Notice period: Meaning, calculation, and rules in India

Article5 mins read2.6K views | Posted on April 2, 2024 | By Sureka

Before resigning from a job, employees are required to notify their employer in advance and serve a mandatory period known as a notice period. This also applies to employers when terminating an employee for various business reasons.

In this article, you will learn what a notice period is, including their calculation and salary rules to help you effectively manage employee exits.

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What is a notice period?

A notice period is the amount of time an employee must provide their employer before resigning from the job. Similarly, employers are also required to give notice to employees before ending their employment.

The period starts when the employee first informs their employer about their departure and lasts until their last day of work at the company. It serves as a transitional period, allowing time for the employee to wrap up their responsibilities and for the employer to find a replacement for the departing individual.

Is it compulsory to serve a notice period?

Yes, the Indian Contract Act 1872, and the Industrial Employment Standing Orders, 1946, require both the employer and the employee to provide notice, unless stated otherwise in the contract or company policies.

The applicability and length of the notice period is based on industry norms and should be mentioned in the job offer letter or the letter of appointment. Failure to serve the notice period may lead to legal consequences or financial penalties.

Duration of the notice period in India

The length of the notice period can vary depending on the employee's role and the company's policy. Typically, notice periods for freshers in India are 30 days, while the period for mid-level and senior roles can range from 60 to 90 days.

Why you need to have a notice period policy

Employee exits can be difficult to handle. You will be caught in the mayhem of settling dues with the departing employee, searching for new hires, and redistributing responsibilities within the team. Aside from these, you also need to ensure a smooth exit process to foster a culture of respect. Having a clear notice period policy can help you achieve that.

  • A notice period allows your employees to conduct knowledge transfer sessions, reassign tasks to other team members, and minimize disruption to business operations.
  • They provide you with time to conduct interviews and onboard new hires without being caught off guard by sudden vacancies.
  • They act as a buffer for you to resolve contractual obligations or retrieve company property.

    Notice period letters

    These letters are exchanged between the employer and the employee to communicate the beginning of the notice period formally. It contains the date of resignation or termination, the reason for the exit, the duration of the notice period, and the employee's last working day in the organization.

    One month notice period letter format from employer to employee

    When an employee is terminated or retrenched, the employer will send the notice letter to the employee. Here's a sample notice period letter from an employer to an employee.

    Subject: Notice of termination

    Dear [employee's first name],

    We regret to inform you that, due to [reason for termination], we have decided to terminate your employment with [company name].

    As per the terms of your employment dated [offer letter date], this letter serves as the formal notice of your termination. Your last working day will be [last working day], and we request you serve a notice period of [one month] effective from [notice start date].

    We appreciate your contributions to the organization during your tenure with us and wish you the best in your future endeavors.

    Please feel free to contact us for any clarification or assistance.

    Sincerely,

    [employer name] [position] [company name]

    Download the sample notice period letter from employer

    Resignation letter with notice period

    When an employee decides to resign from their position, they will submit a resignation letter to inform the employer of their intention to resign and the notice period they are willing to serve before leaving the company. Here is a sample resignation letter:

    Subject: Resignation letter with notice period

    Dear [employer's name],

    Hope you're doing well.

    Please accept this letter as a formal notification of my resignation from the position of [role] at [company name].

    As per the terms of employment, I am providing [notice period duration] notice, and I request you relieve me by [last working day].

    I am grateful for the opportunities I've had during my time at the company and am committed to ensuring a smooth transfer of my responsibilities.

    Thank you for your understanding.

    Sincerely,
    [employee's name]

    Download the sample notice period letter from employer

    Notice period rules

    Leave applicability

    Many companies allow employees to take sick leave or earned leave during the notice period, subject to approval from their reporting manager.

    For extended days of sick leave, employees may be required to submit a medical certificate.

    Salary rules during the notice period

    Employees are entitled to their full salary and benefits during the notice period. In most cases, employers cannot withhold or reduce salary for resigning. However, they're allowed to deduct unsettled dues or recover for damages caused by the employee from their full and final settlement.

    Notice period during probation

    Notice periods for employees on probation differ from those of confirmed employees. Typically, shorter notice periods apply during probation, ranging from one to two weeks. This can vary depending on the terms outlined in the probation letter.

    What if your employee doesn't serve the notice period?

    If employees don't serve the initially agreed-upon notice period, it is usually considered a breach of contract. Here's how some companies respond when employees quit without notice.

    • Notice pay deductions: Notice pay is the amount equivalent to the salary the employee would have earned during the notice period. Employers can deduct this amount from the employee's final settlement if they do not serve the mandated notice period. This deduction helps offset the costs incurred by the company due to the sudden departure.
    • Negative references: Employers can provide negative references or blacklist employees from working in the industry, making it challenging for them to find new jobs.
    • Legal action: In adverse cases, employers can take legal action against the employee to recover any damages caused.

    Frequently asked questions

    1. Is the notice period legal in India?

    Yes, notice periods are legally enforceable in India. The signed letter of appointment is considered a legal document by the government. If the letter specifies the terms and conditions of the notice period, then both the employer and the employee are bound to comply with them.

    2. What is a notice period buyout?

    A notice period buyout allows an employee to resign from a job without serving notice by paying a certain amount to the employer. For example, if an employee has to leave immediately due to medical reasons or for studies, they can negotiate with their employer to pay a buyout amount instead of working the notice period.

    3. What is meant by a negotiable notice period?

    When a notice period is negotiable, it means that the length of the notice period can be discussed with the employer and adjusted. This allows both parties to come to a mutually accepted period that may differ from what is initially stated in the appointment letter.

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    References

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