Labour Laws Q/A

Deduction of Wages and Absence of Ten Persons from Duty

What action can be taken by an employer if ten or more persons acting in concert, absent themselves without due notice?
If ten or more employed persons acting in concert absent themselves without due notice (that is to say, without giving the notice which is required under the terms of their contracts of employment) and without reasonable cause from duty, the employer can deduct from their wages. And such deduction from any such person may include such amount as not exceeding his wages for eight days as may be and such terms be due to the employer in lieu of due notice. Tool down strike also amounts to absence from duty.1 However, while making penal deductions from wages a show cause notice must be issued to the employee.2 The Orissa High Court has also taken the same view.3

Source: H L Kumar

1. Managing Director, Mining and Allied Machinery Corporation Ltd. v. R.K. Bhattacharyya, 1971 Lab IC 1339.
2. Mohd. Sultan v. A.P. Dairy Development Co-operative Federation Ltd., 1990 (61) FLR 752: 1990 (77) FJR 244.
3. Talcher Coal Mines Employees’ Union v. Talcher Colliery, 1991 LLR 51 (Ori HC) (DB).

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