Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Umakanthan53
Labour Law & Hr Consultant
Nagarkar Vinayak L
Hr And Employee Relations Consultant
Kritarth Consulting
Posh Programs; Hr Management Consultants
K C S Kutty
Labour Laws
+1 Other

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if a daily wager who is working in a institution since very long time say 10 years, is caught in some unlawful activity like theft etc, and he is proved guilty as per the inquiry conducted. What kind of disciplinary action can be initiated against such individual?
Dear member,
Principles of natural justice do not depend on the length of the service of type of employment like permanent employment, probationer or daily wager. If the appointed person was involved in misconduct and if in the enquiry he was found guilty then he deserves suitable punishment. You may go ahead and terminate his services also.
Thanks,
Dinesh Divekar

Dear Anonymous
Please clarify whether the said daily wager is on your rolls or on contractors rolls?
If he is on contractor's rolls, the contractor should contemplate the disciplinary proceedings and you should be out of the scene.
Shailesh Parikh
99 98 97 10 65
Vadodara

How can you keep someone for ten years as a daily wager. It is out right illegal as he is entitled for all benefits applicable to permanent employees. While disciplinary action for misconduct is right, the issue has to be seen from a compassionate angle on the mindset of someone denied justice for a decade with aspirations ignored.
Agree with Dinesh and Shailesh. Varghese Mathew
Dear Colleague,
My views are as follows:
1.It is valid point if he is contractor's worker, you should act behind the scene and all actions should be seen to be taken by the Contractor.
2. There is nothing legally wrong to have daily rated worker on roll for any length of time .( when you say daily wage earner it means daily rated worker who is either paid daily or monthly.)
3. Before commenting on the punishment, I presume that the whole process of conducting domestic enquiry/disciplinary action is done strictly in accordance with the principles of natural justice.
4. While deciding what is appropriate punishment, one must take into account the gravity of misconduct and past record. If the concerned worker has committed it for the first time and the theft is of minor nature then you may choose to award lesser punishment like suspension without wages.
If the theft proved is of serious nature and he has committed same or similar acts of misconducts in the past, then perhaps deserves dismissal.
But before passing final order of dismissal, please ensure to issue second show cause notice , legally well drafted, requiring him to explain why proposed action of dismissal should not be taken.
If his explanation is unacceptable, then proceed to pass the order signed by the punishing authority.
Regards,
Vinayak Nagarkar
HR- Consultant

The various views offered by the learned members based on the Principles of Natural Justice, the extent and authority of disciplinary control over a contract labour and the stigmatic practice of keeping a person on daily wages for a continuous stretch of 10 long years are fine and acceptable in tune with dispensation of justice against the person indulging in acts of criminal misconduct.
Though the observation of our learned friend Mr.Nagarkar started from yet another but a valid angle from the perspective of engagement of daily wagers, he also finally subscribed to the view of taking of a formal disciplinary action according to the PNJ. Only at this point, I beg to differ in general as the post itself is devoid of complete details. 10 years might be the over all stretch of engagement of the individual as a daily wager. The work on which he was employed could be incidental and intermittent and not one performed by any regular employee of the organization like that of loading and unloading of materials on their occasional arrival and despatch. Therefore, my view is that awarding the extreme punishment of dismissal for the alleged serious misconduct after subjecting such a casual labor particularly if engaged on and off depending on the exigencies of incidental works to a formal disciplinary action seems unwarranted and he can just be stopped by paying gratuity for the no. of years during which he had completed the qualifying minimum service or a criminal complaint could be filed against him with the Police.
If the enquiry mentioned to have been already conducted is just a discreet inquiry, the management may consider the above suggestion. If it is a formal enquiry as per the provisions of the Standing Orders, he can be dismissed forthwith simultaneously serving a notice u/s 4(6) of the Payment of Gratuity Act,1972 forfeiting his gratuity if any.

Dear Colleagues,
The query is about what is appropriate punishment for the allegedly proved misconduct of theft by the daily wager and not the propriety of keeping daily wager for ten long years in that capacity.
In awarding punishment, there are legal and ethical dimensions. Ethical dimensions may prompt someone to take lenient view and award lesser punishment than termination or even let the delinquent leave the company without any blemish and resign from the job. But that is management's prerogative.
Here the query appears to be to know what is legally right punishment for the allegedly proven act of theft and not about the nature of employment whether daily wager or temporary or permanent.
I offered my views confining largely to the query relating to punishment part only.
Regards,
Vinayak Nagarkar
HR-Consultant

I endorse the views expressed by Mr Vinayak Nagarkar and Mr Umakanthan.
For determining Qauntum of Punishment for An Act of Misconduct please be guided by
i) the Provisions of the Certified Standing Orders applicable to the said Worker OR
ii) the Provisions of the Codified Service Rules applicable to the said Worker and the
Punishshing Authority Need to Apply His/Her Mind keeping in consideration the Dictum of "Proportionate Punishment".
Once the Quantum is decided, please adhere to the Procedure involving
a) Issuing Proposed Punishment Letter;
b) SeekingRepresentation against the Proposed Punishment;
c) Considering the Representation, if any, submitted keeping Service Record in mind and
d) Awarding Punishment
Kritarth Team of
Specialists- Workplace Disciplinary Action & Procedures
---" Any Act Unworthy of Employment constitute An Act of Misconduct"---


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