Plight of Indian Workforce

I have heard that the personal space of an employee is protected vigorously in other countries whereas in my own backyard, it is not that much respected and I had occasion to witness both within a week.

One of my friend flew down from another state to visit me at my current location in the US and spent some good time extending his weekend. As he is a critical resource in the team, I casually asked as to how he could travel at such a short notice and he responded that he has enough leave and all he has to do is to update his calendar as PTO (Paid Time off) and that there is no practice of waiting for approval here, unless there are some exigencies. In fact, he went on to add that employees here claim leave as a matter of right, as and when it is available to them, and their leave requests are rarely turned down by their Managers.

In a closed group in social network I happened to see another post about the updates to the leave management policy of a leading nationalized bank in India. The circular on amended procedure explained as to how the Manager has to send the status of ‘as on date employee’s performance’ against his targets while ‘forwarding’ the leave application and in the absence of the same the leave request will be summarily rejected.

I was aghast at the situation prevailing in India – atleast not yet changed since I left active service a decade ago ! Does this mean that if an employee’s performance is not upto the expectations he cannot enjoy his promised privileges or exercise his rights which includes spending time with his family? Is this the work life balance that seems to be more breached as much it is preached ? Indian working conditions have a long way to go and it is time that such employees also raise their voice against the injustice.

This could also be considered as an abject failure of the representative bodies like unions and associations , supposed to safeguard the interest of the workforce, from which not a whimper is heard, at an order in writing impacting the personal life of employees. If a representative body is unable to resist such an interference into the personal life , is it not time to (re)think about its utility ?

Blogpost made on 28-Jul-2023 at my blog : Plight of Indian workforce