law firmS in Delhi

Law Firms In Delhi

‘Quiet Quitting’ is the newest phenomenon that has forced corporates and other employers, including law firms in Delhi, to re-think an organization’s work culture and become more sensitive to the needs of the employees and not only the profitability of their business. As one of the best law firms in Delhi, Fox Mandal & Associates is regularly approached by various entities on how to manage the phenomenon of quiet quitting.

The concept essentially means that employees only commit to their jobs to the extent of fulfilling their job descriptions and do not take on additional responsibilities or only work the minimum required hours. In other words, when an employee applies the bare minimum labor to meet their job responsibilities without taking on additional duties that are perceived as discretionary, it is called quiet quitting.

Even among the corporate law firms in Delhi, there is a perception that quiet quitting is a new practice that has only gained popularity after the pandemic when individuals were forced to ‘slow down, focus on their mental health and maintain work-life balance. However, as per a report released by Gallup, only twenty percent of the employees truly engage in their work at the office, others have been quietly quitting for a long time.

Legal implications of Quiet Quitting

Being one of the top law firms in Delhi, we have noticed that people are under the impression that an employer cannot take any disciplinary actions against employees that choose to strictly adhere to their job description and work minimum hours. However, the same is not true.

  • The contractual terms and conditions of an employee usually carry an implied term, according to which they are required to follow reasonable and lawful management instructions. These implied obligations can include performing work outside of normal hours where there is a good business reason for the extent, which may vary as per the job descriptions. Therefore, an employee can be disciplined for misconduct if they do not follow such instructions as a result of quiet quitting.
  • Employment contracts may expressly require employees to work additional hours for the proper discharge and optimum performance of their role. For instance, keeping a check on their accounts on an off day to ensure there are no losses, connecting with their cross- jurisdictional clients, even if there is a significant difference in time zones, etc. A failure to fulfill such additional duties outright amounts to a breach of contract that potentially warrants disciplinary action.
  • Employees may fall below the required performance standards requisite for promotion if they practice quietly quitting. Hence, the employer has a valid basis to evaluate the employees’ performance according to the standards of a formal performance process. Further, after the evaluation, if there are no improvements, the employee can be dismissed on the grounds of capability.

What can employers do?

Employers, including even the best law firm in Delhi, should understand that more often than not, quiet quitting is a reaction to an overwhelming working culture at a company. Hence, organizations can adopt the listed best practices to tackle the same:

  • Encourage the staff to openly communicate: Address the staff’s concerns regarding their work satisfaction candidly, including in relation to pay, hours, and relationships with colleagues.
  • Identify Patterns: Study the responses on exit interview records, employee satisfaction surveys, and social media/LinkedIn posts that could help identify issues that may lead to quiet quitting in the organization.
  • Mental health: If employees express concerns regarding their mental health, it is important to devise ways to support them as an organization.
  • Be Responsive: Factors that contribute to quiet quitting can sometimes be easily resolved through existing HR mechanisms. For instance, an employee may resort to quietly quitting because they feel like they are unable to spend time with their family. In this case, they can make a request for hybrid working.