“Workman” interpreted under Indian employment law

by | Jan 4, 2024

In the recent case of Rohit Dembiwal v. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., the Bombay High Court held that an IT analyst did not qualify as a “workman” under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, as his day-to-day responsibilities were supervisory in nature, and his main role was to approve the time sheets and leave of his team members, to handle financial matters, including reimbursement of medical expenses and travelling expenses of his team members, and to initiate disciplinary enquiries against his team members.  The Bombay High Court reaffirmed a long-standing principle that classification of an employee as a “workman” is a functional test and is subjective in nature.

This case reiterates the importance of analysing the predominant nature of work and the actual job functions of an employee for determining whether he/she is a “workman” and entitled to retrenchment benefits under the foregoing statute.  As this area of the law can get highly litigious, companies who are letting go teams or who are doing acquihire M&A transactions must take extra care to ensure that employees do not litigate on this issue and seek post facto reinstatement.

More News

The Legal 500 2024 Rankings

We are pleased to share that our firm has been recognised for its work across practice areas by The Legal 500 (Legalease) in their 2024 rankings. Firm Rankings Antitrust and Competition Corporate and M&A Data Protection Dispute Resolution: Litigation Intellectual...

read more

EXL Service.com deemed not to have a PE in India

Last week, in the EXL Service.Com, Inc. case, the Delhi Income-tax Appellate Tribunal (Tribunal) followed the Supreme Court’s rulings in the Formula One and E-Funds cases and, inter alia, held that a US taxpayer does not have a fixed place permanent establishment...

read more

IBLJ A-List Rankings 2023-24

We are pleased to share that Akil Hirani, Managing Partner and Head of Transactions, Neerav Merchant, Partner and Head of Disputes, and Rukshad Davar, Partner and Head of M&A Practice, have been recognised as India's A-List lawyers for 2023-24 by India Business...

read more