I am leaving my current position in start of next month after officially serving two months stated notice period. This may cut to next week if I finish assigned work because I have some personal commitments to finish and all this things are pretty known to my CTO, who has final rights to relieve me. He is aware of my current state of work and we are going pretty close since I posted my resignation. I also have a manager but mostly I am assigned work by my CTO, and at the time I put my resignation the manager was abroad and only communication done between us was that mail.

Enter today, (after round about 35 days since I resigned) my manager (who just returned from abroad) asked me to extend the notice period, or forget the commitments (this includes trips of 10 days and I have already invested some money into it) just because he can not search my replacement and even he comes with a person next day(that he can do), the period will be too short to do a proper knowledge transfer. That I am not willing to do, because of certain reason.

  • I can not extend my notice period because I have committed a joining date to my new company.
  • I am not going to forget my commitments because they are commitments to my friends and even it will not feasible for me economically. I have poured my 6 months savings into it. Which is also a big good amount I am going to loose.

We are a small company with not more than 20 people involved in development and among other teams since a year mine was the one and a half players team, in some task I was taking active help from my CTO. And we are based in India.

What approach should I take in this situation if I want to be relieved properly without burning the bridge?

  • 9
    This is the whole point of a notice period.
    – enderland
    Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 0:33
  • 5
    You gave ample notice (I assume at least as much as is required by any contract you may have), and the company failed to plan appropriately. You made plans based upon there being no objections to your 2 months' notice; IMHO, you've upheld your obligations, and the onus is on the company to ensure that they're prepared properly.
    – alroc
    Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 16:13

4 Answers 4


I'm not sure what the labor laws are in India, but in the United States we are At-Will so we stop working whenever either side chooses to end employment. It is customary to give a two week notice, but it is not even legally required. If you have given your resignation notice and your employer wants you to stay, that is because they didn't want you to leave in the first place. You are not obligated to stay any longer, and I'd imagine you quit for a reason. If you have a new job that you will be starting or some other new responsibility simply explain that to your boss so he/she understands that you cannot keep working for him/her. If your boss still attempts to get you to stay then it sounds like the simple act of quitting your job is probably burning bridges, but you can't always avoid that.

  • yes CTO asked me to reconsider my decision without uttering anything about counter offer or so, but I gently refused. And hence we moved on a lot.I quit because of personal and professional reason. IMO he wants me to stay to cover up a failure to find a replacement, no matter whose. :)
    – Prasham
    Commented Feb 11, 2013 at 17:20
  • 2
    and in other countries there's a legal requirement for companies to offer notice periods, with even the (minimum) length of them set in law. E.g. here it's 1 month, or 2 if the employee has been employed for more than 5 years, or double the term the employee has by his contract to give.
    – jwenting
    Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 6:58
  • @Prasham the best you can do is to be gentle but firm. It sounds like you are already taking the correct course of action but you should also make sure you have a record that proves you gave notice when you gave it. Commented Feb 12, 2019 at 11:29
  • I'm not sure what the labor laws are in India [...] we stop working whenever either side chooses to end employment My knowledge of Indian labour laws is extremely limited, but I know that our Indian colleagues do not enjoy similar benefits. See What is a relieving letter? What are the consequences of not having one?
    – rath
    Commented Feb 12, 2019 at 12:04
  • 1
    ah, for some reason I'm replying to a 6 year old question. My bad, I thought this was fresh
    – rath
    Commented Feb 12, 2019 at 12:12

My knowledge of Indian laws is very limited, mostly to what I've learned on this site. I understand that a Relieving Letter is not a legal requirement, but can hurt your chances with the next company as they might decide to drop you.

My question to you is this: Have you signed a contract with the new company, and is that contract contingent on having a relieving letter?

If the new company doesn't require it, then you are in luck. You might have to burn a bridge, but if someone tries to hold you hostage because they couldn't do their job in time, that's them burning the bridge with you.


In general, once you hand in your resignation, and start your notice period, it is up to the company to get their act together to sort out knowledge transfer (even if it is documenting stuff because the replacement can't start before you leave).

If the 'commitments' you've planned (a holiday?) are already booked, then they should either honour them as is (provided you have enough annual leave to cover the time), or should negotiate a different notice period at the point you hand in your resignation. (that both parties agree to)

If you fulfill your side of the notice period, it is up to you if you want to accept their request to extend it, and you are in no way obligated to do so. It's the fault of the company if they let a condition exist where the period of notice doesn't allow them to sort everything out before it expires - that's the whole idea of having a notice period! Edit: Although, beware - some companies have cancellation policies where they can cancel leave with notice equal to the amount of leave being taken (so 3 weeks notice to cancel a period of leave of 3 weeks)

Also, notice periods usually include time off to make sure all your annual leave is used up (pro-rata of course), or the expectation that they will pay you for leave not taken if they would rather you not take any remaining allocation. (again though - pre-booked leave should be honoured - even if this means you having to take it 'unpaid')

Notice periods in general though, are an indication of the expected amount of notice to be given. It is not uncommon for them to be negotiated to be shorter or sometimes longer, based on what the employee is doing next. I've worked a 6 month period when I only needed to work 3, and 2 weeks and 3 weeks when it was policy to be a month. Usually both parties agree on the length just before the formal notice of resignation (so that the employee can state the last day of work in the letter).

This is general advice though, as I'm not entirely sure of the labour laws in India - you may need to seek advice from a legal adviser or a citizens advice bureau if there is an equivalent, especially if this doesn't sound right for your work culture. It's possible that if you don't give them the notice period specified in the contract (I realise you have) they may terminate immediately citing breach of contract.

To answer the question right at the end of your post, though, I can't see a way out of this that doesn't ire somebody. The best thing you can do is remain polite about the whole thing, but decline to do either. Tell your manager that you gave notice as required and that you are working really hard to meet the deadlines within that notice period, but you are not able to extend it, or drop the commitments that you are already committed to. (not without reimbursement). You could perhaps offer to work paid overtime in the evenings to get it all done (provided you want to). It's either that or approach the new company again and ask them if they are willing to defer your start for a week or two, as your old company is being slightly awkward about your leaving date.

  • My bad! I missed that for some reason. Have updated answer and added a few extra things I'd not thought of before
    – Smock
    Commented Feb 12, 2019 at 11:59
  • @Smock I can't see the answer to the question :/
    – Ilyas H
    Commented Feb 12, 2019 at 12:01
  • Updated with a direct answer to the question posed
    – Smock
    Commented Feb 12, 2019 at 12:16

The answer is that you should have considered this before committing to your course of action. You are voluntarily resigning, and are obligated to a two month notice period. If you are there everyday during that period, and they never identify the replacement in time for you to train them, you are not required to extend the notice period. You would have met the requirement.

But you want to end the notice period early, or you will lose your deposit for your trip. Unfortunately your only choice seems to be in violation of the requirement or extend the notice period. You may need to ask for a new start date, or try to postpone the trip.

  • 2
    The question is based on my manager (who just returned from abroad) asked me to extend the notice period, or forget the commitments. Your answer is 100% not applicable here.
    – enderland
    Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 3:23
  • The OP states that he must "extend the notice period, or forget the commitments (this includes trips of 10 days and I have already invested some money into it)" I interpret that the trip will be before then o the notice period, and he would really like to not have to return to the old company after his vacation. Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 4:42
  • As I am strictly against relieving much personal details here, but anybody just don't want to let two month's salary and some important people go away just like that, esp just because of someone failed to perform his/her duty and want his/her juniors to cover up that mistake...
    – Prasham
    Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 20:50

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