Hi HR members, We have a person (similar to office boy) who works for us on a requirement basis like visiting banks etc. We ask him to come for work as and when there is a requirement. We pay him monthly in the mode of cash 5-6 k (varies) based on the amount of work. There is no contract/engagement between this person and our organization. Is such a person considered or deemed an employee or he falls in any other category?
Appreciate it if someone can guide me on this.

From India, New Delhi
Labour Law & Hr Consultant
Management Consultancy
Nagarkar Vinayak L
Hr And Employee Relations Consultant

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Dear Shilpa,

Requirement is the basis for the engagement of the services of a person for hire. If we apply this analogy to all types of hiring, there would be no necessity for employment contracts and employment laws as well.

We have to approach the matter with a broader perspective and in terms of social justice. When the requirement is perennial in nature, the hiring process results in the phenomenon of employment with the inseparable ingredients of the employer, the employee and the contract of employment.

As long as you have an exclusive office for your business/industrial activity, the post of office boy or office assistant becomes an integral part of the office. Therefore, my suggestion would be to convert it into a regular post and appoint a suitable person under a contract of employment. Initially, you can go in for a fixed term contract basis and later regularise the post.

From India, Salem

Presuming that there is not enough workload for a full-time employee, I would suggest you to list out all the activities and their frequency in a month and then enter into a contract for service for fulfilling those tasks with a fixed amount per month. The present system is highly irregular and erratic, which could lead to legal complications later.
From India, Mumbai
Nagarkar Vinayak L

Dear madam,

The nature of requirements of work , irregular frequency and no fixed timings would make this arrangement more as work contracted out to outside agency/ person and may be interpreted to go out of the ambit of employment . His visit to office if at irregular intervals and at different times during the day, can be made to look for collecting work related documents/ material from the office.

I share view of KKR that it is better to reduce this in writing, spelling it out clearly the above elements of the requirements properly as the contract for service.

As long as this arrangement is not challenged or no dispute is raised by the concerned person for employment, you can carry on. In that event , it will be open for Authorities under the labour laws to decide whether it is the employment or otherwise.


Vinayak Nagarkar
HR and Employee Relations Consultant

From India, Mumbai

The person you hire falls under “casual workers”, it is normally used to refer to individuals who are called on to attend work on an “as and when required” basis.

It would be better to make a contract/ agreement with the person for his engagement as casual employee.

From India, Mumbai

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