Employer not guilty for employee suicide due to excess workload: Supreme Court

27 June 2018: In a major ruling, the Supreme Court has said that if any employee takes the extreme step of ending their life due to heavy workload at the office, his superior cannot be held accused of abetting the suicide. Rejecting an argument put forth by Bombay High Court’s Aurangabad bench that the accused boss or senior officer should be held accused as the situation that he creates for his junior, even if not deliberate, could lead to a situation in which that person takes that extreme step, the apex court said that the superior cannot be adjudged a criminal if he assigns a load of work to an employee.

The issue came to fore when a Maharashtra government employee in the Department of Education named Kishor Parashar killed himself in August 2017.

In April 2015, Matsuri Takahashi, a promising graduate of Japan’s top university, landed a job at Dentsu, one of Japan’s most prestigious advertising agencies. Takahashi clocked 105 hours of overtime in October 2015 and fell into depression the following month. In January 2016, she jumped to her death, leaving behind a trail of public grievances on social media about her relentless working hours and boss’s verbal abuse. In October 2016, Japan’s labour ministry ruled the 24-year-old’s death as “karoshi”, literally “death by overwork” and raided her employer, Dentsu Inc, to see if overwork abuses were pervasive in the company.

Japan officially recognizes two types of karoshi: death from cardiovascular illness linked to overwork, and suicide following work-related mental stress.

Two days after the Indian Supreme Court passed this judgement, Japan’s parliament passed a work reform bill on 29 June that limits overtime to 100 hours a month, and to 720 hours a year. Large companies must comply with the new rule from April 2019 or face penalties while smaller companies will get an additional year to comply.

Differently abled women employees of Haryana government to be provided monthly child care allowance

6 June 2018: The Haryana government announced that its physically differently-abled women employees will be provided a monthly child care allowance of Rs. 1,500 along with a conveyance allowance at the rate of 10 per cent of the basic pay and dearness allowance subject to a minimum of Rs. 2,500 and a maximum of Rs 7,200 per month.

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