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Rkn61
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Hi, I had resigned from my company in April 2020. And I would like to join one of the principal of my ex-employer. I had signed different bonds to get foreign training. That bond says if you left the job before certain time then I have to pay mentioned amount in bond. For which I had agreed to pay. Most of the bond time period is completed.
As I was working in that company from last 9.5 year. I had given the option to my ex-employer that I am getting this much amount from other company, if you pay me then I will be continuing with you. But they had refused. Now I got an email from employer, and the subject of email is Full and Final settlement. And they mentioned that after adjusting my Provident Fund and other things company has to collect tentatively 18 Lacs from me. When I asked for the supporting documents then they are silent. Can I join any of the principal company who had open the office in India.

From India, Sonipat
Hi Manish,
Legally as a fundamental right one has the right to join any employer of his choice. And we have seen many queries in this forum on "bonding". You may browse on them to know the overall picture, links of such posts are can be seen on to your screen. It's possible your contract of apptt. might contain a clause you affirming 'that you will not join either your principal/associates/competitors of your employer' atleast say 2 yrs of leaving and so on. It's argued that leaving earlier without completing the bonded period is a 'breach of agreement' and there have been action by employers either to adjust from the F&F settlement or a money suit for recovery is initiated. Notwithstanding, those entirely don't depend on a clean 'relieving letter' from the previous employer are joining prospective employer never minding the proposed action of the pre.employer. But in cases things are different. Others somehow manage yielding to the pressure and forego the kitty or try to complete the NP. You are the better judge weighing the options available to you. And to my knowledge EPF & Gratuity amounts cannot be adjusted as you explained as these payments are not in the hands of employers except processing the final settlement forms.

From India, Bangalore
Hi, Mr. Kumar S
I would like to inform you that I had decided to join the principal. And in my appointment no where it is mentioned that I can't join any principal or competitors. If you want I can share my appointment letter from my ex-employer. As I had already written that I am ready to fullfil the condition of bond like the amount mentioned in bond with liquidity damages. But they had collected all bonds including those bond whose validity is over.
For your information employer is submitting our PF into the trust account not in Government EPFO. Now they had written it to me that after adjustment of PF and Gratuity I have to pay 18 Lacs to company. When I asked for the supporting documents. They are not answering to me. After reminder they send an email and says that office is closed due to lockdown situation so they will provide the details after over it. I heard that they planing to do criminal case against me and my new employer. Are they able to do it or not. Secondly if I would like to go labour court then how can I proceed.

From India, Sonipat
Yes, presumably your EPF a/'c is being maintained by your own Trust (exempted establishements). Even then also an exempted Trust cannot act on the instructions of the employer despite the fact that the said Trust is administered by the employer's team. Similar is the case for gratuity, here also no recovery is possible except by an injunction of a competent court.
Secondly, I don't think, in a breach of an agreement in currency, any criminal case can be filed, except if any involving theft or any such offences committed. May be civil court case is being foisted against you.
Thirdly, are you covered under the ID act as a workman or employee under the Shops & Commercial Estt Act? If you are not covered to raise a dispute in the labour court then only an appropriate civil court can deal your case.
4) Meanwhile you should first file your forms for settlement of your due PF & Gratuity with an Authorised officials to press for immediate settlement.
Alternatively, since you have already joined with your new employer then you have to file forms for transfer of PF Balances to the entity of new employer (either present Trust or EPFO) quoting your UAN. There is no need for withdrawal from your EPF a/c.
5) I think, there can't be any 'garnishee' obligation on the part of your new employer as there is no binding agreement exists between them. However, they may try to hoodwink them by raising objections why they admitted you without a valid 'relieving letter'. I would suggest, you may consider cautioning the new employer in advance for a possible move from your pre.employer so that they are not be surprised if an when happens.

From India, Bangalore
Dear Manish Dhiman, Please note statutory payments - Provident Fund & Gratuity - can not be attached.
From India, Aizawl
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