Dear HR Professionals, One of the employees came out of the project and he is on the bench from 18th November 2021, also the employee is not capable to crack any interviews. So can we keep him on LOP till the next project is allocated? Is it legally permitted? Please advice
From India, Pune
Partner - Risk Management
Doctor Siva Global Hr

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Dear Colleague,
The question is intended to help some one it seems on which the spirit is really appreciable. But when comes to reality the fact remains that the Talent is already on Bench and he looks for job elsewhere but not able to clinch a deal. In this situation it is a dilemma in the minds of all HR what to do. Whether to support the Business or Talent. The LOP is a tool which one can use very discretely for very valid reasons with timebound upper limits. What we need to balance between the Organization's interest and also to safe guard Individual Talent is to have your own cut off time ( say 30days) before which he should be moved to:

- Any alternate project now going on
- Any other productive job deployment within the organization
- Give 30 days time for him to search for job elsewhere
- Or adhere to the Notice pay clause and conclude the employment and call him again if he is available when next suitable opening comes.

Keeping some one long on LOP is not at all advisable as factors like continuity of service, continuation of statutory benefits including gratuity service etc are the consequences. We can not keep an employee for long on LOP leave as his livelihood will also become a question mark. Hence take call judiciously smart

Take Care
Doctor Siva Global HR
Tamil Nadu

From India, Chennai

'Not able to crack interview'

I think the above statement indicates that you have not disclosed the information needed to be able to advice you properly.

I assume you are a body-shopping company. That means the employee must pass the interview to the client to be able to be added to a particular project team. Also you have not explained whether the employee is of a particular skill that is rare or he does not have the skills to do job in current requirements.

Legally, you can not force someone to be on LOP just because he is on bench. It is your responsibility as employer to pay the salary. LOP is a case where he is not coming to office (meaning you asked him to report of work but he didn't) and he does not have any accumulated leave. I do not think that is the case. So you are liable to pay his salary. If you do not have work for him, then you should terminate him following all procedure and let him go.

From India, Mumbai

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