Theory of Notional Extension of Employment may also call it as "Doctrine of Notional Extension" which is very important to understand the scope of theory while measuring the social welfare benefits and security in organizations. In such absence, it will lead to many legal consequences and unnecessary stress to HR & IR personals. Many provisions in India, have legally stipulated and also given some room to link the concept in case to case of Industries. Here below, I have tried to throw some light on the "Theory of Notional Extension of Employment".
Notional meaning is "theoretical, speculative, estimate and hypothetical" as per the dictionary and it's an imaginary thing causes due to lack of perfection or no evidence.
Generally, "Notional Extension of Employment" means a hypothetical or imaginary extended of the employment period of employees in certain circumstances for provisional benefits under various laws by employer.
Fundamental of Notional extension of employment rule -There are three main requirements of natural justice that must be met in every case are: adequate notice, fair hearing and no bias or precedents. The Workmen's Compensation Act,1923 enacted during administration of British rule in India and post-independence, it's pre-viewed in their point of view and referred many precedents while dealing such or similar cases.
Here, the application of said theory in The Employees Compensation Act, 1923, The Employees State Insurance Act, 1948 and The Sexual harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 is elaborated.
Under The Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923
As per The Employees Compensation Act, 1923 under Section 3, Employer's liability for compensation.- (1) If personal injury is caused to a *[employee] by accident arising out of and in the course of his employment, his employer shall be liable to pay compensation in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter.
In the said provision, law is silent that any injury or accident during travel hours between to reach workplace & from workplace to his home, are accident arising out of and in the course of his employment or not. The Apex Court has given many clarifications and linked the basic connection of workplace to pronounce the judgements and below circumstances are applicable to link basic connection of workplace through this theory.
- Death by any physical injury or internal injury or diseases shall be eligible for compensation if it occurs during employment period in workplace, site, travelling on office trip, on duty or carrying any shipments. Internal injury - means any kind of decease or heart cardiac attach due to work stress or strain which should be proved by medically at least.
- If employee murdered while returning from Office to Workplace, he shall be eligible for compensation.
- If employee met with an accident & died, while going from Office to marketplace for personal intention, he shall not eligible for compensation under said act.
Case Study: In Saurashtra Salt Manufacturing Co. v. Bai Valu Raja, few workmen chosen the public transport (travelled in boat) to reach workplace and while returning to some of workmen were drowned which resulting in 7 cases for compensation also being filed under the Workmen's Compensation Act. The Commissioner for Workmen's Compensation found that the accident arose out of in the course of the employment of the workmen. The Appellant appealed in High Court of Saurashtra (Now Mumbai) and court dismissed the appeal after elaborate discussion. The Appellant party reached Supreme Court and apex court provide clear meaning of "arising out of and in the course of employment" and applied the "Doctrine of Notional Extension".
Seetaram Moger - Astt. Manager-HR & IR, Doosan Bobcat India, Dharwad (Kar.)