The unfortunate event of an employee’s death can bring about emotional distress and present various practical legal challenges in the workplace, particularly if the employee had access to crucial documentation and held significant responsibilities within the company or organization.

One significant concern that often arises is how to handle succession dues and salaries, including gratuities, for the deceased employee. This issue becomes more complex in medium to large businesses where it may be difficult to have personal knowledge of each employee’s family situation. Additionally, in Pakistan, where polygamy is allowed under Islamic rules, both the courts and employers must exercise caution to ensure that no other wives or their children are excluded from receiving their rightful share of succession funds or properties. Consequently, many insurance companies and land registries require a court-processed succession or ‘heir-ship’ certificate to mitigate the risk of potential fraud during legal proceedings.

To assist employers in navigating these matters and provide facilitation to the surviving/bereaved family, we offer the following humble suggestions and guidelines:

  1. Once an employee passes away, it is crucial to make every effort to contact their next of kin, successors, and family members. Clearly communicate to them that any court document related to succession proceedings must specify the full amount of arrears owed to the deceased, encompassing pensions, gratuities, and any outstanding insurance or salary dues.
  2. Following contact, it is advisable to send a comprehensive letter to the family, explicitly outlining the nature and amount of the deceased employee’s dues as per your office records. Emphasize that this letter should be appended to any succession proceedings to enable the judge to endorse it as part of the succession property or immovable assets. Such letters can help prevent future disputes and misunderstandings.
  3. Maintain a written record of all communications and include an exclusion clause stating that funds will only be released to successors whose names have been specifically mentioned in the court judgment. It is prudent for the courts to request financial security from legal heirs in case any rightful heir has been unintentionally excluded.
See also  Fundamentals of Employment law in Pakistan

By following these simple steps, you can proactively address potential ambiguities and mitigate potential conflicts. Additionally, if you receive a judgment without prior notice or the request for a letter, it is advisable to consult with a lawyer to thoroughly review all documents submitted to the court before releasing any funds. If the judgment explicitly includes ’employment dues’ (even without detailed amounts), it may be acceptable in theory, but should still be subject to appropriate legal scrutiny and checks.

By The Josh and Mak Team

Josh and Mak International is a distinguished law firm with a rich legacy that sets us apart in the legal profession. With years of experience and expertise, we have earned a reputation as a trusted and reputable name in the field. Our firm is built on the pillars of professionalism, integrity, and an unwavering commitment to providing excellent legal services. We have a profound understanding of the law and its complexities, enabling us to deliver tailored legal solutions to meet the unique needs of each client. As a virtual law firm, we offer affordable, high-quality legal advice delivered with the same dedication and work ethic as traditional firms. Choose Josh and Mak International as your legal partner and gain an unfair strategic advantage over your competitors.

error: Content is Copyright protected !!