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We have signed a two-year bond, which requires us to pay a penalty of one lakh rupees should we choose to leave before the completion of the duration.

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1. When I joined the organization, they had me sign a two-year BOND, which stated that if I left before the two years were up, I would need to pay them one lakh rupees as a penalty. 2. I have now been offered a job at another organization that has better opportunities. 3. My current organization is threatening me to pay the bond, but I have read all the posts on this site and they state that the bond is not valid according to Indian laws. Can I tell the HR that I won’t be paying them? 4. I also need to join the other organization soon, which requires an Experience Letter and a Relieving Letter. 5. Could my current organization stop me from getting my Experience Certificate and Relieving Letter? (It seems they may threaten this too). If so, what should I say? Please tell me the solution. 6. The notice period is two months, but I will only be able to serve one month due to joining the other organization.

  1. It appears that you do not wish to fulfill the obligations of the contract you signed, including paying damages, serving the notice period, and paying the notice period. You do need a work experience certificate and a relieving letter, however. If you can manage to get out of this situation without any legal or financial repercussions, then I’d say we are living in the best world possible, where employers can be taken advantage of. My advice is to try and negotiate with your current employer to waive the bond and with your future employer to extend the date of joining so that you can hand over properly.

  2. To answer your queries/comments: 1. The bond was applicable to all training provided, including the general technical training that was given to the 200 jonnies. 2. Many who received additional paid training have left the organization without having to pay the bond. 3. I am willing to serve a one month notice period and pay the salary for the second month. 4. I am asking if the experience and relieving certificates are an obligation of the company. 5. I have not been given any significant work for the past year, so I feel this employer should be held accountable.

  3. You seem to have misunderstood the kick around thing. If I were the HRM of your organisation, I would support the employer. Let’s take each point one by one: 1) A training is a training, regardless of the content, and signing a bond is as binding as an appointment letter. 2) If many have left without paying, this firm is on the brink of closure, I believe. 3) Your current situation is up to you, but the firm has the right to decide as per their discretion; they are also responsible for providing livelihood to many. 4) What if they issue you an absconding letter through registered post? 5) How come you only realised the money you received was for sitting idle when you were leaving? I hope, as stated in an earlier post, you will try to resolve the matter in the best interest of your current employer.

  4. It is essential to be aware that you cannot leave your current job before the period specified in the bond without paying the amount mentioned in the bond. The organisation has the right to take legal action against you as they have proof of your agreement to the terms and conditions of the job. Once you pay the amount, you will receive all the necessary documents such as experience and relieving letters. For instance, if you joined WIPRO and signed a two-year bond, and then received an offer from Infosys or vice versa after three months, it is not reasonable to expect to be released easily. Before you make any decisions, consider the implications for your career and future. Money can be earned in a year, but it takes years to build a reputation. Therefore, it is advised that you abide by the bond you signed.

  5. To the two people who commented above: Could you please explain why I should pay the bond, based on the following points? According to Indian law, the enforceability of the employment bond can be challenged as it restrains the lawful exercise of trade, profession, or business. Section 27 of the Contract Act, 1872, states that any agreement in restraint of trade or profession is void. Therefore, any terms and conditions of the agreement which directly or indirectly compel the employee to serve the employer or restrict them from joining a competitor or other employer are not valid under the law. The employee, by signing a contract of employment, does not sign a bond of slavery and, therefore, always has the right to resign the employment even if they have agreed to serve the employer for a specific time period. Bonded labor has long been abolished in India and no bond can force any person to work against their wishes. Article 19 of the Indian Constitution states that the right to work is a fundamental right, and under no circumstances can this right be waived or any person be forced to do something that violates the rights mentioned in Article 19. Additionally, is it my fault that I was idle and should not have taken the salary because I was given no work? Furthermore, I was looking for better opportunities and when I found one, I decided to move on. What is wrong with that?

  6. I suggest you forget about the fifth point you raised. I’m not sure why you are so troubled by this. As you mentioned, many have left the job without paying a rupee. Regarding the legal aspect, the conclusions drawn from the internet are final. If you read them carefully, you will find your answer. Signing a bond and being a bonded labourer are two different things; in either case, no one can force a person to work (which is slavery). So, the point is that you signed a bond not to get a job, but to get additional training which you were not obliged to take. If your future employer is willing to accept you without a relieving/experience certificate, that is great. But what if they contact your previous employer about the dues? My point is that you should discuss this with your HRM and try to resolve the issue. Nobody wants to take away your opportunity.

  7. I am concerned about the bond because the HR said that the decision of who to take the bond from and who not is up to the business unit head and there is no waiver. Is this fair? How does it work? I was forced to sign the bond on the first day of joining, and the bond was with ABC organization which has now been acquired by XYZ organization. We heard that bonds are not valid with XYZ organization and there have been reports of the bonds being waived due to the acquisition. Does this give me any advantage? I apologize for the confusion, any help would be greatly appreciated.

  8. Dear, The employer has the right to decide on waivers and additional benefits, which can vary on a case-by-case basis. If I signed a contract with a company that has since changed its name, my bond is still valid. My point is that the company cannot avoid its obligations by changing its name. Unfortunately, neither of these points work in your favour, as I have been saying from the start that you need to negotiate with the current HRM (which may come at a cost, such as two months’ notice instead of one). However, since you have stated that “many have left the organisation without paying a rupee”, the HRM may be displeased and pass the issue on to your departmental head. There is still a chance, though. Since you have mentioned that the bond was signed at the time of offer, it can be seen as a criterion of selection. If after joining you discover such a binding, any court cannot enforce it. To simplify, an offer is as good as a sale of a catalogue (with *conditions apply). Once you join a company based on an offer letter, it is an acceptance of the offer letter and the joining itself is a contract. If a bond is issued after joining, it is useless and you should consult a lawyer. However, you will need to prove it.

  9. It appears that I have the option of paying the bond to expedite the release process, or I can continue to fight and risk losing out on the other job. Do they negotiate on the bond amount? I’m not interested in paying the full amount, but I’m willing to pay something to get a smooth exit. Money can be earned again, but I don’t want to waste my time listening to their ridiculous conversations.

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