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We recently Hired a technical head for 23L/A with 15ys experience. However, due to lack of performance and interest, we had to terminate him in probation period itself. As a technical head, he failed to guide the team members and they were often asked to check Google for answers. He came, read news in office hours, sat before the functional codes and kept staring at them in from of the MD (fortunate that he was from technical side).

He never sent and daily report nor participated in meetings. So we had no other choices than terminating him immediately(he worked only 20 days). He was not able to clarify in his contribution after the training period(3 days). We have been requesting him to come for a discussion and settlement. But he says he is terminated and according to employee policy, he will not enter the office.

I dont remember learning this policy when i did MBA in abroad. Is there any policy in India?? Any former employee are forbidden to visit office even if requested. He says he will put legal notice if payment is not released for 20 days...but he will not enter the office for formality.
Any one to respond on this???
12th July 2017 From India, Chennai

Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Jeevarathnam
Sr. Manager Hr/admin
Bcarya
Senior Hr Executive
Bharat Gera
Principal Hr Consultant
Aussiejohn
Trainer
+2 Others

Dear Sylvia,

I find the following lacunae in your HR Department:

a) If it was decided to terminate the Technical Head, then that person should have been guided how the separation will take place. You or some senior could have told him to submit letter of resignation. Once the resignation was approved, he should have been told to complete the clearance from all the departments. Thereafter, could have become eligible to get his legitimate dues.

b) Since he has stopped reporting for duties, issue a letter to his last known address about abandonment of his duties. For proper separation, he may submit the letter of resignation, take clearance from all the department and take his dues. Write to him that unless clearance procedure is not done, wages cannot be paid. Send the notice by Registered Post/AD.

c) Before sending the letter as mentioned in (b) above, talk to the person and clarify the process of separation. Probably he might have misunderstood something about termination. There is no specific labour law on separation. Yes, for terminating the employee, you need to conduct the domestic enquiry. However, this case needs to be handled differently. The whole confusion might have arose because of loose usage of words like "termination".

d) Selection of this type of candidate is nothing but recruitment disaster. Who interviewed this person? You need to investigate causes of failure of the recruitment and take corrective action. This fellow appears to be crotchety however, missing his crotchetiness during the interview shows that seniors in your company are not trained well on the interviewing skills. The incident illustrates how people live in a myth of "experienced in recruitment or interviewing".

e) The incident that you have quoted brings to fore the importance of written communication. There is a room to infer that in your company written communication is not practised wherever it is due. I doubt whether you had issued to him any warning letter on his difficult and contrary disposition.

Thanks,

Dinesh Divekar
12th July 2017 From India, Bangalore
I have laboured the point many many times here on CiteHR about putting a robust and comprehensive recruitment policy in place if you want to get the best employees for your organisation.

On the face of it, this would appear to be a very good example of recruitment going wrong, as Dinesh has pointed out as one of several possible reasons for this failure.

It would also appear that there is no policy in place for dealing with situations like this. Certainly I see no evidence that the employee was warned about his inappropriate behaviour, and that action would be taken if there was no improvement. Given that you did not follow an acceptable process prior to his termination, you might want to fix the problem before he makes good on his threat of legal action.

Pay the guy his salary, and immediately draft new policies to ensure it does not happen again. Then go back and completely overhaul your recruitment and selection process. You can easily search for my posts on this subject.
13th July 2017 From Australia, Melbourne
Any employee joins the organisation he/she would have been given appointment letter which contains the policy of separation either resignation or termination.

As you mentioned as training was given for 3 days & there is any development from that training. Do you have any documented proof for the training & more over most of the training will yield the ROI only after specific period.

Have you shared the written JD to the employee as what is his responsibility what are the periodical reports to be given & to whom it has to be given? If yes then if he is not reported anything then what is the initial step is been taken from your end?

As employee performance was not satisfied was there any domestic enquiry or any warning has been given to the employee?
14th July 2017 From India, Bangalore
As you have mentioned that the employee was a technical head, i am assuming he would not be considered as a workman and you would be spared having to make rounds of the Labour court. But even for other employees, terminations should be handled delicately. all dues should have been cleared on the date of termination and letters should have been issued to that effect as these issues can be expected. and yes a former employee can choose not to come to your offices for exactly that reason, that he is former. No policy is there to that effect but then you cannot hold his settlement due to his not visiting.
however, in cases like these, you must follow your contractual obligations to avoid any future repercussions. The employee would be considered as a probationer and not a confirmed employee, separate procedures for termination would apply (if you have a separate policy for probationers/ trainees). usually companies have a policy stating that company can choose not to confirm an employee at the end of his probation period, automatically terminating his employment. however you have chosen to terminate his employment in less than 30 days, he could argue that he did not get the opportunity to understand his work. so while processing his FnF, you should terminate him as per the terms of the contract. invoke the termination with notice pay contract, if there is one in his appointment letter, pay him his notice period sum and let him go. this would be rightful for him as you yourself must have promised the same in the appointment letter, and he could take legal action if you do not issue the same. remember this is a person and not some electrical equipment that you can have for demo and then return if you don't like. for every days work and whatever extra you have promised, you have to pay.
but you have mentioned that he wants payment only for those 20 days, issue a check and his termination letter to him immediately and issue the same to him only after obtaining a signed copy from him and an acknowledgement that no dues are pending to him.
as mentioned by other seniors, the problem lies with the hiring itself. Numerous studies have shown that unstructured interviews are the worst indicators of an employees performance, yet companies in their infinite wisdom choose to rely on thm for leadership positions, with disastrous consequences. it would be better that for these positions you conduct structured, competency based interviews, and assessment centres would be even better. you can get to know the various techniques one can use in this article. its not academic but it does a good job of explaining all the techniques with proper background.
https://www.wired.com/2015/04/hire-like-google/
14th July 2017 From India, Hyderabad
Sylvia 180

1. Your post raises few questions to be answered by you;

a. Regarding exit clause in the appointment order, what the clause says?
b. How was the exit communicated and who communicated it? How was the exit implemented in this case?
c. During induction, was he properly apprised of the HR policies of the company including exit policy?
d. After joining was he clearly communicated as to what is expected of him and how?
e. In case of termination, the payment should be made along with termination order otherwise the termination becomes
illegal.
f. Was he given feed back for aligning with the organizational expectation & process?

2. Since you have terminated him from a senior position, why you want him back in the office, complete his clearance formalities and do his full & final settlement and send him the cheque of the amount payable.

3. In India many companies have policy of not allowing ex employees in the Company.

Warm regards

Bharat Gera
HR Consultant
16th July 2017 From India, Thane
Hi,

So many suggestion above. My question, why you or your company want to stretch the matter. Release the dues pending for 20 days and get rid of this. As per industrial disputes, all termination need to be paid the pending amount on the same day of termination otherwise the termination stands void. Although this employee was a technical head but that merely do not keep him out of raising industrial dispute or approaching labour office. Designation alone cannot restrain someone from not being entertained under the classification of workmen until the roles and responsibilities with authorities are not defined in written.

I suggest you to pay him immediately, rework on recruitment process as suggest by above mentors and also work on documentation structure like terms and condition of employment, JD, KRA, KPI etc and get everything signed to avoid any trouble in future. Also try to minimize such issues as much as possible as dealing is not an issue however such things leads to bad image of the company in general and good employees give a double think before joining.
16th July 2017 From India, New Delhi
bcarya 156
Dear Sylvia,

Mr. Dinesh and Bharat has well pointed the points which are very important if an organization is going to terminate the services of an employee.

Second thing, any one can put a Legal Notice, no one has control on it. The main thing is to be complied in terms of your appointment terms and be in fair practice.

As at the time of termination, he should be handed over the settlement too, but your company didn't followed that.
So, just prepare the full and final account settlement considering appointment terms, office properties with him, if any, etc. and whatever payable / recoverable comes out, just send him through speed-post with due covering letter.
16th July 2017 From India, Delhi
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