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Employee requested for long leave without pay. Leave was granted for six months. After six months employee requests for joining back. Employer agrees with a condition that there will be break in service and the term of employment will begin anew with protection of salary. What are the hidden consequences of accepting this proposal?
From India, Vijayawada
Dinesh Divekar

Dear Sankara,

In what capacity have you written this post? Are you the employee in question who had asked for a long leave or are you from the HR Department and referring to an employee from your company? Is it that you are a third party witnessing this incident?

The employee had asked for a long leave, and it was agreed to by the employer. The approval of the leave application even without pay is nothing but a commitment of continuity in employment. Now, why does the employer wish to back out? In that case, why did the employer approve the leave at all? The applicant could have been told to submit a resignation and could have been told that his rejoining would be conditional or considered later. Clear communication is a prerequisite to maintain the proper culture in an organisation.

Employers are expected to be firm while taking a decision. If the employer has changed the stance after six months, then it shows his/her fickle-mindedness. Therefore, is it worthwhile to rejoin such a company? Why not avail of the better opportunity? Though the employee was without pay, his continuation has increased the length of his employment in the company. Why not take benefit of it?

Your question was on the merits and demerits of rejoining the company. The replies are as below:

a) If the employee rejoins, there will be a break in his/her career. Whether the employee joins the same company or any other, while availing of the future opportunities, he/she will have to explain the reasons for the break.

b) If the employee rejoins, and if he/she is eligible, then he/she may apply for the payment of gratuity for his/her past tenure. However, to become eligible for the gratuity again, he will have to serve at least five years. In case, if the employer does not pay the gratuity, then the employee must obtain a proper confirmation for considering the service even before the break.

c) If the employee rejoins, he could lose the seniority for the promotion etc. The employer may or may not consider his past tenure.

d) If the employee rejoins, then he/she will have to carry a burden of favour by the employer. The employer could expect the employee to be indebted and might even take undue advantage of it.


Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore

Thank you Dinesh Sir for giving clarity on my posting. The referred employee is my friend who worked in the same organization where I am working.
From India, Vijayawada

For more clarity, you can connect with the HR person or your line managers or review the document, if they are making you sign (if any).
You do not have to worry as long as you are a good team player or the employee, who has good history of achievements/performance.

But, if you are not getting a good vibes or you are skeptical, while joining the company then you can do 2 things, 1 - Join the company & start looking out for the new job & then switch the company, once you get a suitable profile. 2 - Ask for some more time & relentlessly search opportunities before joining this company.

From India, Thana

The employee in question was granted leave of sixmonths wih out pay, - does he has any written proof for this?
Was the leave granted included continuation of other fringe or statutory benifits?
If answer is No, then you will be joining as new employee. Your Break period will not be counted as with in continued service.There are statutory obligations on company because of which company will not be able to show you on continuous service records.
Start Fresh.

From India, Vadodara

The indisputable fact that the long leave on loss of pay was already sanctioned by the employer indicates that the service of the employee has not been severed. So, the employee has the right to rejoin on the expiry of the leave sanctioned. No question of asking the employee to join afresh foregoing his entire past service rendered. Whether the long leave on loss of pay would be counted for service benefits like continuity of service depends on the service regulations of the organization. If it is silent, the employer can use his discretion to treat it as a break in service for terminal benefits like gratuity and other incidental service benefits like promotion and increment which cannot be questioned by the employee. BUT asking him to rejoin afresh will not be correct as the leave of absence is an authorized one despite the loss of pay.
From India, Salem
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