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Respected Seniors and my dear colleagues
I will be very grateful to you if you can answer to certain queries with regard to holidays declared for religious festivals .I work for a medium/small sized IT firm as HR executive.Earlier we had only hindu staff in our office so we declared holiday on Holi,Diwali etc.Very recently we have recruited 3 people who are muslim.Now these people will require a leave during Muslim Festivals like Id Muharram etc .The managment is not willing to increase the total number of holidays declared.
There can be only one option that I can think of from my side that they can take a holiday during id or muharram and they can come and work on diwali to compensate the work but then again in that case one of the person from the management side has to come to office on that day
I am in a fix can you please suggest me an alternative for this ?
Thanks and Regards
Indrani Chakraborty

From India, Pune

In a factory situation, such substitution as you are thinking of may not be possible due to certain provisions of the Factories Act (particularly Sec. 51 omwards in that chapter).

In a shop & commercial establishment situation also this may be difficult. So what one can perhaps think of is to choose one of the following alternatives.

1) Change the mix of present set of paid holidays through discussions with affected employees. They should agree as we are a cosmopolitan society and we respect (or, should respect) different religions/beliefs, customs and be accommodative of all.

2) If this does not work out, declare each year a given number of holidays and rule that employees are free to utilise only the number of holidays they are entitled to. This way the establishment will remain open on all days (which is beneficial to the organization) and people will stay away on the days of their choice limited by their entitlement.

3) I hate to say this but till the issue is finally amicably resolved the new joinees (non-Hindus) may avail their religious holidays and make up the time by working extra hours on other work days (like two hours a day for example!)

But the situation needs a lot of tact. We cannot have in industry paid holidays carved out for each religion and in any case, 26th January, 1st May and 15th August are devoid of any connection with any religion! We have to promote sucha culture but only tactfully!



Februaru 4, 2008


From India, Pune
Dear Mr Samvedan
Thank you so much for your valuable suggestion .
I agree with you that it will be very unfair to ask the non hindu staff to work extra hours and compensate the leave that they have availed for Id or Muhurram.I am thinking that they might even turn down this proposal.
I think I have to request Management to reduce 1 holiday during Diwali and add it to Muharram or give atleast one extra holiday on id.
I guess this is going to be a very sensitive issue to handle,and I have time only till Friday to resolve or come up with a suggestion.Thank you for your support
Best Regards
Indrani Chakraborty

From India, Pune
hello indra
it will be good if u make the managment to follow the declared holidays by Union Govt. and intimate the same to all employees in the company. this will be good and u can avoid the conflict and resolve the issue.

From India, Hyderabad
Dear Mr Valbooj
Thank you so much for your valuable suggestion.As I have mentioned earlier on my post ours is a small organisation and hence holidays are not as per the rule book.We have declared 10holidays in total.Managment is not willing to give more than 10holidays,and that is the problem
Thank you very much for your support
Thanks and Regards
Indrtani Chakraborty

From India, Pune
Dear Ms Suri
Your reply definitely shows that you have worked for small companies in the past.Thank you for understanding my problem and thank you for your valuable suggestion.I will definitely try it out
Thanks and Regards
Indrani Chakraborty

From India, Pune
Dear Idrani
I worked in samll as well as in big companies. I have never ever seen anywhere holiday on musilm festivals. The reason may be behind to it was none of the management person was Muslim or very few may be one or two or may be less then five employees were muslims.
So, better option is instead for four festivals consider only one major festival of muslims in your holiday list and take out one least important festival of eaither sikhs or hindus.
There is as such no rule for considering or non-consideration of holidays in private organisations. It is all depends on the employee and employer.
Sangeeta Suri

From India, New Delhi
I suggest a practice which is followed by PSU's
1: National Holidays.-Enforceable by law (i.e. 26 Jan, 15 Aug and 2nd Oct)
2. Gazetted Holidays: Includes major festivals limited to 12 numbers. Decided by collective employee representative/ groups. The list may vary from unit to unit.
3. Restricted Holidays: Includes all minor festivals . List may reach up to 30 or more. Any employee is free to opt any two days out of the list. Leave Application/ Notice may be moved three days earlier.
Upon this pattern you can make two list of Notified and optional holidays. Employees will have option to choose from options.
Arvind Singh

From India, New Delhi
Hi Unusual Indu
How many people are there in muslim community? Are you declaring for Christmas? What are the other religions you have inside. Study all.
zIf it is predominantly Hindu. say 90% you may have no other optioon. We are not govt organisation to provide facilities for minority group. Suppose if you have say 20 to 30 percentage pouplkation as muslims, you wont be consulting us. You would have declared a holiday. If it is less, even Restricted Holiday will not help
Do you have other religions?? If so, then talk to your management and add one restricted holiday. That will be much better. My further recommendation depends on your statistics. How many people form other religions innyour organisation?

From India, Chennai
Hi Indrani
I guess you have got valuable suggestions from the forum members. In an organization, you have to cater to the needs and sentiments of all employees nd their customs. I think what u said in one of the post that reducing one day of a holiday which you feel can be done and adding the required holiday wil serve the purpose. Also is their any casual leave days apart from these 10 holidays? If yes, people can utilize these leaves on the day they feel is important to them.
In my organization, there is 14 pre-decided holiday, 15 casual leaves and you can take a leave on your birthday too!!

From India, Delhi

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