HR Manager
I've been reading a lot about relieving letters from the employee side. But from a legal point of view, must a company issue a relieving letter? Is it mandatory by Indian Law?
Thanks in advance for your feedback,
Thanks to all for your valuable feedback
My Summary and Final Thoughts below
Although not legally required, a relieving letter may be viewed as a general part of the employee/employer relationship. A company should carefully craft the process by which a relieving letter is generated including any specific terms. These should be provided to the employee upon hiring so that there is no confusion upon exit/termination.

From India, Anand
sai prasad.r

Hi Rinku,
Reliving letter may not be mandatory by Indian law. But for HR records and for statutory obligation we have to continue with this process of Reliving letter.
For Exp:

Employer Point of View:
1) payroll run ( for a resigned employee)
2) Record purpose ( For employment history of a employee in the organization)
Employee Point of view

1) for Next better career opportunity.
2) His proper career growth record.
Hope this is useful and dear Sr. Kindly tell me if i am wrong at any place.
Sai Prasad

From India, Hyderabad
HR Manager
Thanks Sai Prasad...
But let me play "Devil's Advocate" from a company point of view...
Employer Point of View:
1) Email from manager to accounts department solves issue of payroll run. Internal communication.
2) Email serves as a record. Again Internal communication
1) If employee is leaving on bad terms, why should the employer care?
2) If employee is on good terms and you issue a letter and another is on bad terms, the latter would come back and argue that the company is inconsistent.
3) If the company issues an experience letter when a employee leaves and has satisfied any leaving rules, isn't the relieving letter redundant.
4) If legally not obligated to generate a relieving letter, then why even do it as statutory obligations may be handled through other internal means.

From India, Anand
Raj Kumar Hansdah

Dear Rinku
Mr. Sai Prasad has explained the situation well.
Good employers, irrespective of whether the employee has left in a good or bad terms, issue relieving and experience letter to their ex-employees. For them, it is just like providing good working conditions, good office equipments/facilities etc. to their employees - whether or not it is mandated by law.
On the other hands, there are employers bent on exploiting their human resources in the worst possible manner with utter disregard to human rights, dignity or natural justice.
In the instant case, the choice is entirely left to you and your company, depending on their principle and policies.
Hope it clarifies the matter.
Warm regards.

From India, Delhi
HR Manager
Thanks Raj Kumar,
I'm dealing with Directors from the States which don't understand the concept of relieving letters and experience letters here in India.
Also, I've been reading a lot on the forum and there are many issues surrounding relieving letters and the fact that many companies don't want to issue them or hold back issuing them.
Great Forum!!

From India, Anand

HR -Generalist,(Web Development Company),Recruitment,Performance Appraisal,Grievance handling
Hi Rinku
I subscribe to the opinion of Mr Raj Kumar.
It is the duty of a good employer to issue a releiving letter and also make the Full and Final settlement of an employee before he leaves the company. A smooth exit process also goes a long way in creating goodwill for the company in the job market(brand building...)
I would just like to add that these days most companies insist on a copy of the relieving letter from the candidate when he/she joins an organisation.
If you have the process of issuing a releiving letter in place and explain the importance of the document to your employees well, they will have a fear in their mind that if they leave the organisation on a bad note they might face problems in their next job .
There will always be a breed of employees who will not care about documentation or professional ethics we have to take different approach to retain them or ensure a smooth exit process.
I hope this makes sense to you

From India, Pune
All industrial establishments come under the purview of the Industrial Establishment Standing orders Act are legally bound to issue service certificate which consists of relieving date too.
From India, Kochi

Legal Analyst, HRM
Hi Rinku,
Just think, if an appointment letter is a must for an employee to introduce him/her in to the company for internal purposes or record as well as for the knowledge of outsiders, why not a relieving letter also? Do you want that for outsiders he/she should be allowed to pose as an employee of the company forever even if he/she has left the company. Can some such employee not take undue advantage of the company name and goodwill even after having severed his/her relationship with the company?
If a formal relieving letter is not considered necessary, the company may also not need to issue any formal appointment letters. Then why appointment letters are issued?
It is always a two way affair, not a one way affair for the company as well as for the employee -
in and out! Ethically also, it is a must, whether the employee is being relieved in good term or in bad terms. Every detailed bit is neither available nor possible to be found in law.

P S Dhingra

From India, Delhi
p ramachandran

HR & Administrative Manager
It is,though not mentioned in any law,a must to send a relieving leter as it creats confusion in later stage.
In addition to the points,as pointed out by our friends, there is a possibility of claim of gratuity etc., from an employee,whose service may be treated as continuous as he or she is not getting relieved officially.
Moreover, what hampers to a HR Manager to issue a relieving letter to a resigned employee or notice to not reporting employee?

From India, Madras
Under Section 60 of the Factories Act, 1948, there is restriction on double employment, which reads that "no worker shall be allowed to work in any factory on any day on which he has already been working in any other factory".
Therefore, atleast in a "Factory" we must insist for relieveing letter so that we do not contravene the above provision of law.

From India, Bangalore

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