Dear Solution Seeker,
Your Query: "I am working with an engineering company. We have a practice of giving overtime pay to employees of some grades/levels. Now, what we have observed that employees are staying back just to get OT pay without much work in hand. How can we stop this? Any suggestion? Or can we just stop this practice suddenly? are there any repercussions that we need to consider in terms of legality?". Pune, 8.6.17, Asmita
Solution: Payments for Overtime Work is categorically for the "Work due to the exigency of that assigned work to be done beyond normal 8 Hours-shift Work/Duty and it is governed by the laid down Law in this regard.
The Law prescribes that the Data regarding OT Work is reported to the Inspectorate/Govt Authority and the stipulated OT Limit is not violated withpout express permission of the said Authority. There is No Blanket sanction /Exemption granted to Employers to keep their Workers on Over Time Work.
Overtime Work is purely Business-Need-based. As such, OT Payments or allowance are neither in the nature of ex-gratia nor "negotiable" and any Malpractice in this respect must forthwith be discontinued irrespective of its continuance for any period of time failing which its unlawful, unauthorized misuse shall be deemed as violation of the Laws and Penalities imposed on the Employer.
Further, whereas such a malpractice as aforesaid, remains Unlawful, it also is Unfair to all stakeholders of the Industrial Establishments such as yours and is likely to vitiate the IR Scenario in the neighbourhood undertakings.
Invite the Union, in case your Undertaking has one duly Registered and Recognized by your Employer, discuss with them and sort out and arrive at a Settlement if needed and do away with the Unhelpful Practice.
By the by, please urge upon your Managers/SupervisoryStaff to " manage" the Work; the Workplace and the Workers in Professional manner and obey the Laws applicable.
Laws ask None if s/he would comply, that is Not the Choice; the Choice is "How" - with or without Legally Imposed Penalties.
Someday, the Laws will take notice of the aforsaid "Violation" and come down heavily and as we now know our Judiciary shall always Uphold the Rule of Law irrespective of repurcussions.
And, remember our Advice ..." Anything Worth Doing is Worth Doing, WELL"
Kritarth Team of Seasoned IR Professional Practioners are always available to Help / Guide, every stage of implementing " the Solution".
9.6.17 9th June 2017 From India, Delhi