Tech Mahindra Layoffs : the latest Gambit by HR and How it Fails

This entry is part of 9 in the series Tech Mahindra Layoff

In the previous article, we mentioned that Tech Mahindra follow unique process for doing layoffs. Now we will describe the latest layoff Gambit of Tech Mahindra. As we mentioned earlier, even as Tech Mahindra told media that they are hiring and they “will continue to focus on re-skilling and right skilling our employees”, they did not stop the illegal layoff process.

Cat and Mouse game

They play cat and mouse game to make employee resign by harassing them in various forms

They play cat and mouse game to make employee resign by harassing them in various forms. As NDLF created awareness among affected employees about legal procedures, many employees refused to resign when faced with HR threats. So as an experimental basis, HR blocked access of a few employees and orally mentioned that they are terminated from the company. With that they expected the employees to run back to them and sign their resignation papers.

But the employees are more aware and has the backing of the union. We have educated employees of Tech Mahindra to file grievance petition under section 2A of Industrial Disputes Act in their respective regions. Almost 20+ employees filed petitions in their respective labour offices. They complained about harassment they faced from the company which is a threat to their employment and about their fear of imminent job loss. Internally, they resisted pressure to resign even as they get frequent calls from HR team for signing the bond.

As many employee resisted forced resignation, HR became more desperate. They tried their experiment mode in different manner and cat and mouse game became more interesting.  In the last 2 days they sent a generic system generated email mail to some of the employees about things to be followed for their last working day, as if the employee had already submitted their resignation. The email also mentions that after completing the exit formalities, the employee can download their “Resignation Acceptance letter’ (RAL) from the PACE (HR) system.

The employees reacted strongly to this and send emails to their managers and respective HR managers that they have not resigned from the company, and how come they receive such mails for separation process formalities. They strongly objected to this communication and challenged that this looks like a criminal forgery. They also warned that if someone is generating resignation on behalf of the employee, serious legal action will be taken.

This message was copied to the top management also.

The HR and management panicked and they sent a termination letter to the concerned employee.

  • They tried to create a trigger for the separation process after the separation process is initiated, which is a major blunder.
  • Even without that in HCL vs Ramesha case it is clearly ruled that termination without following proper procedure is illegal and the employee will be reinstated with full back pay.
  • Thirdly, the grievance petition filed by the employee is pending with the labour department and the company can not alter any employment terms without prior permission from the labour department (under section 33 of the Industrial Disputes Act).

The company violated all these legal provision and issued an arbitrary termination letter.  We have not seen any company terminating employees by giving termination letter with quoted reason as redundant. It is surprising how a company can throw all legal parameters in air and terminate employees like this. Many HR and legal experts have clearly stated the procedure to be followed in case of  retrenchment/termination of employees.

Some highlights

  1. A ‘workman’, as per the statute, is any person employed in an industry to do any manual, unskilled, skilled, technical, operational, clerical or supervisory work for hire or reward.
  2. The ID Act provides that a workman who has been in continuous service for at least one year can be retrenched only if the workman has been given at least one month’s notice in writing indicating the reasons for retrenchment, or payment of wages in lieu thereof. In addition, the workman is entitled to receiving retrenchment compensation (severance) equivalent to 15 days’ average pay for every completed year of continuous service or any part thereof in excess of six months.
  3. The ID Act requires an employer to follow the last-in-first-out sequence while retrenching employment. Accordingly, the employer is to retrench the workman who was the last person to be employed in that category.
  4. The ID Act obligates an employer to allow an opportunity to the retrenched workmen to offer themselves for re-employment and such retrenched workmen who apply for re-employment are to be given preference over others.
  5. Employers are also required to notify the labour authorities about the retrenchment, in the prescribed manner and within the prescribed timeline.
  6. In addition to these provisions, the employment termination provisions under the state-specific statutes applicable to shops and establishments, standing orders, the employment contract and HR policies also need to be complied with. In case of a conflict, the provision that is more favourable to the employee would need to be adhered to.

It is really surprising to see that Tech Mahindra did not follow any legal procedure before issuing a termination letter to the employee.

We advised the affected employee to send mail to Tech Mahindra quoting that they have filed 2A petition under Industrial Disputes  Act in the labour office and will approach Labour Commissioner requesting for an order of reinstatement.

Today these employees got call from senior HR managers. As last year, they make junior HRs as scape goats mentioning that the top management did not know about the forced resignations and termination threats. They accept that termination is not legal and they apologized for this act from junior HR officer. We are closely monitoring the situation and helping affected employees to face the tough situation

Last year Anand Mahindra put the blame to junior HR officer and now the same things are repeating again. Here the mouse is running to save their lives and definitely that’s the right of mouse to protect its life. Tech Mahindra should consider various aspects in affected employee shoes and explore options of increasing their revenue by other ways instead of sacking poor employees who worked for the company with their heart and soul.

IT employees demand to be treated with professional dignity. Joining together in NDLF IT Employees Wing will make the companies respect the law and respect their employees.

– Senior Tech Mahindra Employee

Series NavigationTech Mahindra Layoff Plan : Senior Employee Prepares to Fight! >>

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    • SeniorTech Mahindra Employee on July 4, 2018 at 5:28 pm
    • Reply

    The cartoon used in the article is perfectly suitable. In reality, mouse runs with fear to escape from death when cat try to attack. But in Tom and Jerry case, Jerry make fun of Tom. It does not afraid about Tom. In the same way, with help of NDLF, IT employees are getting all legal support and know how to protect from illegal layoffs. They face dirty politics from management and HRs in cool temper manner like Jerry facing Tom

    • Gary on July 5, 2018 at 12:03 am
    • Reply

    Very apt article .Raising voice is the need of the hour not for people who were dropped but even for ones left this time . we need to learn calling spade a spade.
    cheers to writer!

    • Engineer on October 10, 2018 at 4:03 pm
    • Reply

    Tech Mahindra does not follow any policy it is only concerned about profits and share holder value. The unbridled greed of management has created havoc in the life of employees. The engineers are paid less and made to do overtime without any benefit, the CEO draws 160+ crores per annum and the graduate engineer draws 18000 after deductions, he lives in a slum like condition in metros. Anyone raising his voice is threatened and thrown out. The top management completely understands the helplessness of an India engineer and is the best in exploiting the same!

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