Dear Seniors,

Need your urgent suggestion.

We have an employee working with us since 3 years. She gone on leave on 10th Sept without taking any permission nor giving any handover. On 17th Sept she mailed to me that she is 3 months pregnant and want one month more leave and what are the maternity benefits she is eligible for. Now we (after having discussion with her Manager & HR Head) mailed her to rejoin us within 1 week, come to the office regularly till 6 months and then from 7th month you can take the Maternity Leave. After that she isn't responding.

What should we do in such case?

Please guide.

From India, Pune
Dear Neha Joshi,

Pregnancy and abandonment of employment are two different issues. The former need not have bearing on the latter. Since the employee has stopped reporting for the duties, send her a show-cause notice on why disciplinary action should not be initiated on her unauthorised absence. If she cites a reason for her pregnancy, then send her a second letter to submit a certificate from the certified gynaecologist to prove that she is unable to attend her duties.

As of now, this is sufficient. Let us wait for her reply, and then further decisions can be taken.

By the way, how important is this employee? How was her performance? Does she have a unique skill set?

Thanks,

Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Dear Neha,
Discuss with your HR head and ask the concern manager of the employee to give a complaint of unauthorized absent and incomplete of work allotted in hard copy on dt.11.09.21. Send her a show-cause notice on why disciplinary action should not be initiated on her unauthorised absence from duty and work suffered, if she does not resume as per your earlier memo. Do not mention word pregnancy in your letter as the employee has made any application with proof of pregnancy. Your physical absence from the duty without information speaks abandonment of service at your own wish.

From India, Mumbai
Thank You Sir for your valuable guidance.
From India, Pune
Hello Neha,

The suggestions given by Seniors are absolutely right. Besides, has anyone visited her home (if she is in station) If so, being an HR, I suggest you to visit her home and see how her health is. Has she been advised complete rest by the doctor? Tell her in good faith what she needs to comply to avail Maternity benefit. Extend a friendly hand to solve this issue.

I feel this is necessary since she has worked with your company for a considerable period (3 years!) Of course, sending her official mail about unauthorized leave etc. will keep your stand (which is necessary too) However, be thoughtful and tactful how you go ahead with this case.

All the best!

From India, Pune

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