Flouting the Notice


Maitreyee Bhaduri

Vertical Head Employee Engagement and Communication

Adani Power Limited


Flouting the Notice

There are certain default questions that are asked as soon as people hear that I belong to the HR function. The first obviously is “Are you HIRING? / How can I get a job at …?” There are of course the usual gripes about poor systems of performance management, tedious exit mechanisms and how HR needs to up their ante to be taken seriously by the business etc. While all of this is a reflection of how HR is usually perceived as a function, it is also a testimony of the HR department’s shoddy marketing skills.

Jokes apart, having come from the other side of the organization, I agree that a lot needs to change in the domain of Human Resource Management in many organizations. But I have also seen some top-of-the-line HR practices in several organizations. In my previous posts therefore, I have explained how HR systems cannot and should not be replicated if HR is to play the part of a strategic business partner. However, today I wish to answer some people who have been questioning the need to honour the ”notice period” of an organization.

The signed and   stamped ” Letter of Appointment” between an employer and employee is a legally valid document in the court of law. If an appointment letter clearly spells out the conditions of termination and notice, and is signed by the employee, then he/she must abide by the terms.  However, most organizations have a condition of ”lieu of”. Typically, the notice period can be waived ”in lieu of” pay deduction. And most employees exercise that option by negotiating the difference with their new organization. There are always exceptions but no ethical organization can force an employee to serve the notice unless there is  a  pressing business need or ”notice pay” refusal from employee or recoverable monetary advances given to the employee.

Even though companies across the world are coming up with people friendly   policies, there is always a small section of employees who like to take advantage of the same. Often employees leave organizations without serving notice in the lure of better chances elsewhere. But this is only a short term advantage. Barring some countries, most good organizations require a ”service or relieving certificate” as proof of employment.  Employees who flout the ”notice period” rules stand to lose in the long term without this important certificate. These employees also lose out on good opportunities during background checks that are usually a mandatory process of selection in reputed organizations.

Hence, my counsel to employees is ”never burn your bridges when changing jobs”. Always plan your separation well and exit an organization gracefully.

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