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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Pink Slip; Damocles Sword and Madras HC restrains TCS ....

Decades ago, in every Deepavali Special issues – there will be jokes on ‘bridegrooms sought’ – it was  considered that persons in lower cadre of Govt too were considered best – as the thinking was ‘Govt. job is permanent and hence most preferred’.  A couple of decades back, IT revolution created the thinking that ‘IT & ITES’ are the most earning group and hence the elites. Is life in a Private Company always ‘plush’ – or does the sword of Damocles hangs always ? – the truth coule be in between and for some – closer to one of the extremes and there cannot be any generalisation !  Those in their middle ages can easily recall that most of their neighbours / relatives joined in small Companies in the bylanes of Parrys and happily retired there too – and yet brought up their families providing them the basic necessities.

In Private Companies, there will be income disparities – there is possibility of people negotiating a better deal over those in higher cadre – those getting incentive by hardwork, good presentation and better negotiation skills. For those who compare, life could be constant hell – giving no peace of mind at all. ~ and then there is the dreaded ‘pink slip’ – they say that the Company may suddenly think that ‘skillsets’ of one are no longer required and if that person does not adapt to changing needs – would find neglected and nearer exit path. Is that fair ? – should loyalty be punished ? – how to find an alternative employment after spending donkey years ? – Qs and more Qs – there will be no answers. 

Pink slip refers to the American practice, by a personnel department, of including a discharge notice in an employee's pay envelope to notify the worker of his or her termination of employment or layoff. The "pink slip" has become a metonymy for the termination of employment in general.  Whether such notices are really served in ‘pink-coloured’ paper ? – that too in the age of e-mail communication ??  - In the UK and Ireland the equivalent of a pink slip is a P45.  Now read this newsitem in today’s Times of India ‘HC restrains TCS from terminating woman employee’

The Madras high court on Tuesday restrained IT major Tata Consultancy Services from terminating the services of a pregnant employee for a period of four weeks. Justice M Duraiswamy issued the interim order on a plea filed by 32-year-old Renuka (name changed), who said she was served termination orders on December 22, 2014, and she was to be relieved from service on January 21, 2015. The reported largescale retrenchment at TCS has been the topic of animated discussions on various social media sites for the past few weeks. On their part, trade unions have been trying to gain a toe-hold in the IT sector by mobilising software professionals.

Reacting to Tuesday's development, a TCS spokesperson said: “We have not received any court order regarding this. TCS conducts its performance appraisal process in a fair and professional manner. In this situation, we will review the issues raised in a responsible and considerate manner.” In her petition in the high court, Renuka said: “If, out of the blue, I am deprived of my job, I will be exposed to great hardship. I have to pay off my housing loan. If I am relieved from service, I will not have the benefit of the company's health insurance scheme during my delivery .” She said she had been unfairly shortlisted for termination though she had a good service record, and in gross violation of key provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.

Renuka said she joined the company in Chennai in March 2011 as an IT analyst.She is a `workman' as per Section 2(s) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, as her main duties and responsibilities are technical and clerical in nature, she said. Noting that she was honest, sincere and dedicated, she said her performance had always been very good.

No mass layoffs, says company: TCS on Tuesday broke its silence on reports of alleged mass layoffs. “We would like to place on record that TCS has not initiated, and is not planning to initiate, any largescale exits of any section of its staff in any part of the organisation,“ it said in a statement. It said it had clarified to its employees that the layoff claims were false and baseless. As per TCS data, it lost 2,574 employees (0.8% of the total employee strength) due to involuntary attrition for the first nine months of 2014-15.The number was 2,203 in FY14 and 2,132 in FY13.

Now to Damocles Sword -  To  his king, Dionysius, Damocles exclaimed that, as a great man of power and authority surrounded by magnificence, Dionysius was truly extremely fortunate. Dionysius then offered to switch places with Damocles, so that Damocles could taste that very fortune firsthand. Damocles quickly and eagerly accepted the king's proposal. Damocles sat down in the king's throne surrounded by every luxury, but Dionysius arranged that a huge sword should hang above the throne, held at the pommel only by a single hair of a horse's tail. Damocles finally begged the king that he be allowed to depart because he no longer wanted to be so fortunate, realizing that with great fortune and power comes also great responsibility.  King Dionysius had successfully conveyed a sense of the constant fear in which the great man lives.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

14th Jan 2015.

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