Asso.prof.(commerce & Management)
Nagarkar Vinayak L
Hr And Employee Relations Consultant
Management Consultancy

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this query is on behalf of my wife who works as an assistant designer with a fashion brand/label in Gurgaon, India which is very well mentioned on her appointment letter. Now past month her employer has deducted salary by quoting the reason as short timing as on 2-3 occasions she was either 1-2 hrs late to reach office or signed off 1-2 hrs early. Her work shift is 8hrs(11-7pm) per day & 6 days a week. Now as far as my knowledge goes salaried executives/admin executives or managers cannot be imposed with short timing pay cuts as cited earlier. If i am right , kindly provide with the legal references to prove it so that same could be put as a reference when she discusses it with her emoloyer.

Late attendance and leaving early, on rare occasions with due permission is always allowed in work places. But without permission, NO. When it becomes repeatedly, every month and in regular frequency will not be treated kindly. However, you should first study her Standing Order stipulation reg. not keepingup official timings and decide what to do and what not to do. I would suggest better try to keep up timings and if at all some permission is required, seek and avail. Maintenance of discipline is also our duty. Err on wrong side invites troubles.
From India, Bangalore
thanks for the reply, however the case of late attendance or leaving early has happened only 3 times in her total span of 6 months with the company & that too on the occassions like karva chauth, choti diwali & dushera & it was well informed to her employer. Her shift ends at 7pm & for the mentioned 3 occassions she left by 4.30pm. I believe a wage earner cannot be mixed with a salaried person as fomer is paid on an hourly basis & the latter is paid on periodic basis, & when put forward this point her employer said that his company is not a MNC & he frames his own policies at the workplace. But quite surprisingly when said that there shud be difference between a wage earning labour & salaried employee , his replied shockingly addressing workplace policies at the US whereas he doesn't care of general HR policies followed in India. Is there any way out to raise this issue of unfair practices & policies in small workplaces as mentioned earlier?

Now I understand the diff. I surmise and suspect that there should be some story behind this, some sort of tiff or personal misgivings. Better go to the root cause and find out what has happened. Is this position a permanent one or casual, does she borne on regular pay roll, covered in an union?
From India, Bangalore
You have very correctly put it, wage deduction for short attendance is applicable for those who are paid wages by the hour but is not applicable to the executive or managerial cadre who are paid salary. I recollect having relied on Bank of India vs TS Kelawala in which Supreme Court (1990) held that where the contract of service provides for salary to be paid on monthly basis then it cannot be further broken down to days and hours of attendance. The matter before the Supreme Court was on the justiciability of Bank deducting salary for the whole day against the strike by the executive category for the morning half of the day. Some observations therein could be helpful.
From India, Mumbai
Dear Colleague,
Legality apart, for professional employees this attitude of deducting wages is outright unjust. The professionals are paid monthly salary for giving results .To achieve targets they have to work extra hours for which they are not paid extra wages. Your wife must have done this.
Besides to allow better work- life balance , many organizations follow flexi work time policies.
In demanding professional work environment where pay for performance is the driving policy and not on number of hours put in , to subject professional to this anti- motivating wage deduction policy is highly objectionable.
Even after expressing dissatisfaction over this to your employer, adamancy is shown which shows insensitivity to people's legitimate expectations.
This is not the right place to work for a long time and your wife should switch to first available better career opportunity.
Vinayak Nagarkar
HR- Consultant

From India, Mumbai
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