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

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+

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 

 

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.

What happens when an Open-door meeting goes wrong ?

“I was a top performer till I used the Open-Door. Things went nasty, so I had to resign. My managers didn’t accept my resignation and I was unethically pushed to sign Performance Development Plan. This was done to cover-up my resignation. I was then fired for non-performance. This have affected my career and my dignity. Please help me.”

Open-Door breathes life to organisations where frictions between the machinery can derail it .

However, what happens when the practise meets scared leaders who cannot face the sun ? Building trust with a capability of accepting every error no matter what ever goes wrong, isn’t every one’s cup of tea !

I have been on both the sees of the table, where I blew the whistle and then managed cases where the whistle was blown.

Take my words the risks are far greater than any gains for both the parties.

An Open-Door is inevitable, yet, I am yet to meet any leader who can walk into the the room and accept his or her faults.

Hence, I write from that premise. Expect almost no returns , since you raised the storm. I am still blacklisted and have a ‘No Hire’ in the company where I blew the whistle. Much like you, before it all happened, I too was a top performer and was given a hike and promotion in less than 6 months of my joining. No matter whatever they write and store in their records , I have their letter of appreciation with the salary hike and new designation to me.

Yes, you are on dot imagining they are going to affect your career. I too remained unemployable for a while.

Thankfully, my life didn’t end there , so did my career!

You have three options now. First is to fight just as Dinesh have mentioned, taking the labour court way. You are of course free to speak to the CHRO. But expect a little difference in the result, as his data is based on what your reporting managers had filed. Third is to spend equal amount of time to rebuild your career from ground up.

Your ex-employer can write all the nasty comments during your reference check. And you still have their very own appreciation letters to counter.

Please be open with your prospective employer while sharing facts. If you were a great performer for two good years , then suddenly you couldn’t have gone brain dead and lost it in next two months. These situations are way to easy to be read. Any hiring managers can see through. However, you confirming your part would help them arrive at a decision .

For a while take up a job with a tech firm who wouldn’t loose their sleep over what your ex-employer says. Look for startups. Talents like yours would be highly valued by them .

I too did that. I worked with smaller firms till the stigma no longer mattered for me . Today , you might find it hard to believe, but their own CHRO treats me respectfully! No this is not what we should seek or why we work. But then I guess talent and handwork, does prove its point !

Wish you all the best !