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Pradeep Ananth (None)     18 July 2012

As per the law when should the relieving letter be given?

Hi,

I left my organisation on 16th July after serving the mandatory notice period of two months. During the two months, I followed up with my HR representative multiple times requesting a resignation acceptance letter (RAL). On every such occasion, I was told that it would be provided 10 days after my last working day and that my relieving letter would reach me 45 days after my last working day. This, I was told, was the policy of the company (which is a huge multinational firm).

I informed this predicament to the company (another big name in India) which I am joining and the HR told me that all they wanted was a mail trail with my resignation letter which mentions my last working day. I saved these emails, including an automated email that mentioned my last working day clearly.

Now, the problem is that when I went to join this company on the 17th of July (the next day), the onboarding team refused to process my onboarding without an RAL or a relieving letter.

Both companies say they have their processes to comply with and unfortunately I am the one suffering. I not only lose two weeks' salary due to this, but I'm also afraid the gap will hurt my career.

I want some legal advice on the following points:

1. Does the law have any mention on when/how soon a resignation acceptance letter or the relieving letter should be given? A resignation acceptance letter issued ten days AFTER my last working day somehow seems illogical and unfair to the employee.

2. Can a case be made out for lost wages? Against whom? My ex employer or my future employer?

Any clarity on this matter would be most helpful - I feel hurt and extremely distressed due to this episode.

Thank you!



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 12 Replies

laxman (associate)     18 July 2012

1. Does the law have any mention on when/how soon a resignation acceptance letter or the relieving letter should be given? A resignation acceptance letter issued ten days AFTER my last working day somehow seems illogical and unfair to the employee.

 

The relieving letter should be issued the same day when you’re going to exit from the company. If the company does not issued the relieving letter it means that your resignation is not accepted and also still you are employee of the company until unless the company issue the relieving/ accepted resignation.

 

2. Can a case be made out for lost wages? Against whom? My ex employer or my future employer?

Any clarity on this matter would be most helpful - I feel hurt and extremely distressed due to this episode.

 

Yes, against only your ex. Employer.

 

i would suggest to pursue firstly for amicable resolution by making the above contention and if the matter still does not resolve to issue a notice to the previous organization through a reputed lawyer, also compensation for the harassment caused to you in the process and for immediate settlement of dues and issuance of relieving letter. i am sure this would bring you desired results.

1 Like

laxman (associate)     18 July 2012

1. Does the law have any mention on when/how soon a resignation acceptance letter or the relieving letter should be given? A resignation acceptance letter issued ten days AFTER my last working day somehow seems illogical and unfair to the employee. The relieving letter should be issued the same day when you’re going to exit from the company. If the company does not issued the relieving letter it means that your resignation is not accepted and also still you are employee of the company until unless the company issue the relieving. 2. Can a case be made out for lost wages? Against whom? My ex employer or my future employer? Any clarity on this matter would be most helpful - I feel hurt and extremely distressed due to this episode. Yes, against only your ex. Employer. i would suggest to pursue firstly for amicable resolution by making the above contention and if the matter still does not resolve to issue a notice to the previous organization through a reputed lawyer, also compensation for the harassment caused to you in the process and for immediate settlement of dues and issuance of relieving letter. i am sure this would bring you desired results

Pradeep Ananth (None)     18 July 2012

Thanks, Laxman, for the quick reply. I will keep you posted on the progress. Could you suggest a lawyer, if possible? I live in Mumbai.

 

Thanks again!

laxman (associate)     18 July 2012

1,if you want relieving letter :- simply you can send complaint by registered post with due acknowledge to your HR VP and copy to your reporting manger and MD, and ensure that retain one copy for future corresponding. After few days (waiting period completed) if you do not receive any information from the company than you can consult the local lawyer.

2. If you want compensation along with relieving letter: - you can engage one lawyer and send a legal notice to the company.

Kumar Doab (FIN)     18 July 2012

Mr. Laxman has given valuable advice.Kindly follow it.

In a given situation employee can  invoke the provisions of Industrial Employment Standing Orders Act, SE act applicable to the state, Payment of Wages Act, ID act as per explanation of employee under these enactments or approach civil court.

Ideally company should handover all dues and payables and documents to employee by last day in office or within next 2 days.

In your case you have notified the company of last day in office/ effective date of resignation two months in advance and it was sufficient time to obtain all kinds of clearances, NOC’s, KT,   handover, exit formalities, exit interview etc. etc.

“I was told that it would be provided 10 days after my last working day and that my relieving letter would reach me 45 days after my last working day. This, I was told, was the policy of the company (which is a huge multinational firm).”

This is more of employer policy than employee policy. This is strange without any logic as while allowing Separation Company has to allow it by document which in your case is acceptance of resignation. On last day when company handover acceptance by the close of office hours this becomes official that employee becomes ex-employee and does not have to attend office from next working day and can settle his future endeavor from next working day. Consider another scenario an employee does not attend office after last day in office indicated in office by him in his notice and company declares him absconding.

Do you know of any incidence in your company? It may come handy for you at appropriate time in appropriate forum.

Without acceptance of resignation how can you join any other employer? Resignation achieves finality when accepted. Till acceptance company can decline resignation. Acknowledgement of resignation, automated email mentioning last working day is not formal acceptance. Resignation can be accepted by appointing authority, executive empowered by board under his signature. Automated email is neither appointing authority, nor executive empowered by board. Automated email might have been sent by some clerk or HR person who can not sign acceptance of resignation.

Has this policy been placed in your knowledge domain e.g. employee page of company’s intranet, HR policy, employee rule book, service rule book, standing orders, and has it ever been circulated and supplied to you?

Relieving letter is a trend and is issued post all settlements by employee indicating employee has complied to all formalities settled all dues etc and nothing is due against him/her and hence is relieved. Within 2 months of notice which is a big period why can’t your company ensure that all formalities are informed to you and support system is extended to you to comply and complete.

While your company also knows you shall not be settle in future venture without this document. Moreover you have been informing the concerned personnel of the company that you require RAL, relieving letter to be employed and hence earn your livelihood after separation. You had put in efforts with your future employer and future employer agreed that it shall absorb you on board if you submit at least RAL. Your company was adamant that it shall not handover RAL for another 10 days as per its policy. Hence you are not discharged for another 10 days, so you deserve 10 days wages. Also you were unemployed/not employed elsewhere for another 10 days.

You should be able to produce record that you have been asking for RAL and it was denied citing some policy of the company, and it was sent and supplied after 10 days as per company policy. Your Ex employer is defaulter in your case.

You may address your representations to good offices of your appointing authority, MD, CEO, Company Secretary with a copy to head-HR.  The HR personnel quoting policies to you ( verball) must be helpless as they  also shall also be on the bench if they don't follow the orders of their masters.

 

V. VASUDEVAN (LEGAL COUNSEL)     21 July 2012

As per the Shops & Establishment Act - A Service Certificate or Relievening Letter mus be issued immediately on relieving an employee. Meeting the CEO/HR Head and insist on this. If this effort fails, lodge a complaint with the local labour inspector.

vasudevan

JANAK RAJ VATSA (ADVOCATE)     22 July 2012

in case of the failure on the part of the company to eilther give you the acceptance of the resigantion letter which you have submittted in accordance with teh terms and conditions of your employemnt or not issuing the relieving letter, a complaint must be lodged with the local labour officer against the company

Abhishek (Product Manager)     04 November 2014

Hi All,

My wife (before our marriage) was working with one of India's largest bank and was performing extremely well. Since my office was in some other city, she asked her Manager for an internal relocation to the same city. Her Manager agreed to it verbally and approved her leaves needed during marriage. She was asked to join the other branch after 45 days. 

When her joining date had come, the new branch manager did not respond saying he has got no communication from HR. She followed this up with her HR in the previous branch which said that they haven't been informed by her Manager. She was unable to join the new branch and she kept following up with them on daily basis via sms/email, but with no response. She even informed them that she would resign and that they should issue her Relieving letter. She resigned on email but didn't get any response from them. 

After 2-3 months of trying, she gave up the hope and started looking for a new job. She got one with a reputed multinational bank. She explained her situation of not having a relieving letter to her would be Manager. This new bank offered her a position and processed her joining formalities on the basis on previous appointment letter and salary slips. After 2 months, this bank is again asking her for a relieving letter which we are sure, she would not get from her previous bank.

We are in a lot of stress and do not know what to do further. Is there a wayout with which her new employer can understand her situation and settle this matter?

Your suggestions are much appreciated.

Thanks,
Abhishek.

lakshmi (Assisstant Manager)     17 December 2014

Hi i am lakshmi,

I am working in a small pvt consulting firm as a recruiter for past 2 years, last 6 months back they shifted me to US IT Recruiter where i need to work in night shift, due to lack of sleep and food i got severe health issues where i could not continue my work, doctor adviced me not to work anymore in night shift and take complete rest for at least 3 months, so last nov 15th i resigned my job. According to my offer letter i have 2 months NP. Due to health issue i did't go to office after Nov25th. now 1 month had completed still they didnt accept my resignation. i am even ready to buy out my 2 months NP, but they are not replying to any of the mails and not attending my calls.  Since its a small company i am directly reporting to MD. for past 1 month he is not coming to office to have a F2F discussion. 

From the discussion with him, i could understand that  he is not ready to accept my resignation and give relieving letter. Is that mandatory for me to serve 2months NP inspite of my health issue? 

pls let me know how can i proceed further and get my relieving letter

V. VASUDEVAN (LEGAL COUNSEL)     18 December 2014

A resignation cannot be declined by the employer and only thing he can enforce is notice pay recovery - basic only. Important question in your query is whether the company you were working - have they got exemption for sh*ts - for working in shifts - esepcially night shifts require spefipic consent from all employees and night shift can't be forced on a woman employee - please provide details for advice

Namz Ringk   22 February 2018

In brief please explain why would an employer refuse to issue relieving letter after an extended 45 days! What does serving notice period really meant? e.g 30 days notice, 45 days for relieving/60 days? Its ridiculous to wait almost half year to get relievement from ex employer. Totally unprofessional.

Yogesh Koshta   20 November 2022

When i got offer letter on 29 Jan.2015 and company told me to Join 15 days but due to my marriage i request to extend it than they extended 09 Mar 2015. After i resign 16 Feb.2022 I asked to HR for give me releaving in a 1 months and they are not ready for buyout option. Even they did not given 1 day befor releaving. and the end I completed 3 moths (90days) Notice Period. Even I was not working on Project. My manager  give me for handover Person 18 Oct. 2022 just before 1 month.

I wan to take action against the company joining time they asked for 15 days and for releaving they are not releaving before 90 days.

is there any Labour law for against company.

 


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