It is surprising me that a management wants to avoid protracted litigations when it has already placed an employee under suspension pending enquiry as early as in January2015 knowing well that he was to reach the age of superannuation in June 2016 and permitted him to get superannuated on 30-06-2016 but not even started the proceedings since then. And now the management wants to withhold his gratuity for the reason of his non-vacation of the Company's quarters! In my opinion, the entire act of the management so far, notwithstanding the gravity of the misconduct alleged on the part of the delinquent employee, is a sheer mess-up of the doctrine of disciplinary action apart from being an unfair labour practice.
Termination of employment for any reason signifies the total cessation of the contract of employment between the employer and the employee. Then,
(1) What does the orders of the employee's termination read - " permitted to retire without prejudice to the pending disciplinary action" OR simply "terminated"?
(2) Whether there is any enabling provision in your standing orders or service rules for such an action?
(3) If not, how can an employer continue the disciplinary action after the termination of the employee on attaining the age of superannuation?
(4)What prevented the management from the expeditious completion of the disciplinary proceedings from its commencement of the act of suspension pending enquiry before the employee's superannuation?
(5) Whether the so-called termination was followed by a notice u/s 4(6) of the Payment of Gratuity Act,1972?
By any stretch of reasonableness, any one would come to a conclusion that the present move of the management to forfeit gratuity now smacks of victimisation for the simple reason that gratuity of an employee can not be with held on the ground of non-vacation of the quarters after retirement. After the retirement of such an employee occupying the quarters, only the relationship of tenent and landlord subsists between the employer and himself. In such a situation, the employer has no option other than obtaining an eviction orders against the ex-employee from a Civil Court.
28th December 2016 From India, Salem