CASE STUDY 1
Mr. A is a habitual absentee and remains absent without any intimation and proper sanction of leave. His absentee records show that he remained absent from his duties without proper sanction of leave for 96 days during the last one year. He was advised number of times to improve his attendance but despite verbal advises and assurance given to him, he has not shown any improvement in his attendance. Habitual absence on the part of an employee is major misconduct under Standing orders no. 22(iv) of the Company.
1. As an IR officer, what should you do to Mr. A?
2. Draft a charge sheet to be issued to Mr. A
3. Based on your reading, do you think the company can terminate Mr. A because of his habitual absence?
CASE STUDY 2
Mr. B has appointed as Machine Operator on probation for a period of 6 months. After completion of 6 month, the management took a test in which Mr. B could not qualify and his probation period was extended for another 6 months. Again a test was organized but again the employee could not qualify. Hence his services came to an end on the basis of conditions stipulated in appointment letter. Employee challenged the termination.
TERMS OF APPOINTMENT:
1. You are being appointed as Machine operator trainee for a period of 6 months provided that employer may in his discretion extend the period of training for giving his services as trainee for such further period not exceeding one year.
2. The employer may terminate this agreement at any time without prior notice.
3. The candidate shall diligently pursue the course of his training and abide the rules for time being in force relating to the conduct of training and pass the described test.
Based on the case, do you think the Mr B has a right to challenge his termination? Please justify your answer.
CASE STUDY A
Industrial relations officers must, before making a decision, consider the position of both conflicting parties. For the case of Mr. A, making decisive conclusions without hearing his side of the story would seem partisan. The correct action would be to consult him first and confirm whether they are rightly accused. If they are not, it may be necessary to institute assistive mechanisms. If Mr. B cannot explain his position based on credible facts, then he should be punished. However, the verbal warnings do not act as credible evidence in the event of a legal battle. Depending on the company policy, the management should consider collating sufficient evidence in line with the company policy to terminate his services.
Question 2: Charge Sheet
To MR. A.
Cc. The HOD (Department where Mr. A works)
Cc. The HOD (Human Resources)
ABC Company Limited
We have received a formal complaint against you that you were involved in misconduct by way of neglecting your duties and knowingly failing to present yourself at your work-station for 96 days. The above failure is misconduct that warrants termination.
Therefore, you are required to provide a written response within two working days, explaining why punitive action should not be taken against you if you believe that the charges made against you are not justified. In your response, please attach any formal documentation that proves your innocence.
Effective today, you have been suspended from duty until your matter is heard and determined by the disciplinary committee.
HR Relations Officer
Question 3: Termination
As mentioned before, termination requires sufficient grounds that Mr. A deliberately failed to report to work in all the cases. Suppose other serious issues could have prevented him from reporting to work. In that case, his suspension should be lifted, and he should be offered the necessary help to ensure that he resumes his productivity. This decision should be supported by credible evidence. Alternatively, if he does not provide sufficient supporting evidence, his services should be terminated. However, the company policy, the common law, statutory or constitutional law should also inform the decision. Suppose the company policy allows the termination but the constitution provides a legal hurdle. In that case, the constitution or any other higher judicial precedence should be observed and retain Mr. A at the workplace. According to the higher jurisdiction, the company must wait and keep a record until his mistakes reach the required threshold for termination.
CASE STUDY B
Mr. B can challenge the employer's decision, but it would be impossible for him to win. On several grounds, the employer has carefully covered themselves in the employment terms and conditions. For instance, the first term states that Mr. B should have understood the job and passed the test within six months, but he failed the test. Even after an additional six months, he still failed, and the terms state that the period cannot be extended for more than one year. Similarly, the second condition was that the employer could end the contract without informing the employee. It shows that the employer was humane in accommodating Mr. B after he failed in the first six months. The third condition states that the employee is supposed to work hard and deliver quality results, evidenced by passing the test after six months. Mr. B did not pass the test on both occasions, so he may not be competent enough. The decision by the employer is justified on all three grounds.