I received an offer letter for a new position with a new employer. I handed in my resignation to my previous employer, and served out my notice period.

After my last day at my previous company, the new company informed me that they needed to postpone my onboarding for a week due to the Coronavirus lockdown. The lockdown was extended beyond that week so I requested a virtual onboarding, however that did not occur. It's been months and yet they have not provided a Date of Joining, and when questioned they replied saying that they can't give specific joining date and I will have to wait - but nobody knows how long the wait will be.

Can I proceed legally against employer after I get another job?

Is the company liable to compensation as per LAW?

Note: I have accepted offer letter with Date of Joining mentioned in it.

From India, Gulbarga
Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Management Consultancy

Dear friend,
I understand your predicament. You have given up your old job but the new one did not come. When one is neither here nor there, it is really frustrating.
Notwithstanding the frustration, the verbatim of the offer letter needs to be understood. Has anything been mentioned on revokal of the offer letter? What are the liabilities of the employer for delaying the offer?
Under the provisions of Indian Contract Act, 1872 "Appointment Letter" becomes a contract but "Offer Letter" may or may not be. This is because of the clarity that is established in the former but may not be in the latter.
Anyway, without waiting for the same opportunity any longer, you may start looking for the fresh opportunity. The delay in taking you on board signifies the poor financial condition of that company. Therefore, it may not make much sence to join such company.
Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore

Your predicament is appreciable, you neither have the old job nor the new one. As rightly pointed out by Dinesh Sir, you need to bid for the time and sincerely wish & pray for the lockdown to end. As regards your chances in any litigation in the matter, there is a legal principle called "Force Majeure'', meaning the act of god or circumstances going beyond the control of the party. You would also agree that the new employer is not responsible for the covid pandemic and the situation is out of control. Assuming your acceptance of the offer of appointment as a binding contract the aforesaid legal principle would come to its rescue and will come in your way to get any substantial relief from courts
From India, Mumbai
I had a similar problem. My joining was postponed by 3.5 months during Covid. What would be the chances of verdict in my favour if the following are the COMPLETE wordings in the initial offer letter:


Congratulations on getting shortlisted for a offer with xxx

We are pleased to offer you to join ***** as **** effective *****

You will be on probation for a period of one year from the date of joining. On successful completion of the same you will be confirmed in the grade of ***. Details of the Compensation Structure is attached herewith in Annexure. The Appointment letter will be issued to you after joining.

You will be required to report on *****

Please confirm to us in writing, your acceptance of this offer, immediately on receipt of this letter

From India, Bengaluru

If you have accepted the terms offered to you, there is a binding contract between the two. The company having committed to take you in employment from the date mentioned therein has breached the agreement for which action could lie. But now they have extended the date of joining. Now this depends on whether you have tacitly accepted the revised offer or you have rejected it. In case you have rejected you can seek compensation, which cannot be the salary for this period but will be an amount minus the required expenses for attending duty like transport charges and other expenses.
From India, Mumbai
Dear Connection

Is it legal to take registration & placement fees (if company payout denied) from the candidate who is getting selected by HR consultancy reference? If yes/no, Please mention the supporting law with reason. Also your valuable opinion.

From India,
This was a past incident during the initiation of Covid. I just got the communication from the HR that they are deferring the joining date due to offices being closed down due to Covid, just less than 2 weeks before the proposed joining date. There was no confirmation that was sought from our end. Later, after 3+ months, they asked us to join. I worked for a while there and I am not currently with them.

In this case, is it possible to litigate and ask for a compensation for those delayed period, as it not just affected our income, but also led to the loss of a corresponding period of experience. Moreover, the last minute communication also didn't give us a chance to look out.

From India, Bengaluru

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