Umakanthan53
Labour Law & Hr Consultant
Nathrao
Insolvency N Gst Professional
+2 Others

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Dear Sir / Madam,

My name is Surya Narayan Sahu and i am working in PSU. My friend is also working as Senior Manager in different PSU Company. He is keeping a Contractual Labour since October 2011 to till date. His nature of duties was limited as per the work order issued to the contractor. But he was working more than his nature of duties as per the instructions of the Senior Manager. He has to leave office after 8 hours of duty but he was working 10 hours daily without extra wages as per the instructions of senior manager. For extra working hours he used to issue a gate pass to him mentioning that due to work load he may be go out after specific time.

Now, after continuous working for 4 years he is now claiming for compensation for those extra hours working for the company beyond the limitation of the work order. Not only this he is also asking for permanent job for doing extra duties which is not mentioned in the work order.

My friend said that you don't have proof for doing these extra duties. He is saying that whenever you are giving a gate pass for working extra hours he used to mention extra duties which he used to do in the office in remarks column of the gate pass, which my friend used to sign without knowing his consent.

Now, he is saying if you don't give compensation and job, he will go to labour court with all these evidence. He is consulting a good lawyer who gave this idea at the time of joining this company, which he used to follow and kept all this evidence as per lawyer instructions and that lawyer is giving hope that with this evidence i will make you win. Please help my friend that how he can face this in front of his seniors and what is his position and what he has to do now.

Regards

From India, Patnagarh
Dear Surya,

Your post raises basically two issues i.e., one is legal and the other is ethical.

With your limited inputs about the contract for service entered into between the contractor and the PSU of your friend, what all I can say about the legal issue is that in the first place the contract labour/employee can not a stake a claim for permanency against the Principal Employer/PSU either by the efflux of time or because of the overtime work usually allotted to him unless he is able to prove that the contract was sham. Secondly, your Senior Manager friend might be under the wrong impression that there is no need to pay over time wages to a contract labour as the supervision of his work is the responsibility of the contractor only. He might have blissfully forgotten the fact that the entire overtime work was authorised by him only. Had he paid the overtime wages to the contractor and in turn the contractor failed to make payment to the contract labour, that is a different thing to be pursued in a different manner at least to mitigate the PE's responsibility. Remuneration payable for overtime work is also wages as per the definition of wages u/s 2(vi) of the Payment of Wages Act,1936 and Section 21(4) of the CLRA Act,1970 enjoins the responsibility for payment of wages to contract labour upon the Principal Employer. So, it is better that your friend settles this matter amicably now before any claim is filed by the contract labour u/s 15 of the PW Act, 1936 which may result in an award of compensation to the tune of 10 times of the claim amount.

Regarding the ethical aspect, I think that your friend forgets the fact that as a manager he is managing people and not machines. How can he expect a poor wager to forego the wages for the extra hours of work done by him at the instance of the manager's orders? If your friend resists the claim on the basis of material evidence ( though seems abundant as per the post), what is his credibility as a manager?

Whether the episode related is your friend's or your own, it is better to consider making amends the way I suggested.

From India, Salem
This act is of exploitation of labour.
""Not only this he is also asking for permanent job for doing extra duties which is not mentioned in the work order.""
It is not mandatory to give permanent job to contract labour in this fashion.
""which my friend used to sign without knowing his consent.""
Probably you meant content.
Now that he has signed he cannot claim I did not know what was written in it.
Claim for overtime is payable but I do not think he will get a favourable order from any court for permanent job in this case.

From India, Pune
Mr Umaknthan has well clarified the legal issues involved in this case. Your friend might have created the evidence unknowingly about it's implications.True, the worker may not succeed in his claim for permanency of his employment in principal employer's company. He cannot raise an industrial dispute individually about over time except by the union.Even if the union raises it, your friend needs to contest it saying that the Union being the union of contract workers, has no right against the principal employer. However all this requires subtle expertise in labour laws. Therefore one option is to settle the O.T issue through contractor not directly to control the situation or else contest the demand when raised by the union. For the present your friend can keep track of the matter.
B.Saikumar
HR & Labour law advisor

From India, Mumbai
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