Dear Team, This is Ramananand working as an HR in a company. One of the salesperson who works remotely in another state has tendered his resignation saying he would serve the required notice period of 2 months. However, his behavior was rude and so the organization as a precautionary measure blocked his official mail Id and also took back the laptop since the organization felt he might misuse the asset. He would be serving the notice period which was agreed upon however now he is asking why the Email Id was blocked and laptop taken before the completion of the notice period.

Is it mandatory that the Official mail Id and laptop need to be with the employee till his LWD? The organization just wants him to follow up with the pending payments which might not require the laptop for communication. My other question is in case if he is not able to get any payments during his notice period then can the organization deduct any amount as such from his F&F. Please let me know what is the organization and the HR stand should be on this. It would be a great help.

From India, Chennai
Dear Ramananand,

You have written that "Is it mandatory that the Official mail Id and laptop needs to be with the employee till his LWD. The organization just want him to follow up with the pending payments which might not require the laptop for communication."

Reply: - Allotment of email and company's assets is at the discretion of the company's administration. Therefore, withdrawal of the allotment has no bearing on the separation of the employee or the notice period. These things need not be linked.

You have written that "My other question is incase if he is not able to get any payments during his notice period then can the organization deduct any amount as such from his F&F."

Reply: - To give a reply to your query, we need to understand the terms and conditions of employment mentioned in the appointment letter. Is there any clause in the appointment letter that says that the disbursement of the salary to the employee is linked to the account receivable? Have you mentioned clearly the percentage of deduction of the salary if the salesperson fails to recover the dues from the customer? If yes, then go ahead. Otherwise, it would be illegal to withhold salary because of his failure to recover the dues.

Immediate action needed to be taken: - These are as below:

a) You have blocked the official email ID of the salesperson. Therefore, he will be required to use his personal email ID per force to deal with the customers. This could create a doubt or confusion in the minds of the customers. Therefore, immediately create one more official ID with the gmail account. Let him operate through this account. Give him official intimation that he will have to use this account. Inform the same thing to the customers with whom he deals.

b) Give him a warning letter that he must complete recovery before his LWD. If he fails to do so then just issue him a show cause notice a week before the LWD. If the explanation is not satisfactory then order the domestic enquiry and issue him a letter stating that his resignation has been held in abeyance till the completion of enquiry. However, he can use the extended period owing to the enquiry for the recovery purposes. While intimating to him about the enquiry, write to him that pending the completion of the enquiry, disbursement of his salary is also held in abeyance. Of course, holding salary is illegal, however, this is just a ploy to give him more time for the recovery purposes. As far as enquiry is concerned, it can be conducted on Skype or Zoom etc. Let the Enquiry Officer (EO) spend a little time and declare that the enquiry has been adjourned. A fresh date will be declared later. This way, enquiry can be dragged on.

Hope the above idea works well.


Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
I am in total agreement with Mr.Dinesh so far as the blockade of e-mail ID and recovery of the company lap top from the employee serving notice period on the acceptance of his resignation. But, linking the pending dues to the company with his relief seems a bit far-fetched and not a good HR practice apart from the issue of its legality. Once the sales is effected subject to notice period of payment, a legal relationship of debtor and creditor is created between the company and the buyer. If the debtor fails in repayment, only the creditor has to initiate legal action for recovery of dues and cannot proceed against the employee who was authorised to effect the sale unless he exceeded his limits very particularly extending his already accepted notice period. What about payment for his extended notice period?
From India, Salem
Dear Sirs,
Thank you so much for such an indepth detail we actually do not want him to bad mouth existing customers and new ones thats the reason why his Id was blocked an the laptop taken. so that was correct thanks.
we are only planning to get the payment from the pending clients for next months of his notice. Even if he does not get the payments then also the management has decided to let him go (without deducting any salary for not getting the payment) since there is no clause in the offer letter on the same but the effort is definitely to push him to that and the management also is equally trying to speak to the client for recovery.
Once again thank you so much for all the advise.

From India, Chennai
From HRs perspective,I suggest try understanding such employees through exit interviews.
As I understand,that employee behaved rude,Why?
Yet Employee agreed to serve notice period, meaning he knows he has to serve notice period as its part of services agreement.
Employer closes his email id,takes back laptop.This shows that bond of trust is lost. A sensitive matter.
Employer wants him to do recovery of pending payments as because he has sold the companys product or services.
If this sales person,got forbids if died,would the company be able to ask for such recovery,?
Company must have its own channel to recover payments of clients and must have approprieate escalation system to deal with client and its communication.
I suggest, there should be strong policies to address such issues,
And proper procedure to recruit,train,induct and exit of employees.
"Employees leave bad bosses, bad management and not the organisation."

From India, Vadodara
Dear Sir,
Thank you so much for the inputs. The employee dint perform even a little bit from past 1.5 years. His supervisor was also equally complacent but the organization gave them lot of chance to pick up but they dint and now since the covid came and the pressure started building they felt its better to quit than take the pressure and perform. I also joined recently and this covid also started before I could put them on PIP and take it up accordingly.

From India, Chennai
Ram, above contributions to answer your questions very appreciated. But what's the enquiry for? I also do not think it is appropriate to surcharge customers default payments to the salary of the employee. I agree that the Company should find, if not having already legal means to recover outstanding debts from customers.
From Ghana, Accra
I totally agree with Umakanthan Sir.
From India, Chennai

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