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I have been working in this company (Indian IT Service Based Company) since last two years. When I joined, I was told that notice period is of one month.

My colleagues were subject to the same when they resigned last year, they were full time working employees.

Through these two years, I have received offer letter, appraisal and other kind of documents from the company. Nowhere the company has ever mentioned about the notice period. Neither did company ever notified me about the notice period or its extension by any medium.

I remember, last year I resigned as well. They never informed back then either that notice period is extended to two months. Offer was covered by the company so I didn' leave.

Last day, I resigned and now they are saying that notice period for full time employees is of two months and for intern/trainee it is one month.

I have already accepted offer from another company to whom I notified I would join after one month.

What could I possibly do here?

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    What does the law say?
    – joeqwerty
    Jun 22 at 2:17
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    The labor laws in your country/city. Is a notice period required by law? Is the notice period in writing? If so, is it legally binding? Can the company legally change the notice period after you've accepted employment? These are all questions I would be seeking the answers to.
    – joeqwerty
    Jun 22 at 2:32
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    When you joined the notice period was a month. The company says that for interns/trainees the notice period is a month. The obvious question is, did you start as a trainee, and now you are no longer a trainee? Jun 22 at 3:11
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    There needs to be a Stack just for Indian Employment and Contract issues - as they seem to be unique.
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 22 at 5:55
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    The pre-edit version was a bit wordy, but cutting it down to just two sentences is absurd. I can easily see people VTC on the current version. Aug 31 at 5:06
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I'll be honest, India's employment laws are a bit of a shambles. We hear horror stories come out of India all the time. It seems the company can just withhold a relieving letter at a whim.

Unless you have very solid proof that the notice period is meant to be a month I would assume it's a lost cause and work the two months.

Unless you can get some sort of written documentation detailing that the notice period has been changed, I doubt it's even worth considering pushing back.

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    @SujeetAgrahari the point is it doesn't matter if it's legal or not, companies are allowed to get away with these shenanigans on a regular basis. Laws only matter if they're enforced.
    – Kat
    Jun 22 at 4:40
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    You could have a scenario where they are wrong about being able to change notice period. However they can decide to simply drag their feet on a relieving letter. You really need someone that understands indian employment law to advise you - both on paper and off paper. I've had an Indian colleague tell me before that you simply go to the persons office who hands out relieving letters and yell at them daily non stop until they give you one. So all in all I think people on this forum aren't that qualified to help. Including me Jun 22 at 6:13
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    @SujeetAgrahari: Can they? Well, they did, so they can. Is it legal? Quite possibly not. Can you do anything about it? Here in the UK, my employment lawyer would just laugh about them and make them pay. In India, where you are, for all I know there's very little you can do, other than staying two months, or talking to a got employment lawyer.
    – gnasher729
    Jun 22 at 10:34
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    @Fattie I wasn't aware you knew how expensive lawyers are in India. Jun 23 at 2:04
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    @GregoryCurrie, lawyers are cheap compared to the cost of damage they can prevent. Everywhere. If a lawyer costs you two days salary, that's cheap compared to one month notice period that you don't want to work.
    – gnasher729
    Jun 24 at 7:40
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What could I possibly do here?

The most helpful answer here would be to get a lawyer. They will have way better ways of helping you than we have, and even if we had perfect information, a lawyers letterhead on a letter is always more powerful in a negotiation than a private person having read something on the internet.


That said, let me dig a little deeper here. We get a lot of questions from India that amaze the people here, because Indian labor laws seem to be so impractical and unfair to employees. But you are a democracy. There are way more employees in your country than employers. So why do you have these amazingly bad laws?

You said yourself, you don't even know what the law is. You are unsure, if in a working contract one party can single-handedly change facts without your acceptance and/or signature. That would not even be a question where I live. Every professional education here includes a part about labor law. And while it's boring and many people decide to forget the details as soon as they passed the exam, it's their choice. They were educated. They were informed. They can look up more information on their own now to stay informed and make valid choices of their own.

I am sure Indian labor laws have a long history of things that happened before you were born. But to quote a favorite punk rock band of mine: "It's not your fault that the world is what it is, it's only your fault if it stays that way."

If you want to live in a country with good labor laws, where you don't have to ask questions like this, the first step is to get educated about your own laws. And then vote for a party that makes better labor laws.

As long as you actively don't care about your labor laws, your laws will always be of the same quality as if you bought sausage and actively don't care what the ingredients are.

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    In the USA there is no law that requires an employer to pay vacation leave–how crazy is that? To a European US employees enjoy very limited rights: they can be fired on a whim, a boss can promote a less skilled, less experienced worker because they can; the minimum wage can be as low as $8. When people lose their jobs, for whatever reason, in many cases they cannot claim unemployment benefit. Yet, the US is a democratic nation, and a republic too, whose Declaration of Independence states "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights"...
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 22 at 6:50
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    And then elect a party that makes better labor laws. such a sanctimonious answer, what do you know about India and how things are run there and what people have to face?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 22 at 6:51
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    Somehow you suggested it is the OP's fault if their boss(es) lied and/or failed to communicate the most basic fundamental regulations in their contract, i.e. how many weeks/months notice period an employee has to give. How does that help?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 22 at 7:14
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    I really don't know much about Indian democracy, but I would seem it's largely irrelevant to the question. Opining about democracy is likely to generate more heat rather than light. I also want to throw it out there that contracts can often override statutory minimums. Jun 22 at 7:17
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    @Jack Thankfully, not in the US. But yes, I am. In a country with strong labor laws, proper labor law education and the choice between at least 5-7 democratic parties, at least 3 of which would improve our current labor laws. Whether that is a priority over other issues when I cast my vote is my private secret, but I feel confident that I can make that informed choice for myself.
    – nvoigt
    Jun 22 at 13:07

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