Jayaa Shankar
I wish to present these cases for your review and opinion
Case 1: Emp CM - on probation, frequent absentee. Goes on leave due to illness, info telephonically conveyed to HR by the spouse. HR tries contacting CM and after much deliberation is able to speak to the 'CM'. On inquiry, the nature of ailment not conveyed, tentative return date also not informed. CM is informed that due to frequent absenteeism, emp might be terminated. To avoid a blotch in career, emp offers to resign but wants to be relieved immediately with notice period waived off , as emp cannot serve NP now due to illness but will do so after recovery, but return date cannot be predicted. on sympathetic grounds emp is relieved, NP waived, salary in lieu of NP also waived. After a few months, CM contacts HRD for relieving letter. HRD refuses since NP was not served by CM. CM places a veiled threat. In this situation: Should the company issue one, though NP not served? Should the company ask for a doctor's certificate showing the nature of ailment which disabled emp to serve NP?
Case 2: Emp PM - confirmed employee. tenders resignation. A few days later, while on NP goes on SL. HRD informs PM to report to work after recovery with a medical certificate and complete notice period. After 1.5 months, on not hearing from the employee, the company contacts PM asking the employee to report back to work with a medical certificate. The employee replies that the emp has relocated and cannot serve NP but wants a relieving letter. The HRD reverts saying that if PM cannot serve NP then PM has to pay salary in lieu. the employee is silent. HRD follows up with a reminder. PM reverts saying neither serving NP nor payment in lieu of NP is possible. But wants a relieving letter issued. What should the company do?
Case 3: Emp SG: Confirmed employee - Resigns on health grounds. The company offers to provide 3-6 months of leave on LOP, to recoup and revert. Reconsider the decision, on return if still want to resign, do so serve NP and move on. This way there would not be a break in the service record. HRD comes to understand that SG expects a 50% pay raise to set aside resignation. Incidentally, SG was given a 50% raise which was revised to 68% as requested by the emp just 3-4 months prior to this incident. HRD informed SG that the request would be reviewed, but needed time to execute it as the pay was increased only a few months earlier. After payday, SG abruptly abstained from work. On inquiry, the emp informs that it is not possible to report to work due to the severity of illness. and wants to get relieved immediately and initially expresses the wish to payoff NP. Later insists HRD issue relieving letter waiving NP, since emp's ailment is too severe to serve NP. HRD then requests for a medical certificate to show that SG is too ill to even serve an NP. SG reverts saying that the emp's family insisted that SG quits and takes rest due to emp's frail health which was not fit enough as per the family to serve NP. So the only option left is to pay in lieu of NP. HRD informs the emp accordingly. Now SG is silent. what should the company do?

From India, Chennai
Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer

Dinesh Divekar

Dear Jayaa Shankar,
The replies to the case study are as below:
Case 1: - For a probationer and too a person who is frequent absentee, one who plays tricks; why HR was so sympathetic is not understood. Secondly, case study is little contradictory with the general employment conditions. Generally, there is no notice period for probationers. Till the employee is confirmed, employee can quit employment with day's notice or employer can terminate the employment with just day's notice.
Secondly, if the HR showed sympathetic view then why HR did half job? What is the logic of accepting resignation, waiving of the notice period but withholding the relieving letter?

Case 2: - HR can order domestic enquiry for the abandonment of employment. If the misconduct during the enquiry is established, then management (not HR) may terminate the employment of the employee. HR may issue the relieving certificate with with remarks as "Services Terminated because of Abandonment of Employment".
When the due process of law is followed, employee cannot object for the issue of such certificate.

Case 3: - For the abandonment of the employment, domestic enquiry should be ordered. Employee can depose before the enquiry and explain his position. Depending on the tenability of the grounds provided for the absence from the duties, management may take action accordingly.
By the way, if the ailment of the employee was too severe, then why some HR personnel did not visit the hospital? Why nobody visited employees home? Personal visit always helps to assess the ground situation.

Final comments: - In the all the three situations, overall HR appears to be weak and not acquainted with the procedure of handling discipline. We do not know whether all the three situations happened in the same company or in different companies. Either way, by reading the case studies, it appears that the culture of the company is such that employees dictate the terms. While running administration, management must have whip hand. Those who break framework of discipline must be dealt sternly. It sends a message to one and all.
With this unwanted pliability or accommodativeness, companies can never grow. Such type of HRs doom their company, their personal career and bring bad reputation to the HR as a whole!

Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore

Thank you Mr.Dinesh
I fully accept your comments except in case number 1.
Now a days most of the appointment letters are having notice period mentioning minimum one month or 15 days or 7 days during the probation period. Based on this clause, HR may terminate the employee on completion of mentioned notice period as per the terms of appointment based on the finding facts or genuineness of the case.

From India, Hyderabad
Jayaa Shankar
Thanks, Mr. Dinesh
On review of your comments:
1. HRDs have some constraints in startups and private concerns
2. Only documents speak. That being the case if a report is produced by the employee, and even if the HRD knows it is untrue, still they cannot do much.
3. Most companies recruit in good faith, pay salaries correctly. Still, attrition seems to be a challenge

From India, Chennai

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