Suspended employee not to sign attendance daily to get subsistence allowance: Bombay HC

suspended employee not to sign attendance daily to get subsistence allowance

Bombay High Court in the case of  Hindustan Lever Employees Union and Hindustan Unilever Limited, has held that an employee is not required to mark his attendance daily during the suspension period to earn his subsistence allowance. He is entitled to receive the same during suspension as per Section 10A of the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946 without any condition imposed by the employer, requiring the employee to mark daily attendance at the workplace.

The court observed that the law doesn’t mandate any condition for getting subsistence allowance.  Therefore, the employer cannot insist on the suspended employee to come every day to the factory gate and mark his attendance.

The case was filed by the Hindustan Lever Employees Union against HUL. The company had previously required suspended employees to report daily to receive their subsistence allowance. The court’s ruling simplifies the process and removes a burden for employees facing disciplinary action.

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In this case, the company demanded that suspended workers report every day in order to be paid their subsistence allowance. This allowance is intended to support employees during their suspension time, when they are not getting their regular income, and is required by Section 10A of the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946.

The company’s claim was rejected by the court which held that there is no legal need of this kind to get the allowance. High Court  Judge Milind N. Jadhav referred to daily reporting for attendance as an “empty and meaningless formality,” questioning its purpose. Court pointed out that mandating daily reporting adds nothing beyond control when compared the circumstances to bail requirements.

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