Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
+1 Other

Hello

I worked with my previous employer for a little over 4 years and have had cordial relations with everyone. In 2013 July, I was sent to the Philippines for an overseas assignment on behalf of my company to work for a Telecom Giant there. My company in India contracted me to it's subsidiary in Singapore, which employed me as a Contractor for the assignment. (to explain better, let's call Indian company - XXXX India pvt. ltd. and Singapore company - XXXX Singapore). When they were devising the contract, I was told that my compensation details would be as follows -

Monthly salary of $2700/month + accommodation + taxi/internet/mobile expenses (the usual) AND I was told that company will pay my taxes. In the main contract they didn't mention paying my tax expenses, due to some legalities. However, they gave me an addendum letter on which it was clearly stated that company will pay taxed paid by me in actual upon submission of proof of payment. In exact words, the following -

"Any taxes deemed payable in the Philippines will need to be filed by you locally. IN addition, if there are any tax liabilities due to your overseas assignment in India, please check with the local auditor Mr. XXXX and file appropriately. The monthly fee paid by XXXX Singapore will be gross i.e. exclusive of any taxes payable in Manila/India. XXXX Singapore will reimburse the taxes actually paid by you in respect of the assignment upon your submission of proof of payment".

Now, I paid my taxes in July'2014 for FY - 2013-14 and claimed accordingly. I was following up on it constantly but it kept moving from one person to the other and they asked me about the details of my claims which I confirmed several times. I had to quit my job for my Masters studies, for which I am now in Belgium. My last working day was on 29th Sept'14 until when I had been given no information about my claims along with my last month's salary and my yearly bonus which was still pending. Also, please note that my previous company was bought by Amdocs early last year, however it is still the people from my company who were taking care of these things.

They gradually paid my last month's salary and yearly bonus, however after months of following up they replied a couple of days ago that they will not be paying me my taxes citing their CFO, who I know had quit or was fired by the company back in July'14. I am trying to get in touch with my ex manager and HR to see my next course of action as I don't want to take any irrational decisions and would rather resolve this amicably. Moreover, I am not sure what can I do while being here in Belgium as I cannot go to the labor office personally.

Nevertheless, if the company fails to pay me I would like to know what are my options and if I can file a law suit for the breach of the contract and trust or not? If yes, upto how much amount I can claim as damages/harassment aside from the pending claims? The amount claimable run into around Rs. 4,50,000 so any advise would be highly appreciated.

Thank you

Vineet
28th January 2015 From Belgium, Brussels
Dear Vineet,

First and foremost, you deserve appreciation for writing everything in sequence. It comes with lot of learning. You must have worked under professional managers. We, the seniors are so accustomed to find the incomplete posts that there can be member of this kind was little unthinkable. Kudos to you.

Coming to your query. The contract letter and addendum has been issued in India therefore, you can send the lawyer's notice to your ex-company. While choosing lawyer please find check whether he has experience of handling cases under Indian Contract Act, 1872. While choosing lawyer, choose a lawyer from a city where ex-company's office is located.

Now the question is what if the company does not oblige to the lawyer's notice. In that case, you need to file a full-fledged suit. Again your personal appearance is required for the first hearing. Check with the lawyer whether your personal appearance can be exempted since you are at abroad to pursue higher studies. Personal appearance at least for the first hearing could be the most ticklish issue.

However, before sending lawyer's notice, you may send the letter to the MD of your company. Check whether he helps you out. As such India is famous for judicial tardiness, therefore, amicable settlement even by foregoing interest on the unpaid amount is also a better deal.

All the best!

Dinesh Divekar


28th January 2015 From India, Bangalore
Dear Dinesh

Thank you so much for the prompt response. I just wanted to be as thorough as possible in my query. I spoke to my ex manager about it and he is also dumbfounded why the company is refusing to pay despite it being clearly written in the contract and he will check with the HR who responded to me to check for the legitimate reason. Knowing how slow Indian law works I would want nothing more to settle this amicably as that would keep my relations with my employer both cordial and open for future employment as well.

Nevertheless, if it comes to filing a law suit I have an additional query - Will I need to file it against just the company or would I have to name the individuals involved as well? e.g., the signatory of the contract, the manager who negotiated the terms and conditions with me, my previous manager who also confirmed about it as it involves all of them in the case of "breach of trust and deceit".

Secondly, as I mentioned my company was bought by Amdocs so it is under their management now and the company may no longer exist technically. Who shall I send the notice to? My previous company or Amdocs Pvt. Ltd. or both together? I suppose the lawyer will know more about this but just thinking out loud here.

I will try to reach the ex-CEO of the company (he is part of Amdocs management now) as advised by you to get his opinion and intervention in the matter.

Thanks again.

Warm Regards

Vineet
28th January 2015 From Belgium, Brussels
Dear Vineet,
If you file a suit then you would be filing as ex-employee and not in personal capacity. Therefore, you may file it against the Managing Director of the company. Anything and everything happens in the company since MD delegates the power to the respective Manager in the hierarchy. However, for omissions of his subordinates, he is responsible.
Secondly, you may file a suit against Amdocs. When they took over your old company, they took over it all the liabilities which includes non-payment of allowances of wages of any kind to the ex-employees.
All the best!
Dinesh Divekar
28th January 2015 From India, Bangalore
Dear Dinesh Thank you so much for your advice. I will see how it goes in next week. I will write again seeking your advice if it doesn’t go too well. Much appreciated. Cheers Vineet
29th January 2015 From Belgium, Brussels
Just following the queries and replies of Vineet and Dinesh. Kudos to both of them. One hundred percent professional way of seeking advice and offering solutions. It is a rarity with the present day generation.
I also learnt from the replies sent by Dinesh.
Best wishes to Vineet
29th January 2015 From India, New Delhi
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