Industrial Relations And Labour Laws
Dy. Manager (hr)

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Dear Sir,
We started operations and requested the contract labour to attend duty.
The communication was passed on to them through direct phone call as well as SMS.
As they are not attending the duty even after communication, after how many days of the communication the contractor can terminate the contractual employment?
Krishna Kumar

From India, Hyderabad
You may mark the days not present for work as absent. Since they are not your direct employees, you should not take any disciplinary action against the workers but ask the contractor not to send them to your plant but to send another set of workers. The communication should always be between you, the principal employer and he contractor and not directly by you to the labour.
From India, Kannur
Thank you very much Madhu sir.
From India, Hyderabad

Madhu Sir is absolutely correct. Prima Facie you will not have direct jurisdiction to impose disciplinary actions on contractual labour supplied by an independent contractor. But, please also refer Management of Visl vs Presiding Officer ILR 1994 KAR 1919. In this case the honorable court remarked

"In our opinion, there is no substance in that contention. If a master employs a servant and authorizes him to employ a number of persons to do a particular job and to guarantee their fidelity and efficiency for a cash consideration, the employees thus appointed by the servant would be equally with the employer, servants of the master. It is not always correct to say that persons appointed and liable to be dismissed by an independent contractor can in no circumstances be the employees of the third party. This would be clear from the following observations of Lord Esher, M.R., in the case of -'DONOVAN v. LAING, WHARTON, and DOWN CONSTRUCTION SYNDICATE, 1893-1 QB 629 at p. 632(B)"

So, if all conditions prescribed in this judgment are fulfiled you can also initiate disciplinary actions. In any case the termination has to be adjudged in the light of the Industrial Dispute Act, Factories Act, Standing Orders and Disaster Management Act (Including Notifications).

Read this Layoff and Termination of Employment during Covid-19 Pandemic – Part 1 (Financial Crisis), Layoff and Termination of Employment during Covid-19 Pandemic – Part 2 (Retrenchment under Industrial Dispute Act) and you can also go through these cases on Absenteeism Important Case Laws on Absence and Abandonment along with Summary

From India, Kolkata
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