Precision tools - Discipline Case Study by gauravjindal

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									          WRITE UP – DISCIPLINE

Submitted to – Prof BR Patil




Submitted by:
Harkirt Kaur
Prabneeth Kaur
Swati Khurana
BACKGROUND OF THE CASE:

The case is set on the background of a machine tools manufacturing company named Precision tools.
Mr. D’Souza, appointed as an apprentice by the company, is the protagonist. Mr. D’Souza becomes a
permanent employee after one year of apprenticeship and within a span of 5 years he gets promoted to
the level of Charge Hand.

Mr. D’Souza soon becomes a popular and important figure in the factory. The problem arises when a
certain no. of operators and setters from his department are sent to the other department without
informing Mr.D’Souza and when quoting the clauses in his promotion letter, the management makes
him do the job of the operator on a regular basis. When Mr.D’Souza refuses to do the job of an
operator, a level of work, much below his present level of Charge Hand, the management alleges the
charges of insubordination against him and takes disciplinary action, which ultimately results in his
dismissal. After the domestic enquiry procedure gets over, the case gets referred to the labor court and
ends abruptly when the management goes for an out of the court settlement with Mr. D’Souza by
offering him a large amount of compensation.

QUESTIONS RAISED IN THE CASE:

     The case raises some questions concerning manpower utilization and deployment problems that
        figure in management of discipline. If you were to handle this case what would have been your
        approach and why?
     What was the hidden agenda of the management in charge sheeting Mr. D'Souza and ultimately
        dismissing him?
     Why the management went for a compromise with Mr. D'Souza by paying him a large
        compensation when the Government referred his case for adjudication by the labor court?
     What lessons do you derive from this case?

    All the above mentioned questions bring to fore some key aspects. The answers to these questions
    can be analyzed in the light of following issues brought forward by the case.
ASPECTS HIGHLIGHTED BY THE CASE:

THE INDUSTRIAL EMPLOYMENT – STANDING ORDERS ACT, 1946:

The Act requires employers in industrial establishments to formally define the conditions of
employment under them. It applies to every industrial establishment wherein one hundred or more
workers are employed on any day of the preceding 12 months. Once the Industrial Employment
(Standing Orders) Act becomes applicable to an establishment, it does not cease to apply on account of
a subsequent fall in the number of workers in the establishment. The Industrial Employment (Standing
Orders) Act, 1946 contains a general provision requiring employers in the establishment to define the
terms and conditions of employment under them and to make such terms and conditions known to the
workers employed by them, from the very beginning.

MEANING OF DISCIPLINE

The management has certain expectations from the employees in terms of standards of behavior and
performance, code of conduct, desirable actions/behavior that are made known to the employees
through formal/informal or written/verbal means. Failure to meet these expectations or deviations
from the laid down norms of behavior on the part of the employees, leads to problem of discipline.

     Discipline is the human activity to produce controlled performance, conformity to the norms
        laid or implied.
     It is the orderly conduct of affairs by the members of an organization who adhere to the
        necessary regulations on their own so as to realize the objectives of the group/organization.
     The function of discipline is to maintain order by setting limits of behavior for the employees or
        expecting them to behave in a particular manner.




The Webster’s dictionary defines discipline as:

               Training that develops self control, character, or orderliness and efficiency.
               A system of rules or methods as for the conduct of the members of an organization
               Acceptance or submission to authority and control, treatment that corrects or punishes.
MEANING OF MISCONDUCT

Misconduct is not defined either in the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, or the Industrial Employment
(Standing Orders) Act, 1946. The dictionary meaning of the word ‘misconduct’ is improper behavior,
intentional wrong doing, or deliberate violation of a rule of standard behavior. The Labor Appellate
Tribunal laid down certain criteria for determining whether an act would be an act of misconduct. An act
is considered misconduct if it:

       Is inconsistent with the fulfillment of the express and implied conditions of service; or
       Is directly linked with general relationship of employer and employee or
       Has a direct connection with the contentment or comfort of men at work; or
       Has a material bearing on the smooth and efficient working of the concern.



Clause 14(3) of the Model Standing Orders in Schedule -1 of the Industrial Employment (Standing
Orders) Act, 1946, lists acts and omissions as misconduct. An illustrative list of Misconducts:

     Willful insubordination or disobedience, whether alone or in combination with others, to any
        lawful and reasonable order of a suspension
     Theft, Fraud or Dishonesty in connection with the employer’s business or property
     Taking or giving bribes or any illegal gratification
     Habitual late attendance
     Habitual breach of any law applicable to establishment
     Riotous or disorderly behavior during working hours at the establishment or any subversive acts
     Frequent repetition of any act of omission for which a fine may be imposed to a maximum of
        two percent of the wages in a month




PRINCIPLE OF NAURAL JUSTICE

The employer has the right to take disciplinary action against the delinquent employee for the
misconduct but only according to the principles of natural justice- i.e. worker should be given an
opportunity to present his case. Therefore, a domestic enquiry should be held before the punishment is
awarded.
It means fair play in conducting domestic enquiry. The principle requires that no man should be
condemned or punished without giving him his opportunity to explain the circumstances against him. It
provides minimum protection of rights of the individual against any arbitrary procedure adopted or
decision arrived at by judicial or quasi-judicial bodies. The main principles of natural justice are:

              No Man shall be the judge in His Cause:
                 Under this rule, a person is disqualified to act as a judge if he is a part to the dispute or if
                 he has any interest whatsoever in the dispute or if he is interested in the result of
                 dispute and if he does not act according to his own judgment or if acts at the dictation
                 of others.


             Hear the Other Side:
                 The essence of this principle is that the person should be given a reasonable opportunity
                 for presenting his case and that that administrative authority should act fairly,
                 impartially and reasonably.


DOMESTIC ENQUIRY PROCEDURE

             ISSUE OF A CHARGE SHEET
                 If on the basis of preliminary enquiry or otherwise, the disciplinary authority is satisfied
                 That a prima-facie case exists and decides to take disciplinary action against the
                 employee concerned, the first thing to be done is to issue a charge-sheet to delinquent
                 employee. Charge-sheet is a memorandum of charges or allegations leveled against
                 the employee which are acts of misconduct as per the Conduct, Discipline and Appeal
                 Rules.
             CONSIDERATION OF EXPLANATION
                 The workman receiving the charge sheet may submit his explanation admitting the
                 charge and ask for leniency or he may submit his explanation refusing the charges or he
                 may apply for an extension of time for submitting his explanation. If he fails to submit
                 his explanation, the employer may follow further proceedings of enquiry.
             NOTICE OF ENQUIRY
                Proper and sufficient advance notice should be given indicating the date, time and
                venue of the enquiry and the name if enquiry officer, so that the worker can prepare his
                case.
             CONDUCT OF ENQUIRY
                The standing orders may provide as to who should be the enquiry officer, otherwise, an
                assistant manager, or administrative officer or labor officer may be nominated. There
                should be no personal bias; otherwise the principle of natural justice is violated.
             FINDINGS OF THE ENQUIRY OFFICER
                After taking into consideration, all the facts, the enquiry officer should decide whether
                the charges made against worker are valid. A good enquiry officer refrains from
                awarding punishment, he may recommend a punishment only if askedby the
                management.


             AWARDING OF PUNISHMENT
                Determining and awarding punishment is the management function. The punishment to
                be awarded should be as per the provisions made under standing orders and should
                take in to account the past record of the employee. The management should note that
                the gravity of misconduct and punishment should not be disproportionate.



INTERVENTION BY THE LABOUR COURTS/TRIBUNALS – SECTION 11 A OF
INDUSTRIAL DISPUTE ACT
“Where an industrial dispute relating to discharge or dismissal has been referred to labor court or
Tribunal or National Tribunal and if in the course of adjudication labor court is satisfied that discharge or
dismissal was not justified, it may set aside the order of discharge and direct the reinstatement of the
workmen and give other relief, including the award of any lesser punishment as the case may be.”

The objective behind this amendment is to enable labour courts and tribunals to interfere more
effectively in the cases of discharge or dismissal. However, the labour courts and tribunals can do so
only in the following circumstances:

       When there is a want of good faith
       When there is victimization or unfair labor practices
       Where management has been guilty of basic error or violation of a principle of natural justice
       Where the findings are baseless and perverse
POSITIVE DISCIPLINE – KEY TO CREATING A CONGENIAL WORK ENVIRONMENT
Positive discipline refers to the approach of creating an attitude or an organizational climate wherein
the employees willingly conform to the established rules and regulations. It is achieved when the
management applies the principle of positive motivation, when sound leadership is exercised by the
supervisors and when entire organization is managed efficiently. Positive discipline provides workers
with greater freedom of self expression. It promotes emotional satisfaction instead of emotional conflict
and results in coordination and cooperation with a minimum need for formal authority. It can be best
achieved when group objectives and procedures are well known and are basis for individual behavior. It
is often called as constructive discipline and it consists of that type of supervisory leadership that
develops a willing adherence to rules and regulations of the organization. The employees, both as
individuals and as a group, adhere to the desired standards of behaviour because they understand,
believe in, and support them.




        PRINCIPLES FUNDAMENTAL TO SUCCESS OF POSITIVE DISCIPLINE:

             The rule must be reasonable
             An employee must have a clear understanding of what is expected of him under the
              rules
             The company has a right to have a well disciplined work force.
             The company has the authority to administer discipline when the rules are violated.



RED HOT STOVE APPROACH OF ENFORCING DISCIPLINE
This rule proposed by Douglas Mc Gregor, draws an analogy between touching of a stove and
undergoing discipline.

    •   Burns immediately: If disciplinary action is to be taken, it must occur immediately so the
        individual will understand the reason for it.

    •   Provides warning: It is very important to provide advance warning that punishment will follow
        unacceptable behaviour.

    •   Gives consistent punishment: Disciplinary action should also be consistent in that everyone who
        performs the same act will be punished accordingly.

    •   Burns impersonally: Disciplinary action should be impersonal.
       IMPORTANCE OF SELF – GOVERNANCE
       Now days the modern organizations see the concept of self governance taking shape. The idea
       behind this concept is to inculcate a spirit of self discipline amongst the employees. The
       employees are able to govern their own behavior and maintain the standards of behavior and
       code of conduct on their own, without being forced or pressurized to do so. The established
       rules and regulations are respected by one and all in the organization and are observed by
       everyone both as an individual and as group. The onus of ensuring that the rules are followed is
       on the employees themselves as they take it upon themselves that the desired code of conduct
       is maintained through their actions, leading to creation of a congenial atmosphere and thereby
       fostering the spirit of self discipline.

       --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




SOURCES:

      Book on POSITTIVE DISCIPLINE- American Management Association
      Book on INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS – C.S. Venkata Ratnam
      http://books.google.co.in/books?id=o52fK81E9kQC&pg=PA16&lpg=PA16&dq=DISCIPLINARY+AC
       TION+PROCEDURE++TAKEN+AT+TATA+STEEL+FOR+WORKERS&source=bl&ots=v6roe5-
       g59&sig=QT_R-dR63zomGA6s4ThhqkHcwFE&hl=en&ei=Ka2fSqGlG835-
       AbAutnvDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4#v=onepage&q=&f=false
      http://www.dateyvs.com/labour_primer.htm
      http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/ViewContentServlet;jsessionid=FC357DAB8BFA690762
       411F0F1DA2E2EF?contentType=Article&Filename=Published/EmeraldFullTextArticle/Articles/01
       90200402.html

								
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