Reliance Industries issues advisory to its employees; asks them to not drink and drive

17 Jun,2015

By Devina Sengupta & Baiju Kalesh

 

“If you’re planning to drink alcohol, also plan how to get home without having to drive yourself.” This is a fairly unusual advice for a company circular, but a high-profile car crash involving a women employee has forced Reliance Industries to issue an elaborate advisory to its about 25,000 employees on the perils of drunk driving and other inappropriate behaviour.

 

A mail sent on June 12, hours after chairman Mukesh Ambani addressed its shareholders, RIL advised employees to ensure that those in an inebriated state are not allowed to drive.

 

The advisory comes in the wake of relentless media coverage of an accident involving Janhavi Gadkar, who works in RIL’s legal unit, in the early hours on June 9. RIL alerted the Bombay Stock Exchange on June 13 that the senior executive with whom Gadkar had been drinking on the eveing of June 8 was its Chief Financial Officer Alok Agarwal.

 

Agarwal was summoned by the Mumbai Police as a witness in the case. Gadkar is in judicial custody after her Audi crashed into a taxi on Mumbai’s freeway causing two deaths.

 

According to reports, she had been drinking with colleagues the previous evening, first at the hotel Marine Plaza and later with a senior RIL executive at another pub, the Irish House.

 

The drinking episode at the Irish House was first reported on June 11. For good measure, the advisory also warned against conduct that is “indicative of personal indiscretion” or is “socially unacceptable.” It also warned employees against breaking any law such as those on possession of undeclared foreign exchange, narcotics and prohibited wildlife items.

 

Much of the advisory is on perils on drunk driving. “A large proportion of all drunk driving crashes occur within three miles of the start of the journey,” the mail said. “Don’t offer an alcoholic drink to someone you know is planning to drive.” The mail also asked employees to ask themselves at all times whether their conduct befits “a cultured, mature and socially responsible adult”. “It also must be kept in mind that while major lapses of law and social behaviour are usually prevented, very often seemingly minor mistakes can and do result in improper conduct.”

 

“The advisory is self explanatory. Suffice to say by way of context it is a reminder of existing policy,” said an RIL spokesman

 

‘RIGHT THING TO DO’

Human resources consultants say the company has done the right thing if the circular is a reaction to the crash.

 

“If it is a reaction to the crash then it is the right thing to do for the company and employees need to be sent a strong message that the organisation will not tolerate any such behaviour,” says Nirmala Menon, founder of Interweave Consulting, a diversity and inclusion solutions company.

 

“‘Firms should send out the message that they will take action if any safety measure is breached by their employees.” The RIL mail underlined the importance of using “sound judgment and demonstrate a serious sense of responsibility and maturity all the times and in official as well as personal capacities.” It also frowns upon “loud and irresponsible behaviour in public” which caused discomfort and embarrassment to others.

 

Employees were reminded that the legal blood alcohol limit in India is 30 millilitres under the Motor Vehicles Act. But Gadkar’s blood samples showed it was thrice the permissible count, the police have alleged. Other business groups may also follow suit. Tyre-to-power transmission company RPG group plans to remind its employees about the perils of drunk driving through video message in July.

 

Source:The Economic Times

Copyright © 2015, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All Rights Reserved

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One response to “Reliance Industries issues advisory to its employees; asks them to not drink and drive”

  1. Dr Dheeraj Mehrotra says:

    A must towards SMOKING too !

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