HBJ
We have a small manufacturing unit with about 30 employees, including daily wage workers and technical/administrative staff
Can I terminate a technical staff member for non-performance? Being a small company we do not have any method of issuing a notice or official letter for poor performance so I don't have any records as such.

From India, Aurangabad
PROFESSIONALS AND BUSINESSES PARTICIPATING IN DISCUSSION
Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
HBJ
Manufacturing

Dinesh Divekar
7855

Dear HBJ,
On account of poor performance, you can terminate anyone, be it technical staff or otherwise. Nevertheless, the measures of performance should be communicated to the employee concerned well in advance and Key Result Areas (KRAs) derived from these measures also should be communicated. When I say "communicated", I do not mean to say telling them verbally but issuing a proper KRA sheet and obtaining their signature.
While terminating an employee, it should not be the on-spot termination. But you have to follow steps of progressive discipline.
Thanks,
Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
HBJ
Dear Mr.Dinesh,
Thank you for the input. Is there any government approved format for this? We being a small company do not have a separate HR department and hence this has to be done by the company management personally which is not so easy.

From India, Aurangabad
Dinesh Divekar
7855

Dear HBJ,

Recruitment of the employee as per the requirement of the job, assigning the measures of performance for the job, measurement of the performance and taking further corrective action on the under-performance are all the internal matters of the company. The government does not interfere with it. Yes, there are 'n' number of rulings by the various courts deciding legality or illegality of the termination. Nevertheless, the courts have looked into whether the principles of natural justice followed or not.

To solve the immediate problem at hand, I recommend you issuing a warning letter on poor performance. Give the employee some time to improve the performance. If the performance is not improved, give a show-cause notice. If the explanation is not satisfactory, you can terminate the employment.

Hereafter, communicate to all the employees what will be the performance cycle, what will be their deliverables, when the deliverables will be measured, how these will be measured, who will maintain the evidence of the output given by the employees and what will happen if the output is not given as per the requirement. With this first communication, the successive stage of the communication will become easy.

Thanks,

Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
HBJ
Dear Mr.Dinesh, Thank you for your valuable advice. I will try to implement this.
From India, Aurangabad
shobhit-kumar-mittal
50

Every termination, except by way of punishment, is treated to be "retrenchment" under Industrial Disputes Act 1947. If you terminate any workman by way of punishment, then, as per settled principles of law, he has to be provided opportunity of defence. Therefore, conducting a formal domestic enquiry is must for dismissing a workman.
- S.K. Mittal
9319956443

From India, Faridabad
HBJ
Dear Mr.Mittal, is an engineer or technical staff also considered as "workman"? So other than for punishment can an employee not be sacked? What is retrenchment? Is it termination due to poor performance or removal of last employed staff for lack of business?
From India, Aurangabad
Dinesh Divekar
7855

Dear HBJ,

For the termination on account of under-performance, you do not have to think too much. Such terminations are quite common. Issue the warning letter immediately and give the delinquent employee 1-2 months to improve. If the performance does not improve then issue the show cause notice.

Whatever may be the reply from the employee, sack him. However, while sacking, tell him to submit a letter of resignation. When you call him for the final meeting, tell him to keep his mobile away. Ensure that he does not record the conversation in any way. Such meetings should be personal and never do it on the telephone. In the letter of resignation, he should mention the actual reason for separation and also declare that he has not submitted this letter under duress. A simple handwritten letter is better than a typed one.

By the way, we have discussed statutory provisions for the termination of an under-performing employee. Nevertheless, a few questions arise from HR Management too. What is the length of service of the employee and since when the employee has been underperforming? If the employee has joined in the recent past then the case brings out the deficiencies in the recruitment practices of your company.

You are punishing an employee for poor performance, however, who will be responsible for the poor recruitment? What will be the cost of poor recruitment, who will be responsible for this cost and what will be the punishment for imposing this cost on the company? I ask these straightforward questions because a large number of times I have found that the burden of punishment is generally carried by the junior employees while the seniors go scot free.

Thanks,

Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
HBJ
Thank you everyone for the inputs
From India, Aurangabad
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