The below answer had printed in LLR in the M/o Oct-1998 that :
Section 4 of the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 provides that an employee will entitled to gratuity on completion of countinuous service of 5 years and while clarifying the 5 years complete service, Andhra Pradesh Hight Court had held that the minimum period for becoming eligible for payment of gratuity should not be less than 5 years since it should be complete 5 year service. It was further clarified that the words or part in excess of six months' are only meant for the purposes of computation of gratuity for the subsequent year or years to first complete 5 years. It was also held that if an employee has worked for 4 years 11 months and 10 days, he will not be eligible for gratuity for want of completion of 5 years. Further in a subsquent case, MADRAS HIGH COURT while relying upon the clarification by the SUPREME COURT pertaining to 240 working days in one year will be deemed to be continuous serice of one year meaning thereby that there should not be complete 12 calender months' service. MADRAS HIGH COURT has further held that an employee, who has put in service of 4 Years 10 Months and 18 Days in the 5 years, will be entitled to gratuity.
Case Ref. : Mettur Beardsell Ltd., Madras v. Regional Lab. Commissioner (Appellate Authority under Payment of Gratuity Act), Madras etc., 1998 (3) LLN 414.