I was working with an IT company based in Mumbai. I left that company in November 2020. In the name of covid pandemic they made retention of 15% from our salary from March 20 to August 20. They kept it pending till I left that company.
After I left that company they settled my full FnF but kept the retention amount with them. When asked they said they haven't decided policy to give the retention amount yet. I sent mail and call them many times but I got the same answer as above.
Recently I came to know from my old colleague that they paid retention amount of all the employees last month which are working there but not paid the employees who left the company.
On our FnF copy, the retention amount is mentioned and it said the amount will be paid as and when the policy is decided. I called HR, she said they haven't decided policy for employees who left the company but they paid it to employees working there. What are my options here to get my amount?
Send a Legal Notice (with Acknowledgement Due through Indian Post) to both the Company and HR by her name to force them to take the decision regarding the payment of retained salary to Employees who left the organisation. You may network with others who left the company and fight collectively to get your rightful dues, which you would have otherwise received had you continued. The company cannot discriminate like employees and ex-employees.
Unless the policy and contents of the first circular/order stating the conditions under which the employee accepted part of salary are known, it is very difficult to offer guidance. TO my knowledge, during the COVID period, several companies paid salary taking various parameters EX: CEOs and other executives have not drawn 100% salary, and the lowest was paid 80% of salaries. Nowhere it was stated that the salary was stated as retention and the employer has asked the employees to understand the absence of income generation during the crucial period and sought co-operation by sacrificing a certain percentage of salary. If an employer paid the rest of their salary, it is a good gesture and he is not bound. After the improvement in the operations, they have reviewed their policies and wished to benefit those who were with the company as loyal employees, and paid the rest of the salary. No, where I have come across the word "Retention" in such circulars/appeals from HR. Treating loyal employees is always different from those who left assuming that the ship it is about to sink.. This naturally promotes loyalty and mutual trust. If the notification stated that the salary was retained temporarily the employee can take a stand, but if he accepted for less salary, now can not go back and claim full salary after he shifted his loyalty.
"On our FnF copy, the retention amount is mentioned and it said the amount will be paid as and when the policy is decided"
By initiating further steps by the aggrieved at least a properly worded Legal Notice quoting the above therein to the Company and to the HR by name shall create the required impetus. The Company merely mentioned that it would decide about ex-employees later, which may ultimately turn out to be that they decided not to pay.
As suggested by the experts above, you may first contact a local advocate and issue a legal demand notice to the employer mentioning your efforts taken so far for retrieving the amount retained by the employer earlier and had not settled so far despite passing of more than 6 months.
If the employer do not respond or gives a reply in negative you have the options of dragging him to civil court with a money recovery suit or approach labor forum with a complaint over this unfair labor practice by the management and for relief therein.