Gig Economy and HR Compliance

Gig Economy is on the rise with IT skills requiring professionals to work on project for shorter duration.  As reported by Livemint, the IT flexi staffing market in India, worth $3.04 billion in 2016-17, is expected to grow 14-16% annually to become a $5.3 billion industry by 2021, [Source: Indian Staffing Federation Report].

Most of the skills that are turning into jobs were not grouped as a job so far.  Tenured jobs are giving way to gigs.

As experts to the HR Compliance and Audit how would you manage this for an employer? The emerging skill groups do not have a clarity in terms of jobs. They are mostly work-based than designation or even salary-band based roles! Hence, which are the areas critical to Compliance that an employer must care for while hiring the Flexi-Employee?

Would the retirals be managed by the employee? If so, how ? How would the benefits be managed?

Join the discussion in here: Comply4HR

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?

join us for more on this => Comply4HR

Being an Entrepreneur

Have you ever build a company entirely on your own, right from the scratch ? Does your story includes restarting , yet carrying your strengths from one venture to another?

When you look back at your journey, do you too find the dots connecting? Yes, you have a long way to go and that’s what the dots are guiding you to?

How were you as a child and how did that shape you? Were you an extrovert or an introvert? Will, I guess I was an ambivert and still remain so! Did the small incidences from your life shape your behaviour, choices and your life?

Did your lows and highs have a similar story that can match many around you? If you have taken the road less travelled, did it feel different or obvious for you?

If you had to summarise in three points what would it be? For me, its

  1. Curiosity
  2. Being ever-amazed
  3. Hard work, of course !

I was honoured to have been invited by Sampath Iyengar, Chief Visibility Officer at The Indian Networker, talking about who I am, my journey as a professional and few lessons that I picked on the way.

It was great fun as Sam kept asking witty question I was least expecting, putting me to my wit’s end!

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Interestingly few areas of my life that probably even I ignored, came up while talking to Sam. I must add, loved reflecting, in such a witty and a joyous way!

Let me know if your story sounds similar ! I am waiting to hear that.

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+

What it takes to build an empowered community

Why were the communities built ? Did someone actually start the trend right in the beginning of time? Or were they formed because human beings are social by nature! We are driven by goals which often echo as a common goal, when like minds come together. A group of people doesn’t form a community till there is a common thread of thoughts, willingness and purpose, that binds them together. Tribes were formed for survival. But each tribe developed an unique culture through the practices, the group involved. In time, communities moved beyond every boundaries and semantics with the internet changing the game. Online portals were initially formed for interest , then moved to need , hence emerged the ‘Community of Product’ and ‘Community of Practices’. When millions of people joined in to contribute to a discussion, the term ‘Crowdsource’ lost itself to the value created. Contributions driven by the need to help others, even without an identity which became an order of the day. Offline communities had a purpose to serve with the members interacting through regular meet-ups. Corporates initially used communities to build loyal consumers but moved to social and green world, responding to the environmental changes. Are there any other pattern through which communities have evolved? Let’s find out what builds a community!

On 4th of March The Mentorprenuers organised Women Power 2nd Edition at IIT Bombay. I feel honoured to share that I was invited to moderate the panel on ‘Growth Hacking in Business: Building Empowered Community. The speakers to my panel were Revathi Roy, Founder DeeDee and Vira cabs, Riddhi Doshi Founder Lajja, Neha Kare Founder UniMO and Neha Aggarwal Community Outreach Baby Chakra.

It was interesting to note how these offline and online communities were formed and why. Revathi Roy shared, she loved to drive and felt the need of women drivers even when it was unheard of. Hence, her service started way back in 2007, making her a pioneer. She built the community of close knit drivers who came from the social background with little and bare minimum income. For her it was an ordeal to convince them and then train. However, looking back she holds a numero uno position with the largest numbers of trained and professional women drivers. She went through challenge when the policy on driving license was suddenly changed last year. But then, she used it to turn the tide for the best. She used the gold mine of the trained drivers to build Hey Didi or Deedee as it is called now. Here she offers last mile delivery with the same women drivers. She offered everyone a two-wheeler on a loan with no collaterals attached. The amount was deducted from their salaries. In case you are wondering why this service is important, well we have cases where the delivery boys were either attacked or attacked the lone living women! Here’s an advertisement to support the point on how such women drivers and last mile delivery by women is making the world safe!

 

Next we had Riddhi Doshi , sharing why she built Lajja. For her it was important women speak up about the sexual issues that are shunned. She built Lajja where women feel safe to speak up and have the experts to guide them. It was very brave of her, given the conservative background she had. But then, that became the driving force why she was determined to build a community where women finds a voice!

Neha Kare, founder UniMo had a similar story to share on why she built the community which includes both the online and the offline model. She felt the need for the community of Mothers who required a support system with their peers to remain intellectually and emotionally active. Motherhood often comes with women being drained of every attention towards themselves. Hence, Neha created this million strong group where Women come forward to find ‘Me-Time’ through activities such as Bappa-thon where they cleaned up the sea-beaches a day after the idols were immersed in water. Her activities are directed towards building a responsible system where Mothers can use their time to change the world.

Neha Aggarwal, shared Baby Chakra was built purely to provide a support to the Mothers who look up on the internet for every information , products and services for their babies. In today’s world with nuclear families growing by manifolds, the mothers rarely find anyone who can guide them with exact information, right when they need it! Hence the online portal with the live discussion forums and experts answering them remains the best solution.

Will Maternity Bill affect hiring women?

With barely two days to the Amendment to the Maternity Bill , we have raging debates in the media with Deccan Chronicle and Scoopwhoop raising the burning questions. Will this put a check on hiring women? Would taking six months off from the work, make a women talent irrelevant?

Canada and Norway offers 50 and 44 weeks as Maternity Benefit respectively. Did that stop the employers from hiring women? Census reveals that by 2014, women made up almost half (47%) of the entire Canadian workforce! Same for Norway, where the women workforce make upto 47% in public and 26% in private sector according to a study released in 2008! Since the number of jobs and talent entering the workforce have increased, can we expect a bigger number by now? But then these are countries other than India. So let’s take a look at what is going to challenge hiring Women in the workforce:

  1. It’s anybody’s guess that the employer would hesitate from hiring a woman in the child-bearing age because of the added cost.
  2. The needs of a six-month old baby would be only slightly less than a three-month old one.
  3. So suppose the man is getting at least half as many offs as the woman is getting, won’t the employer be less biased against women?

Here’s my question to the employers. If you choose not hire women to save on your six-months salary, will that help your attrition cost too? Given the fact that women, especially when they start a family looks for stability, hence are way more loyal to men who would job-hop at the drop of a hat, would that still make hiring women costly? As an employer does it makes sense to hire a competitive talent who won’t resign for the next few years, for the conducive environment that you are building? More importantly, doesn’t the men in the same firm remain productive just because their wives were taking care of the child at home? And somehow the employers hiring those women are readily bearing the cost!

Secondly, the needs of the baby cannot be categorised so broadly. We live in a world where there are nuclear families. Not every woman can hire a nanny or house help to take care of the baby as she is away. Compared to earlier days, the support-system is down to the parent who needs to meet every demand for raising a child. How does then it makes sense to narrow the timeline for an infant? Especially in a country where mall nutrition in babies does not remain specific to any economic group.

Finally, were men waiting for the bill to be passed so that they can wash off their hands from the responsibility of an infant-care? In a country where ‘Dads changing nappies because Moms need to attend a business meeting’ is a luxury to few, how much does this Bill change the behaviour?

Back in the days, where the IT Parks suddenly tightened the rules on women security, there were similar doubts raised towards hiring women. Did that stop the number of women in the workforce grow? Similar costs were calculated down to every dime with the increase in hiring security personnel and adding video cameras for round the clock surveillance. Every challenge brings in a new solution, such as rise in the number of women cab drivers since the Uber incident.

What fuelled the change where fears met solutions? Did we hear the rise in the telecommute way back in 90’s? Inspite of the adoption of this work design, the resistance remains as the companies can afford huge work spaces to accommodate every employee. FaceTime and cubicle will remain in vogue till we have socio-economic changes disrupting them.

The Bill clearly mentions the option for Telecommute. However, that is being ignored largely, as the adoption of such systems will take time to become a norm. In the view of emerging work format, how does the Bill look like in the future? Would it allow a women to plan her career and family in parallel? If a woman needs to remain out of workforce for a declared duration, does that allow her to be up-skilled and plan for greater responsibilities? It would call for sponsoring such growths within the company. Is n’t the woman who is taking a break for child care, a wife to a man who could remain productive to his employer, just because she was at home?

Cyclic unemployment is norm, thanks to the repeated business cycle changes that we have experienced. This goes same for men and women. Losing a job due to diminishing revenue or policy changes no longer stops a career. Even men have to up-skill, relocate and network to find a new job! Companies have openly acknowledge hiring talent out of workforce.

In case such measures are not enough to meet the employment required, we have Gig Economy offering interesting jobs to build a promising portfolio.

Every benefit offered turns into a hygiene factor even before we know. How soon would this 26 weeks turn into a norm with no one even discussing about them, we will wait to see!

If you have any HR Query or any query on Future of Work, please email me nabomita@nabomita.com . Looking forward to learn more while finding solutions for you.

Recommended reading: Maternity Benefit , Diversity  , We Are Equal , Future of Work

Why should your pay remain a secret?

‘Pay Secrecy’ one of the best kept secret by the HR , which the world comes to know otherwise!

We have tons of research to support how it adversely affects your performance when you get to know how much your undeserving co-worker is getting paid. Is that the only truth ?

Does secrecy breeds trust or transparency? Why as an employer would you want to hide when you have a policy for equal employment and promote equal pay? Is the information of how much an employee draws worth sharing openly within the company or even public domain? In the times of Glassdoor and Payscale, how secret is your pay to your employees?

We can understand the ugly situation of explaining every employee why one is paid more than other, inspite of in-equal education or experience is sticky. More importantly your view of weighing a potential may not remain equate how your employees measure them. But shouldn’t that remain self-explanatory in a result-driven world?

How did Whole Foods manage to make the information salaries open? That too since 1986? They managed to let every employee view how they are stacked up and not loose them? Or run into low-productivity? Why are the talent working in their company behaving differently and not raising a storm in a tea cup with their questions on entitlement ?

In India, Public Sector organisation have grades declared with the pay range. Talents joining such an organization have the exact information on how the hikes would work for them and their peers. Even the timeline to all such hikes remains declared.

When Buffer declared their salaries on the web the number of job applicants grew effortlessly. SumAll followed the lead, with the firm creating transparency within the 40 member team.

With Gig Economy growing through platforms that allow a talent to bid for the gig, how far does the pay remains a secret? When end-result is the only measure, shouldn’t pay remain obvious? If merit is the only edge, how difficult is it to explain potential?

If you have any HR Query or any query on Future of Work, please email me info@nabomita.com . Looking forward to learn more while finding solutions for you.

Recommended : Future of Work , If Bots are taking away your jobs should they pay your taxes too 

If Bots are taking away your jobs, should they be paying your taxes too?

Loved the blog post on TOI , adding a lighter note to the new age workforce or rather the absence of it!

Technology is weeding the repetitive tasks and activities that needs least human interventions out of the workforce. These tasks are delivered by bots. For example, the task of screening resumes with keywords are shortened by man hours using machine learning.

We already have Robot Lawyer being developed by Luminance ,  Xiao Nan a robot journalist and Sue the Artificial HR Assistant. The efficiency and the data analysis is essentially beyond human. Hence, the output remains desirable. 

Does this helps the revenue of a firm? Does this helps the remaining workforce? Would collectively add to the GDP? Well, that remains a distant dream, till we have data to support it.

More importantly, each time a repetitive falls out of a job , does it make space for delivering an intellectual one?  Of course we don’t have too many such job openings. Does this means we are calling for new jobs too ? As we are designing these bots are we designing a new workforce too?  Let’s not stretch this far into forming a new economy, or are we moving into one?

To conclude, if robots are taking away jobs, should they be paying taxes too? Or should we pay a convenience fees for using them? Or are we already paying that? 

If you have any HR Query or any query on Future of Work, please email me info@nabomita.com . Looking forward to learn more while finding solutions for you. 

Nabomita is the Founder to Nabomita.com. She is the 100 Women Achiever Awardee, awarded by Government of India , 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+