Looking into misconduct by employee
Especially when you are at a high level in an organization, criticism can be devastating to an employee. I prefer to praise employees for what they're doing right, and it tends to lead to them doing more of the same. Not always, but it's the way I choose to bet'-Richard Branson
There are times when the employees are praised but there are times when due to their misconduct, other employees or even the organization has to suffer.
The Labour Act of Bangladesh has clearly defined what falls under the ambit of misconduct and what steps should be taken when such misconduct takes place.
If an employee is dismissed for misconduct and if his service is not less than one year, then the employee shall be paid by the employer compensation at the rate of 15 days wages for every completed year of service or gratuity, if any, whichever is higher.
Provided if an employee is dismissed for theft, fraud, dishonesty or for disorderly behaviour, fighting, setting fire or vandalism, then no compensation arises, but still, the employee shall be entitled to other lawful dues.
In order to dismiss an employee, the Organization needs to follow the procedure below stated-
(a) the organization shall direct the manager or any other authorized official to submit a report regarding the misconduct within 60 days through investigation forming an inquiry committee.
(b) the allegations against the employee are to be recorded in writing;
(c) the employee has to be given a copy thereof and not less than 7 day's time to explain;
(d) the employee has to be given an opportunity of being heard;
(e) an enquiry needs to be made before his dismissal;
(f) the employer or the manager approves of such order.
An employee charged for misconduct shall be suspended pending an enquiry into the charges against him and unless the matter is pending before any court, the period of such suspension ought not to exceed 60 days. During the period of such suspension, an employee shall be paid by his employer a subsistence allowance equivalent to half of his average wages. An order of such suspension shall have to be in writing and shall take effect immediately upon delivery to the employee.
In an enquiry, the accused employee may be assisted by any person nominated by him who is employed in the establishment. If in an enquiry, any oral evidence is given on behalf of any party, the party against whom the evidence is given may cross-examine the witness.
If on enquiry, an employee is found guilty and is punished for misconduct, he shall not be entitled to his wages for any period of suspension but shall be entitled to the subsistence allowance for such period.
If the charge against the employee is not proved in the enquiry, he shall be deemed to have been on duty for the period of suspension for enquiry, if any and shall be entitled to his wages for such period of suspension and the subsistence allowance shall be adjusted accordingly.
In cases of awarding punishment, a copy of the order of punishment shall be supplied to the employee concerned.
If an employee refuses to accept any notice, letter, charge-sheet, order or any other document addressed to him by the employer, it shall be deemed that such notice, letter, charge-sheet, order or the document has been delivered to him, if a copy of the same has been exhibited on the notice board and another copy has been sent to the address of the employee as available from the records of the employer, by registered post. In awarding punishment, the employer shall take into account the previous record of the employee concerned, the gravity of the misconduct, and any other that may exist.
These are the procedure the organisation must be in compliance with when it decides to dismiss any of its employees. If such procedure is not followed as mentioned above, the organization shall be at the risk of getting sued by the employee.
Barrister Sabrina Zarin is an advocate at the Supreme Court of Bangladesh and Partner at the FM Associates.