Deferred payment at Voonik: HR Compliance

Voonik , an online fashion brand has deferred the payments for its 200 employees by 3 months. As reported by Money Control, Voonik’s CEO and Co-Founder Sujayath Ali said those who will quit the company will get a month’s salary as the severance package. He added the company “is currently one or two months away from EBITDA (earnings before, interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation) profitability.

Subir Chatterjee, Compensation and Benefit Head says, ” Help me to understand this better. The founder deferred the salary to achieve EBIT? So far I know salary is part of operating expenses, don’t they have to book the salary as future liability? Operating Earning comes much before EBIT.”

Pratik Vaidya, MD Karma Management added, “Very few organisation understand the value of human capital & asset rather than treating as Operating expense. Audited Companies that defer salary and other incentive payables & sheepishly roll back in future when their employee leave”.

Subeer Bakshi, CHRO Bajaj Allianz reflects, “Agree that it’s going to be problematic, but it’s a well-intentioned alternative to lay-offs. That’s laudable, and I hope the employees buy in!”

What impact would this have on HR compliances to be maintained in the company. How would the EPF contribution, ESIC if any, other Retirals and tax deduction be managed by the employer in such a situation?

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Women as driver to growth in the age of driverless cars !

Where does women stand, in the age financial meltdowns, geo-political differences and AI? 1 robot out of 4 factory workers in Maruti. The numbers looks even more interesting in totality with 2400 robots at Manesarand 5000 facility. Are we still competing with men for jobs and seats at Premier Institutes? Where does this lands us especially when women have lesser access to education and finances?

India ranks 87th in Global Gender Report 2016 with highest participation of women in education and health sector. Does this set any target for us?  The report further showed that the highest level of penetration remains in the Education and Health sector with fewer women in Technology and Policy making !

With equal participation we can add upto 28 trillion by 2025 which is equal to a combination of US & China’s economy . So what do we need to build this equality ? What are the building blocks that can affect growth ? Law and order , financial independence and education?

These are few laws worldwide that instils sexism so deep that imagining equality remains light years away! When we restrict women legally how does it impact her participation socially rather financially?

 

World Economic Forum reports women remain unpaid for 50% of her productive time at work. How does this add up to her pay?

Global gender index shows Iceland, Finland and Norway tops the chart and not the leading economies! Why is it so? Is it the access to education and policies at work that makes it happen? Few days back when Maternity Benefit act was amended in India, we had people worrying about women no longer being hired. Norway offers 44 weeks of maternity leave. No wonder they have 47% of women participation in Public sector and 26% in the private sector! When we have family friendly policies at work, we are no longer forcing a women to choose between family and work

This tweet sums up the support , policies, access to education and finances that we need! Here we have an young woman as a pilot to Air India taking the same official commute with her mother who works as an air hostess! This organisation isn’t a nimble-foot startup. It is not a super funded private company with loads of money to spend. Yet, that’s how strongly they have been balancing diversity.

40 economies that participated in Global Entrepreneurship monitor reports women Entrepreneurship rate rose by 13% whereas it was 5% for males. However in India , the perceived opportunity for women is 41% compared to their male counterparts. Anusha, who celebrated her 25th Birthday recently pitched her second startup to me. And she is not in Bangalore or Mumbai but in Vishakhapatnam. Her first startup is running successfully in association with Andhra Pradesh Government. According Deloitte report, Millennial women are bridging the gender pay gap. Are we planning anything to bridge the financial gap for the ageing women workforce too?

Where does the empowerment needs to happen? Anuja Shukla, head of Google for entrepreneur runs a project on her on own where she gets girls from age 8-15 to code. Revathy Roy , founder Hey Didi , formerly Vira Cabs, have trained more than 10000 women from socially backward classes to drive. She created employment for them through her startup. She empowered them to own their vehicles and earn out it, offering loans from banks with no collateral. Urvashi Neogi runs her profitable Event Management firm, Biz Integration with her Geographically based team. She doesn’t need a 9-to-5 at an office with face time from her team members.

Here’s a research by Adobe on Future of Work which says, future lies in collaboration and diversity of skills. So what does this imply? In the age where commitment to the work and the speed of delivery remain the only measure at work, do we still need the archaical work design? Would the jobs of tomorrow offer women more potential to deliver? Will the organisations of tomorrow have the bandwidth to build the leaders of tomorrow irrespective of gender?

If you have any HR Query or any query on Future of Work, Employee Engagement, Talent management, Women Empowerment, Retention or Business Strategy please write to me in here. Looking forward to learn more while finding solutions for you. This have been re-blogged from nabomita.com

Nabomita is the Founder to Nabomita.com. She is the Top 100 Women Achiever Awardee, awarded by Government of India , TEDx Speaker, Quoted on ForbesUS, one of the Top 20 HR Influencer in Social Media as declared by SHRM India and one among the Top 100 Technology Influencer in India. Connect with her on @nabomita_smiles , Facebook Page and Google+

How would you deal with Substance Abuse by your Co-Founder

I run a small, IT Firm, rather a startup. We do not have an official HR department. Just me and one other person in the office. I hired a friend of mine about a year ago. I know this was a bad idea. Things have been going fine until she relapsed. This was first time in 2 years, she had been on the up and up. She almost died from a heroine overdose, and they were able to bring her back. My question is, what do I do. Obviously we are a drug free work place. To be honest she didn’t tell her boss about the overdose, but the friend in me, she had known for over a decade. Plus, would this fall under the Substance abuse at work? I don’t want to make her life harder than it needs to be, but I also know that I have a duty to my clients. So confused!

First and foremost kudos to you for taking care of the person involved and getting her the right kind of medical support. Please ensure she gets every care and counselling that she may need to claim her strength back .

How much of a work have you allocated to her? Is that crucial ? Would you be able to manage it on your own ? Would it be possible to train someone to manage her area of work till she is recuperating?

Please mitigate every risk at work and ensure you leave no thread open. Do calculate the cost you may have to incur during this. The more you prepare meticulously, the better you would be able to deal with it.

Now let’s focus on the issue at your startup. It needs an HR Department as early as possible. Please hire an HR consultant and design a Code of Conduct along with every policy manual. Clearly define every defect and its repercussions. Point out the steps to be followed in case there is any non-adherence. Please maintain a zero tolerance to every non-adherence. It doesn’t need you a big team to put Code of Conduct in place. You can start framing it, even if you continue to remain a small startup. Please include guidelines such as the one mentioned in here!

“To work effectively, all of us need a healthy and safe work environment. All forms of substance abuse as well as the use or distribution of drugs and alcohol while at work is prohibited. Unless required as part of your role (for instance for security personnel where deemed necessary), possession and / or use of weapons / firearms or ammunition while on business of the Company is prohibited. All of us should be safe at our place of work. Should you observe any unsafe situations at work, please reach out to the Helpline. “

You work with clients who might be trusting you now, but can ask for an audit at any point of time. Hence, tie up with any back ground verification firm and get every detail checked and validated, including Police and Medical clearance. The more you keep yourself closer to the rules, the better you will sleep at night!

As for your friend, please let her regain strength and wait till she is free of every substance abuse. Please remember it is not about you or your company, but she and her entire career. If you have been her friend for a decade, you are the best person to help her out. In case she is ready for a rehab, please consider one. Every addiction have a treatment. Please consider signing her up for one. Explain a strict action now will save her life. I am sure, you are the best judge on how to convince her. Wish you all the best!

If you have any HR Query or any query on Future of Work, please write to me in here. Looking forward to learn more while finding solutions for you.

Nabomita is the Founder to Nabomita.com. She is the Top 100 Women Achiever Awardee, awarded by Government of India , TEDx Speaker, Quoted on ForbesUS, one of the Top 20 HR Influencer in Social Media as declared by SHRM India and one among the Top 100 Technology Influencer in India. Connect with her on @nabomita_smiles , Facebook Page and Google+

Maternity Bill Act Amendment 2017

On 28th March 2017, The Maternity Bill received an assent from the Honourable President of India. As published on Gazette of India, the two paged document shares every changes . Such as Substituting Twelve Weeks not more than six with twenty six weeks not more than eight weeks.

Terms such as ‘commissioning mother’ have been included which means biological mother who uses her egg to create an embryo implanting in any other woman.

The document clearly states that a woman who legally adopts a child below the age of three months, shall be entitled for a Maternity Benefit for a period of twelve weeks, from the date the child is adopted to the adopting mother or the commissioning mother as the case may be.

In case the nature of work assigned to the woman is such of a nature, that she may work from home, the employer may allow her to do so after availing the Maternity Benefit for such period on such conditions as the employer and the woman may mutually agree.

The Section 11 in the Principal Act, now have cleared instruction on the creche facility at the office.

11A. (1) Every establishment having fifty or more employees, shall have facility of creche within such a distance as may be prescribed, either separately or along with common facilities:

Provided that the employer shall allow four visits a day to the creche by the woman, which shall also include the interval for rest allowed to her.

Read the complete Amendment in here

Long live Mrs. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi who brought this landmark change.

Kudos to her leadership to Ministry of Women and Child Development. As the nation wakes up to a bright new day, a great era for working women dawns in India.

If you have any HR Query or any query on Future of Work, please write to me in here. Looking forward to learn more while finding solutions for you. This have been re-blogged from nabomita.com

Nabomita is the Founder to Nabomita.com. She is the Top 100 Women Achiever Awardee, awarded by Government of India , TEDx Speaker, Quoted on ForbesUS, one of the Top 20 HR Influencer in Social Media as declared by SHRM India and one among the Top 100 Technology Influencer in India. Connect with her on @nabomita_smiles , Facebook Page and Google+

Yes, a Minister like that !

In the times where policies are redefined and processes audited , what brings the perfect affirmation to this changing world? A Minister who is just a tweet away? Yes, we trust the Judiciary and Police with all our hearts. But then the involvement of the highest authorities in the country sends the best reassurances to the survivors.

The process for complaining and dealing with a sexual harassment at work can often do more harm if not dealt with sensitivity and speed. Predators would continue to survive, till they are taught the biggest lesson. Each and every corrective actions initiated on them sends the strongest message to other predators. Every purposeful response to the complainant, build the morale for them. There is no news for the survivors than a justice served!

Yesterday Mrs. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi tweeted this:

Thankyou Minister for changing the rules of the game! You are building the new world that we have been dreaming for long. A world where even the vulnerable can remain fearless. More power to you !

If you have any HR Query or any query on Future of Work, please write to me in here. Looking forward to learn more while finding solutions for you.

Nabomita is the Founder to Nabomita.com. She is the Top 100 Women Achiever Awardee, awarded by Government of India , TEDx Speaker, Quoted on ForbesUS, one of the Top 20 HR Influencer in Social Media as declared by SHRM India and one among the Top 100 Technology Influencer in India. Connect with her on @nabomita_smiles , Facebook Page and Google+

Recommended reading: Engaging Gender , This fever is beyond Viral , Diversity

Engaging gender equality for organisational success

On 18th March 2017 , Global Workforce Management organised HR Roundtable at SP Jain Global School of Management on ‘Engaging gender equality for organisational success’. The event was graced with HR Leaders from top firms, addressing the burning questions.

The discussion was divided into two panels with ‘Engaging Men to drive Diversity’ and ‘Putting women on the driver’s seat’. Interestingly, the focus was not just into framing women friendly workplace policies but also creating a safe conducive environment for them to work. In the wake of incidents such as Uber and The Viral Fever, deeper questions arise beyond merely creating an ICC or PoSH Committee!

When we run the programs of hiring women in great numbers are we looking at it as an event or are we backing up with the supporting actions too? Such as a question was asked by Brillian Head of HR Times Centre for Learning to Anirudh Khekale , Group Director HR Emerson Process management India , where a huge number of women were recently hired, “What would be the workforce management plan when all these women take 6 months maternity leave?” Interestingly, Anirudh responded, “We have already accounted that, which is why we went ahead and hired them. Inclusion doesn’t stem from a policy but your constant Leadership through every situation.” For a large organisation, it could be easy to arrange different formats of work including Telecommute and a greater talent pool to re-distribute the work till the women workforce resumes office. For the smaller organisation, which wants to count this as a cost they can’t bear, the choice remains on finding a way out. An interesting point on this was raised by Surabhi Mittal, CHRO Lanxess , “What will such firms do when ‘Maternity leave‘ gets redefined to ‘Parental leaves’ and men start availing them too. Will they stop hiring men as well?” Nipa Modi, Director Secure your Credential, said ‘Right at the interview when we ask a woman if she is married, incase she is, if she planning for a baby, creates the inequality. In India it is still legal to ask such questions. Hence we instil fear in the minds of a potential talent long before we hire them!”

Anirudh Khekale , Group Director HR Emerson Process management India raised a question on what an individual can do to create a balanced environment? His question hits that right note at a point of time we are creating 33% reservation for women to ensure inclusivity. Are creating roles for women enough? Would designing policies keep women back? The diversity programs to increase the number of women in the organisation across the continuum is creating balance of power through balance of choices.

My question is how far would balance be created unless the basic safety isn’t restored? When we have cases like The Viral Fever, with the owner to the firm announcing he has the best of legal firms to his support, what is the message we are sending to the world at large? Is it the Predator who threatens the safety or is it the protection that he receives from the power centres supporting him? What will happen if a predator becomes as vulnerable as the survivor? What happens when his social clout is gone? We had few very brave men coming up to support and strengthen all those 50 women helping them to voice their ordeals. No matter how much we applaud these men, it will never be enough! It took them months to convince the women to speak up. When they had started the effort they never knew if it will ever, see the light of the day! Yet they continued. There is still not enough light at the end of the tunnel and no one knows how long will it take before the women finds justice! Most of these men will remain anonymous to support more such women out of such situations. Hence, they don’t stand to get any reward, let alone any recognition of their effort! Advocate Rizwan Siddiquee set the course right with lodging an FIR . All these men are sending one strong message, that there is help available if the women can reach out to them!

But is that enough? What exactly will bring in gender equality at workplaces? Will those programs on Diversity succeed, till safety is restored? What does it takes to let a woman in an organisation voice a concern without any fear that questions her livelihood or the stigma? Can we have enough employers who are ready to hire these talented women, in case they contest and lose their jobs? If we can provide continuity in employment will that strengthen more voices to speak up? When we deal with such complaints , can we ensure enough confidentiality in the processes? There would be no stigma, if we can learn to respect the strength these women show! Finally, can we have men shattering the Bro-code to strengthen these women? What does it take for the men in companies like Uber and TVF or men around any predator to speak up? Would covering up an indecent behaviour with a statement such as ‘Duniya hain, hota hain” [it’s normal for such things to happen] look good, when it hits the news paper? No lies remain hidden for long, no crime unknown. Today, a news no longer needs a media house, to shake up the world. What trends of the social media hits the headline like a wildfire. Exposing misdeeds breed trust. Once a complaint hits the headline, it leaves no room to hide. If a bunch of anonymous men can bring in such a big difference for Uber and TVF, shouldn’t the power centres around the predator find it easy? Real inclusivity is when men show up to foster and safeguard diversity!

If you have any HR Query or any query on Future of Work, please contact me . Looking forward to learn more while finding solutions for you. This have been re-blogged with permission from CSR India where it was originally published, with me as its Guest Author.

Nabomita is the Founder to Nabomita.com. She is the Top 100 Women Achiever Awardee, awarded by Government of India , TEDx Speaker, Quoted on ForbesUS, one of the Top 20 HR Influencer in Social Media as declared by SHRM India and one among the Top 100 Technology Influencer in India. Connect with her on @nabomita_smiles , Facebook Page and Google+

Managing Exit: Withdrawing a verbal resignation

“I own a midsize company and today I had a senior staff member resign to me as soon as he came in. I accepted his resignation and asked him to hold tight as I gathered my thoughts on next steps. 2 hours later he said he was withdrawing his resignation.

Can I accept his verbal resignation? I don’t want to keep him around any more as he explained to me that it was time for him to move on and that he felt it was time for a change. 

I think something happened to his other opportunity and is trying to backtrack. I’m certain he will keep looking for another job anyway.”

What would you do if you were caught up in a similar situation? It’s easy to decide an yes or no , but let’s look into the process , before you decide.

A resignation requires the submission in writing. It needs to be clearly stated why the resignation have been tendered. The employer needs to then start processing the conversation. First of all, as soon as you receive a resignation, please issue a letter sharing the resignation have been received and it is under due consideration.

Then arrange for a detailed discussion with the resignee and your HR Team. You may or may not include the reporting manager depending on the request of the resignee. Often the employee submitting such a request has some grievances which needs to be heard in isolation. Incase the employee is fine, organise a meeting with the Reporting Manager and the HR Business Partner.

Understand in details, why the employee is resigning and how would the knowledge transfer happen. Make sure the duration for release, transfer or responsibilities and sharing of every information is agreed and signed off.

In case an employee doesn’t want to serve the Notice Period, please share the process. If as an employer you allow them to buy-out , please explain the calculation and the final number that the employee needs to pay.

Once the resignation process has moved to the acceptance stage by the employer, share if you have any implication on resignation withdrawal. Clearly state beyond which point can the resignation still be re-considered. Draw a timeline, such as if the Notice Period is 3 months long, define the period for re-consideration will lats till end of the first month.

Plan your talent accusation during the Notice Period. In case you can’t hire or the employee do not want to serve the notice period allocate the responsibility to a team member and initiate the Knowledge Transfer.

The Exit process on the final day needs to have every area signed off including handover or responsibilities, duties and any Office property assigned to the employee. Seal the process with Release Certificate.

Once you have a rock solid process in place, your employees would know there are little chances of diversions. This kind of an elaborate timeline would allow you to re-think your own decision on releasing the employee. You will be able to weigh every cost of a new hire to training your existing employee. Restructure is easy, when you are sure of the result you want to achieve.

Hence, every room for verbal back tracking will be avoided! Decide for yourself, if you want to release an employee who wanted to resign, or hold on to someone who has realised you are far better than his options? At the end of the day every employee would leave your firm, someday or the other. Its up to you to optimise the talent and the time you have with them!

Recommended: Why should your pay remain secret , Future of work , Open Door