Contractual employees cannot seek continuation or regularisation: Punjab and Haryana High Court

The HC ruled that outsourced staff has no right to seek to be regularised as they are employed by private manpower contractors and not directly by the municipal council.

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The High Court of Punjab and Haryana held that employees appointed on contract through an outsourced agency do not have the right to seek continuation of service with the main employer, as outsourced staff are not directly related with the Government.

The petitions were filed by employees of the Municipal Council of Nangal in Roppar, Punjab— who were hired by private contractors—when their services were terminated by the Council. These employees hoped the HC would intervene and get the council to allow them to continue in service. They also sought their services to be regularised since they had been working in the Council for more than six years, with some of them having worked for even 15 years.

While refusing to provide any relief to petitioners, the HC observed that contractual employees are actually employed by private contractors who are responsible for supplying staff. Therefore, if they are terminated from service, it is by the action of the private contractors who have employed them. The HC stated that there was no binding contract between the petitioners and the Council. The contractors who hire these contract workers are manpower suppliers who are given the job of engaging private employees through public tenders that are floated annually. Also, the HC emphasised that these petitioners were paid by the private manpower contractors and not the Council.

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