Principle Of 'No Work No Pay' Applies When Employee Was Not Kept Away From Work By Any Order Of Employer: SC [Read Judgment]
"Nobody could be directed to claim wages for the period that he remained absent without leave or without justification."
The Supreme Court has observed that the principle of 'No Work No Pay' can be applied when the employee was not kept away from work by any order of the employer.
The bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Navin Sinha, reiterated the settled principle that nobody could be directed to claim wages for the period that he remained absent without leave or without justification.
In this case, disciplinary authority on 14.5.2009, held the employee guilty of charge of unauthorised absence and awarded punishment of "reduction of basic pay by two steps" under Rule 23(a) of the General Insurance (Conduct, Discipline & Appeal) Rules, 1975. Later, a second charge sheet was issued and by order dated 26.06.2012 he was terminated from his services. Apparently, he attained the age of superannuation on the same day. Later, the High Court set aside both the orders and held that he is entitled to back-wages till 26.06.2012.
In its appeal before the Apex Court (Chief Regional Manager, United India Insurance Company Limited vs. Siraj Uddin Khan), the contention of the employer was that the High Court committed error in directing for payment of salary after 14.05.2009 to 20.06.2012, whereas the employee absented from work during the period and was clearly not entitled for payment of salary on the principle of "No Work No Pay". Taking note of the submissions, the bench observed:
In the present case, as noted above, the respondent was not kept away from work by any order of the appellant. The order of termination of his services/dismissal was passed on 26.06.2012, after his retirement on 20.06.2012, which in no manner prohibited the respondent from working.
The court also noted that, with regard to entitlement of salary after 14.05.2009 to 20.06.2012, there has been no adjudication by the High Court. It said:
"The respondent during submission has submitted that he was illegally transferred to Branch Office, Jaunpur from Allahabad. He was suffering from a disability of more than 40% and he could not have been transferred to another place. There is nothing on record to indicate that transfer of respondent from Branch Office, Allahabad to Branch Office, Jaunpur was at any time set aside or withdrawn."
Setting aside the High Court order, the bench directed the employer to consider the claim of the employee for back wages after 14.05.2009 to 20.06.2012 and pass appropriate orders giving reasons within three months.