Dear Learned HR Leaders, Kindly elucidate me on the following: What is statutory and what is mandatory, these jargons I am using at many places, but I need the difference between them with example.
From India, New Delhi
Dear Colleague,

Statutory is what is created/ provided by the law and mandatory is a legal obligation created by the law.

For instance, The Factories Act provide for submitting Annual Return in the prescribed
form before certain date. This is statutory provision. Fulfilling this obligation is mandatory ( Compulsory) and any failure to do so may attract punishment as provided.

Vinayak Nagarkar
HR and Employee Relations Consultant

From India, Mumbai
Mr.Nagarkar has explained perfectly and that too with easy to understand example. Tku.
From India, Pune
Dear Kumar,

All the statutory requirements are mandatory too. How can there be a provision which is statutory but not mandatory?

The dictionary meaning of "statutory" is relating to or created by statutes. The meaning of "statute" is an act passed†by a legislative†body. There cannot be a situation wherein a legislative body (like a state assembly or the country's parliament) makes an act, but it is not binding on the citizens concerned to obey it. An act will not remain an act, or a law will not remain a law if its bounds are removed. The very binding nature of the acts or the laws makes them mandatory.

Nevertheless, all the mandatory requirements need not have a statutory requirement. The dictionary meaning of "mandatory" is required by rule. The rules are made by private organisations too and not necessarily by the governments. For example, a private club that provides a membership to the HNIs may make a mandatory requirement to own assets worth $ ______ million to become a member. A business organisation may make a rule that while recruiting candidates for the particular position(s), the candidates must have scored ____% marks or above in each semester, otherwise their candidature will not be considered at all. When consistent enforcement of the rules takes place for a little longer time, then the general public may perceive it as a "mandatory" requirement.

I hope that I have brought clarity to the difference.


Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
My Point of View on What Is Statutory And What Is Mandatory ?

Statutory-Related to or set by laws or statutes i.e it is allowed by the law, or regulated by law. e.g Legislation & Common Law : Indian Legal System are the Statutory part of Our Indian Constitution. whereas

Mandatory- obligatory requirement established by the rule of law e.g Appointment Retirement as conditions laid down under the standing order of Establishment certified by Government authorities under the act and provisions of the law of the land.
Thanks & Regards,
Sumit Kumar Saxena

From India, Ghaziabad
Dear colleagues,

I would like to add further to what I have stated and some others on this subject.

The difference between these two terms is conceptually very thin and they are like two sides of the same coin.

The law makers make the law who are on the one side of the coin and cast compulsory obligation on the other side of the coin- on the applicable party say employer, employee , government machinery etc to carry it out in the prescribed manner.


Vinayak Nagarkar
HR and Employee Relations Consultant

From India, Mumbai
Very nice answers given by our brilliant collegues. Just they can be restated differently only and nothing can be added.

Simply put statutory refers to the rights and obligations conferred by a law and in this context mandatory refers to the total compliance of such statutory rights and obligations by the person's covered by such a law.
On the other hand mandatory is a moral obligation required under the customs, usage and tradition of a society.
In terms of non-compliance, the former is visited with the penalty prescribed under the law and the latter by social condemnation.

From India, Salem
Dear Mr Kumar (acme),
Statutory is legal point which you are oblidge to follow it like all the labour laws say factory act, bonus act, gratuity act.... all the act pertaining to labour which time to time follow. Like under the factory act their is annual return submission and half yearly submission which by default you need practise/follow. In Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition Act) under it all the register the contract has to keep like I-Card Register, Wage Register, Damages REgister, Leave Register, Adult Register.....etc and every year before ending of the licence date he has to formally take the Form 5 from the principal and prescribed format to submit at Labour Office.

Mandatory - Is the defined by the Management, HR Polcies, Practice by which any information required will be cleared or information will be received. Like for e.g. there are good number of register where security has to maintained which is mandatory like visitor register, vehicle register, Inward & Outward register, loading and unloading register etc... which need to be kept, maintained & updated at daily/hourly. In this at any movement of time if we require to see which vehicle has come at which time we can cross-check. This is called mandatory. Second of the leave policy it varies from company to company. Now in the opening of the year some company gives 7 SL, 7 CL and PL/20 (or comapanies defined one at every 10 days). Now Personnel dept has to ensure within the precribed employees take the leaves and if it cross then "No wage days" This is mandatory as it not defined in Labour Law Act except the PL (which is also said as leave earned)

Hope now you are clear

From India, Vadodara

It can be generalised that what is statutory is invariably mandatory, but the reverse is not true. What is statutory has the force of law behind it but that may not be the case in mandaory requirements. Mandatory requirements are accepted to be worthwhile in the group to which it pertains, there may be or may not be any punitive action for their breach. While statutory items are formal and structured, they need not be so in the case of mandatory ones.
From India, Mumbai
statuary is basic or primary term which is related for certification / registration for various contexts, while the mandatory word is secondary which is compliance based

as in classroom the attending classes, routine class attending and homework is statuary, but appearing and passing the exams are mandatory.

similar way, the employee joining the duty for the given time table is statuary, but completion of task given under the duty is mandatory.

such as registration under ESIC / EPFO / Profession tax /CLRA /BOCW etc is "statuary" as per the applicable status of the establishment,

But making the Timely payments, submission of returns and other compliance are mandatory, as failure of these may drag the establishment as non compliant.

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