Under employment laws in India, are Suspended employees entitled to Canteen facilities during Suspension?

During the suspension of an employee, the wages payable to him, including allowances are withheld for the time being and he is paid subsistence allowance under Section 10A of the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act.

Now, in M/s Burn & Co. Ltd & Ors V/s Their Employees, as decided on 30.03.1960, the Hon’ble Supreme Court held that canteen facilities could also be withheld by the employer during the period of suspension of such employee.

In M/s Burn & Co. Ltd the following was laid down –

“All the points that Sri Chatterjee has raised on behalf of the workmen have been dealt with by the tribunal and the conclusion it has reached is that halving regard to the circumstances, the workmen were not eligible to the tiffin allowance of annas eight per head per working day. All that we need say is that the correspondence between the workmen and the company shows that though the workmen were keen on the provision of a canteen before the tiffin allowance was granted by the award dated July 24, 1953, their keenness disappeared after the award. The company seems to have taken steps even before the award to start a canteen and pursued the matter vigorously after the award; but the workmen started objecting to the arrangements made and some of the objections were fantastic. It seems that having been given the tiffin allowance they preferred to have it rather than go to the canteen. In the circumstances we are of opinion that the conclusion of the tribunal is correct and there is no reason for interference.”

Therefore, as per the above decision, considering the circumstances, during the suspension of an employee his canteen facilities may be withdrawn by the Company.