Anayaat
Hr & Administration Specialist
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Branch Manager - Operations
Vishwanathsavula
Human Resources
Malikjs
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Arun29478
Consultant - Strategic Hr
Nagwan06
Legal Professional
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Hello Experts,
Please answer below mentioned questions:
1. Is the Offer letter a legal contract between employer and employee?
2. Can employee or employer go to the court based on the terms mentioned in offer letter?
3. If certain caluses in offer letter are designed to give unfair benefits to employer (like if it clearly mentions notice period for employer to terminate employee but doesn't talks about the notice period from employee side), Will it be a valid contract\agreement?
Thanks and regards,
versha rajan

From India
Hi Versha,
Good question you asked.
1. An Offer Letter can act neither an agreement nor a contact. It is all about offering employment. AN employer will issue to a prospective employee stating he is select for ..... post, and can join on......... date. An agreement or contract should be made the both parties. Here it is a kind of one way communication. And no employer can take legal action against offer letter.
2. Coming certain statutory compliances and as well provision mentioned in the respective shops and establishment Act or Factories Act, an employee can appear or appeal the court for his benefits, though it is mentioned in the appointment letter or not.
Let me if you have any further queries.......!!
Cheers,
Vishwanath

From India, Hyderabad
Hi,
Your question needs a little clarity. If you are asking about "offer letter", it is not an agreement but just an offer extended by the organization to the candidate. The candidate may accept the offer and not join the organization, in which case the offer becomes void.
But if you are talking about the letter of appointment ( in some companies, the offer letter and appointment letter are one and the same) then it is a legal document. the validity of any legal document can be questioned if its unfair to one of the parties amongst whom the agreement is made. Example: If the appointment letter states that the employee needs to give a notice of 1 month or salary in lieu of 1 month but the company can terminate the services without giving any reason whatsoever, this clause of the agreement can be challenged in the court of law.
Please let me know if i have addressed your query or if you need more clarifications on the same.
Regards,
Arun

From India, Bangalore
It is said to be valid contract, only if there is both an offer & acceptance. When an offer is accepted, an agreement comes into picture with the acceptance of the terms mentioned in the offer letter.
CRK
[email protected]

From India, Vijayawada
Ms.Versharajan
Offer letter is merely assurance by the employer that he will provide opportunity to work in his organisation. The offer may be accepted by the candidate or may not. hence there is no legal binding on him. Further any conditions in offer letter is made and candidate has accepted the condition and reported duty then legal binding will be there to full fill the agreed terms
satish B

From India, Bangalore
1. An offer will be a binding contract only after its acceptance. Pl make clear, whether same is accepted and/or acted upon.
2. If same is accepted, employer and employe both have right to move a court of law for performance of conditions laid down in the contract.
3. Terms and conditions are mutually accepted once. If a term is not acceptable to you, don't accept it at all. Having accepted, you cannot crib. As far as notice period is concerned, as can be seen from your query, it is beneficial to employee, and employer has to comply with certain obligations under Industrial and labour laws. If employer wants, he can put a condition from employee side also, of course, it is subject to mutual acceptance.

From India, Madras
1. Is the Offer letter a legal contract between employer and employee?
Offer Letter will become a legal contract document when the employee accepts it.
2. Can employee or employer go to the court based on the terms mentioned in offer letter?
Yes, based on miscondut, Thift, misuse of company property, etc. For other terms, employer and/or employee can separate without approaching court.
3. If certain caluses in offer letter are designed to give unfair benefits to employer (like if it clearly mentions notice period for employer to terminate employee but doesn't talks about the notice period from employee side), Will it be a valid contract\agreement?
Normally, for any new incumbent, notice period may be 24 hrs on either side. If it has not mentioned in the offer letter, it is a mistake.
Regards,
Mahesh Seshadri
[/QUOTE]

From India, Madras
An Offer letter is only a letter of intent whereby the employer makes an Offer of Employment to a prospective employee.

Normally, LOI or Offer letter does not contain details of notice period etc...these are stipulated in the Appointment letter which is issued only after the candidate formally joins the organization.

Also, in the Offer Letter it is generally stipulated that ...."you have agreed to join the Co. on or before.....failing which the offer shall automatically withdrawn"

The employee-employer relationship begins only after the candidate joins the organization and thereafter the relationship will be governed by the terms and conditions stated in the Appointment Letter.

Now, if the candidate finds that the Offer Letter he has received contains certain stipulations which are not agreeable to him, the best course of action would be to discuss such clauses with the issuing authority and try and sort things out to one's satisfaction.

Well, if the terms and cinditions mentioned in the Offer letter are such that one is not inclined to accept them, just do not accept them and in the process decline the offer made by the employer.

Vasant Nair

[/QUOTE]

From India, Mumbai
Dear all,
As mentioned by most of my senior friends, offer is not a contract. The offer needs to be accepted in letter & spirit. Acceptance of the offer is the first step. This normally means that the employee-to-be has accepted the terms therein. But while most good companies do see that it (the offer & terms) can stand up to legal scrutiny, at times some clauses are loaded in favour of the employer.
In case a clause is discriminatory it will not stand up in court. Secondly, depending on the position applied for, the various ACTS would come into play (ex: Indian Contract Act, Labour laws) even if the document is silent on any aspect.
So you always have legal recourse in case of any dispute (but you must have the time & patience to fight it out!!)
We, however, need to know more about this specific case to advise any further.
rgds
H Prashad
Sr Trainer & Consultant

From India, Delhi
Do you have to give both letters — the offer letter first and then the appointment letter?? When do you give the appointment letter? Thanks Matty
From India, Bangalore

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