Can Companies Force Employees to Serve Notice Period?
Even though companies across the world are coming up with people friendly policies, there is always a small section of employees who like to take advantage of the same. Often employees leave organizations without serving notice in the lure of better chances elsewhere. But this is only a short term advantage. Barring some countries, most good organizations require a ”service or relieving certificate” as proof of employment.
The signed and stamped ” Letter of Appointment” between and employer and employee is a legally valid document in the court of law. If an appointment letter clearly spells out the conditions of termination and notice, and the employee signs the document, then he/she must abide by the terms. However, most organization have a condition of ”lieu of”. Typically the notice period can be waived ”in lieu of” pay deduction. And most employees exercise that option by negotiating the difference with the other organization. There are always exceptions but no ethical organization can force an employee to serve the notice unless there is a pressing business need or ”notice pay” refusal from employee or monetary advances provided to the employee.
The Specific Relief Act says that a Contract of Personal Service cannot be enforced in a Court of Law which means that if an employee quits before the Notice period the Employer can only recover the Notice pay. No Employer can force an Employee to complete the Notice period, it is for the employee to complete the Notice period in order to take his full salary and the relieving letter.
You can leave the job by either giving notice or payment in lieu of notice.The Company’s policies and procedures are the supplementary aspects. The constitution of India provides the fundamental right to every person to choose the profession of his choice and any agreement contrary to this is invalid. By putting the clause in service regulation that it is company’s discretion to accept the notice or not is against the provisions of constitution of India. Hence company cannot threaten you by showing this clause. The Company cannot force you to serve the entire notice period.