Saswatabanerjee
Partner - Risk Management
Psdhingra
Legal Analyst, Hrm
+1 Other

Hello All,
I need some suggestion regarding a scenario:
An employee would be going on maternity leave from December; she is due for apprisal in the month of February.My question is :
1. When do we conduct her appraisal [before or after ML]
2. If after, will she be applicable for the arrears [mar-may] or, only from the month she gets back to work i.e from June?
also, when do we pay the 3 month salary will it be month on month or a lumpsum at the end of the 3rd month.
Please guide me through.
Regards,
N P
I'm giving you the suggestion based on my current company procedure.
1. The appraisal will be postponed for the months she is taking ML. For eg., if she is taking 3 months ML, then her review will be on May instead of Feb.
2. She will not be applicable for the arrears. (it should not be shown/mention as arrears, as she is not eligible)
3. This can be remitted in her account in monthly basis. You need to give full attendance to her mentioning that she is in paid maternity leave.
Hope these information are useful.
Since you have not given details of your company, we will make assumptions that it's a private company in service sector.
If you are subject to standing orders, then follow what ever provisions are given in standing orders.
If nothing is given in standing orders, then you need to see internal HR procedures formulated and communicated to employees
If neither, then the management is free to decide on when appraisal Will take place and whether they will give the increased salary with prospective effect or retrospective affect. Most companies would do it after the maternity leave is over and give the enquiries salary only from the date of joining or even from the date of the appraisal has been done or confirmed. I do not see any meaning in giving increased salary for the period when the person is on leave.
Under the requirements of the matternity benefit act, you will need to pay the salary of the maternity period at the time when the person goes on leave.
Hi Saravanan,
With reference to your reply "The appraisal will be postponed for the months she is taking ML. For eg., if she is taking 3 months ML, then her review will be on May instead of Feb.," on the anonymous question, can you please clarify, if their is any rule or guidelines, if any, that prescribes postponement of the appraisal for the equivalent period of leave/ absence of the employee? In other words, when a female employee would be entitled to get 6 months maternity leave under new law in the offing, do you mean to say her promotion should be withheld for 6 months by postponing review of her appraisal due to her proceeding on maternity leave, even if she is eligible for promotion/ increment on account of several other efficiency criteria.
In my views, any such arbitrary line of action denotes the unsystematic working of the HR of the organisation.
The question arises, which law or rule on earth tends to debar entitlement of promotion or increment to an employee on account of maternity leave or even any other kind of authorised leave, if she/he is otherwise eligible on several other criteria?
Hi Dhingra,

I think you are confusing with review(/appraisal) and promotion.

Promotion is decided only after the Review. Review is decided only after the performance. Performance is rated based on her work in one year period. She is only eligible for review only if she perform for specific period ie., one year in this case. So, whether she is eligible for promotion or increment will be decided only after the review.

Let me give you another example, all the employees are eligible for certain leaves as per certain acts. No one can stop the employee not to take leave. But, during the review, the rating of the performance differ from the employee who take leave and who doesn't take any leave in the same review period. Second person will get more advantage. (Consider the case, all the other criteria ratings are same for both employees)

But, in the case of maternity, we can't follow the above case. So, a common & fair method is followed, the review period is delayed as per her leave as I mentioned previously. So, the leave period will not affect her performance rating and the company can rate her performance for one year (as common as other employees, fairly).

It is not the case that her promotion is delayed. It is the case that the review is delayed.

Hope I'm clear.
Dear Saravanan,
Neither I did ask for logic or examples, nor I talked about conventions being adopted in review of appraisals.
If you re-read my post, my simple question was, "can you please clarify, if their is any rule or guidelines, if any, that prescribes postponement of the appraisal for the equivalent period of leave/ absence of the employee?"
Now my another question is whether a calendar year (January to December) or financial year (April to March), whatever is fixed for appraisal, gets changed as per legal definition?
That is another issue, if the HR prefers to adopt some arbitrary manner, which usually is noticed in several cases than following any set rules.
Anyway, would you like to prefer clarification on my two questions.
Dear Dhingra,

In your post, you have clarified your question as "In other words, when a female employee would be entitled to get 6 months maternity leave under new law in the offing, do you mean to say her promotion should be withheld for 6 months by postponing review of her appraisal due to her proceeding on maternity leave, even if she is eligible for promotion/ increment on account of several other efficiency criteria."

How do you decide an eligibility for promotion/increment? I think my explanation in my previous post is clear.

Many books and research papers are available for performance appraisal methods followed in different private companies. New innovative & advanced methods are discovered and implemented day by day.

Your question is such that performance appraisal should have been done in a constant manner (fixed percentage) to all employees in a given FY or Calendar Year, irrespective of their DOJ, performance, attendance etc. I think the discussion here is not for a Govt Organization which has a fixed increment structure over a period of time, till next promotion (automatic promotion after fixed period of time).
Mr. Saravanan,

You are again trying to side-track the issue by not answering my questions. I have not restricted my views being followed in any Government organisation, but for the system to function in uniformity. But, if the HR wants to create complications for itself, nobody can help those HR professionals, who try to function arbitrarily on their own whims & fancy.

About your statement, "Many books and research papers are available for performance appraisal methods followed in different private companies," these documents cannot be considered as rule books, but contain merely views, opinions, concepts & conventions adopted by such authors or companies, as like you expressing your view in your first post, but without any set guidelines or rules, with your perception to extend the period by postponing the performance review. That does not give a systematic way for review of performance.

In other words, the HR would remain busy for the whole year in making or keeping watch for performance reviews turn by turn for some or the others of all the employees of the organisation due to various reasons.

If you don't want simplicity or improvement in your own organization, nobody can compel you to introduce simplicity or improvement in your organisation. BUT that does not mean other organisations should also follow the same pattern, as being adopted in your organisation. The functions and responsibilities of the HR should be such to facilitate systematic flow of work for one and all executives of the organisation during the whole year, instead of following conventions in a haphazard manner.

If you try to make a survey by confidential voting to know the liking and disliking of departments of the organisations, you would find that the most disliked department is the HR department due to imposing arbitrary conditions over the workers without following any set norms. Position and power does not give any right to the HR to use arbitrarily without following a set system.
Mr. Dhingra,
Now, you started criticizing the whole HR Community. I think this forum helps to clarify the doubts of HR and doubts of employee to handle their grievances.
Here, the question is asked by a HR to solve his/her issue. I gave a solution I follow. It is their discretion to follow or not to follow.
So, it is better to stop criticizing the whole HR Community and give a solution to the person who asked the question. I don't think your post helps anybody. You are concentrating on "NOT TO DO", instead of "WHAT TO DO". Instead of giving "Don'ts" give them "Do's".
If your method is fair to all employees, HRs' who read it may learn and follow. It will help them.
Hope you understand.
Mr. Saravanan,

Thanks for your advice.But, as against your own statement, "this forum helps to clarify the doubts of HR," you have utterly failed to clear my doubt about the basis and utility of your suggested conventional method. My question clearly denoted my intention to help the author of the question and the HR community how to do and what to do, if your method could really have been based on some set guideline or rules of law.

But, every time you tried to evade on one or the other excuse and finally tried to blame me about the criticism of the whole of HR community, clearly indicating negativity of your own mind and believer of conventions and arbitrary manners of work, as an HR personnel. Had your advice been based on some set standard, principle or the rules of law, you would have been much pleased to clarify your position in order to give correct guidance to the author as well as the other members of the forum to help them follow only the rules of law, rather than conventional or arbitrary methods of work.

Please be aware, if you are free to express your views, I am also free to express my views and have also the right to ask for clarification when in doubt in order to alert the HR community about the dangers of conventional and arbitrary methods, if suggested by any individual. But every time you have tried to evade from clarifying your own position and when failed you blamed me as if I am criticising the HR community. That itself vindicates negativity of your mind, as an HR professional in a bid to misguide not only the author of the question, but also the whole of the HR community.

Clearly my intention was to make aware of the community what to do and why to do following the rules of law in order that they should avoid any arbitrarily designed conventional method that paves the way to unfriendly employee-employer relations that ultimately affect productivity of employees as well as the company as a whole. It was not my criticism, rather a bitter truth that it is the company, which suffers the most due to employees disloyalty caused due to the the negative role, if and when played by its HR. Although based on my 40 years of practical experience, you need not believe my statement, you may verify personally by conduct of a survey or interview of employees of different companies in your own city, as I have already suggested you. I am pretty sure, you will definitely get satisfied with the result of the survey that would confirm my experience based statement.

I am of the firm view that it is the positive attitude, not the negative attitudes and arbitrary methods, of the HR that helps to achieve loyalty of employees resulting in to productivity of individuals as well as the company as a whole.
Mr. Dhingra,
My method will give fair performance rating to all the employees which has been followed by many companies.
You are still trying to pointing out the mistake (as per your view) and never given a useful solution.
If you think I'm misguiding with so called "Negative Mind" and please guide with a right solution with a "Positive Mind".
If you think I'm following an "arbitrarily designed conventional method", provide a right method.
These are my only questions for you from the beginning.
Mr. Saravana,

You have still avoided to give reply on my pertinent point about rule of law on which your advice was based, by merely trying to provoke me in the name of guiding with positive solution. I don't think you are so ignorant that you don't understand the definition of "year" (calendar or financial year) on which the company business is based is transacted.

I wonder, if you have not been able to take the clue that the Performance Appraisal Review should also be based on the specific year on which the company business is transacted. Your all times evasive replies made it clear that you preferred to stress upon your own conventional and arbitrary methods of running the HR at your own whims & fancy without developing a transparent and uniform system of work and monitoring system, which can cause hazards not only in the function of HR, itself, but for other company executives also just keeping their eye towards the HR when their performance would be caused to be reviewed and when not, instead of concentrating on their jobs. Probably, you don't know, postponements can also cause forgetfulness of HR executives to undertake timely review for the postponed cases, if no fixed time frame is set, thereby becoming a cause of complaint & murmuring against the HR professionals and with ultimate dissatisfaction of the affected persons, as well as the complaint handler bosses with undue waste of their time in handling complaints of dissatisfied workers.

Anyway, you can live with your own perceptions sans any logic or rule of law.
Dear Author
In absence of clarity from your side on the company policy I would like to put my views as below :-
1. The review of the employee will not change, whether you appraise the employee before proceeding on leave or after proceeding on leave as there will be no contribution from the employee during the leave period.
2. To maintain uniformity and ease of working it is suggested that the appraisal takes place before the employee proceeds on leave as this will help you in HR budgeting, promotions and other vertical or lateral movements in the organisation.
3. You may make the increment, promotion or any other decision effective from the date of re-joining of the employee.
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