dispensation given to an employee-coming half hour early and leaving one hour early- will become common knowledge.
Some earlier member had suggested keep this permission/relaxation known to limited people ""Good that you are reaching to some solution to the issue. And suggest, would it be possible to not to put on record and limit it to the HOD level so that the arrangement worked out not get exposed to whole of your estt. and would remain 'one time arrangement' so that others may not follow suit?""
My response was regarding how grape vine would ensure all staff become aware.
Precedents have a tendency to become rules.
So one should be careful of setting a new precedent.
13th December 2015 From India, Pune
It is always better, if the employees become aware of all welfare moves made by the management. That should not remain secret.
14th December 2015 From India, Delhi
Welfare measures should be common for all. Tomorrow another employee or other employees have a medical condition the management should extend the facility to all.
My only point is management can be and should be helpful and considerate,but effect of each welfare decision needs to be carefully weighed and then implemented.
14th December 2015 From India, Pune
True, I am not for bad precedents.Good precedents that reflect a culture of sensitivity to the emotions and sentiments about what a woman employee considers most important for herself and the family and in most cases justified by a medical condition, can be a norm but not for all but for all similarly placed women.When law itself compels an employer to put up with the absence of a pregnant women for 12 weeks with the prospect of enhancing it to 24 weeks shortly without asking any questions in addition to embargo on other restrictive actions by him, the request for such small concessions can be considered on merits.For fear of precedents, if the management is hesitant, probably the woman employee may be compelled to choose between her employment and safety of herself and the child in the womb and in all cases she will choose the latter.If the woman employee is a good resource, the cost of finding a suitable replacement for her may be many times more than the cost of one hour concession.Not only this it may also shut other avenues of compensating this cost of one hour concession like asking her to come one hour early or she may be more productive during the shortened hours of work to complete her tasks of the day or the options of working from home too. A lot of options can be worked out by HR to compensate for her presence at office for one hour less and it may even formulate policy for this to regulate their sanction.


14th December 2015 From India, Mumbai
There is a difference between exceptions and general rules. Exceptions cannot be made a general rule for extending to one and all. A manager's obligations towards the organisation and the workers are not fulfilled by merely folowing dotted lines. So, where is the need of a manager, when anyone can follow the dotted lines. A manager has to show his insight and acumen by his abilities in judging the prevailing circumstances and conditions and to work as the occasion demands.
However, if liked, you may extend such facilities to one and all pregnant women in your organisation, may she be or not be in need of extra care by the management. Nobody would object to that. They would definitely enjoy that concession at the cost of your own career.
My best wishes!
15th December 2015 From India, Delhi
Dear friends,

Concessions and special cases do exists with various establishments. These will differ from estt. to estt. and methodology adopted depending on the circumstances. I have seen even male employees who met with accidents/ill allowed to work from home when he was immobilised for months together till became alright (I also was one such person). At the same breadth we have also seen pregnant female employees are relieved either during or at the expiry of ML by a few employers despite the law against such action. There is also talk of granting single male parent & husband of pregnant female employees paternity leave. I only wish to say I'm not for or against agreeing to certain concessions on merits. But at the same time if it is going to be commonly implemented for all female pregnant employees no one is going to object. The emphasis is on equality in granting such concessions which is sought gain thru' the precedents being created which will compel the HR/ admin. not to implement this on selective basis or discriminate on the pretext of disputable merits.
15th December 2015 From India, Bangalore
Hello Dipal,
At least you can ask for the concession to be certified by a registered Medical practitioner from there you will treat that as a special medical attention so the treatment will not be the same like all other employees.
15th December 2015 From Tanzania
This rejoinder is only for deliberations sake not otherwise.
Referring to the instant case, the concession is being sought to have comfortable commuting to & fro to office especially during peak hours. If so, we have to consider the request on merit basis means, will a medical practitioner certify to this requirement ?
17th December 2015 From India, Bangalore

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