Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
The rules applicable to subordinate staff on state-managed railways differ widely from those obtaining on company-managed railways. If the leave terms applicable to the subordinate staff, on state-managed railways in particular, were effective, in our opinion they would be too liberal and require revision. We do not believe it was the intention of the framers of the Fundamental Rules that they should be capable of. application to all classes of railway servants. In the recently revised leave rules issued for Government servants employed in the Railway Department, an effort has been made to bring railway practice more into line with railway service requirements. The ' no extra cost' condition is no longer to serve as a bar to lower grade employees taking leave, although such leave will not be cumulative. Provision has been made for leave on full pay, graduated according to service, for all workers of three or more years' service, with an amount of specified leave on half pay under medical certificate. We are of the opinion, however, that the leave rules are capable of further improvement, and recommend continued examination of the whole subject in consultation with representatives of the workers. In the workshops, for instance, employees are able to avail themselves of the many gazetted holidays with full pay, while this privilege is not possible for workers in other branches, most of whom for various reasons are unable to take full advantage of such casual leave as is permissible in lieu of holidays. In our opinion, these and other different conditions of service should be taken into account in framing and determining leave rules. Under the new rules the grant of leave continues, subject to the exigencies of the service; it cannot be claimed as a right and may be withheld in cases of irregular attendance. An employee's right to leave must naturally be subject to certain qualifications and limitations, but these should be more clearly defined. Irregular attendance, for instance, should be defined and, where the exigencies of the service at any time prevent an employee from going on leave, it should be made available to him at a later time. Workers complain of the delay in dealing with applications and of the difficulty in obtaining leave. The administrations in reply state that this is due not so much to inadequacy of relieving staff as to the general desire of the workpeople to take leave about the same time, e.g., during the marriage season. Workers must recognise that leave cannot always be granted when desired, but the administrations should endeavour to maintain reserves adequate to meet requirements spread over the year. Whether leave should be taken within a year or allowed to accumulate, or whether both systems should operate according to the preferences of different classes of employees, are matters capable of mutual settlement between the administrations and the workers or their representatives. Where it is possible to arrange for leave to be cumulative, we incline to the opinion that such leave should not accumulate for more than three years, i.e., if a worker is entitled to 10 days leave per annum, the maximum leave obtainable at one time should not exceed thirty days. Special cases may require special consideration, e.g., men serving in outlying areas, such as Assam and Burma, and servants with long and approved service under special circumstances might, in the discretion of the administration, be given special leave without pay. Ordinarily, however, it should be possible to arrange for employees, after one year's continuous service, to be given the opportunity of annual leave, if desired.