Can illness due to long working be used to avoid service contract?
I joined an MNC after signing a Service Agreement in which it was written that "In case I leave the job within 2 Years, I need to pay the company the amount of 2 lakh Rs.",the offer letter mentioned "I need to serve a notice period of 45 days if I decide to quit work".
But, I used to continuously fall ill due to long travel and long working hours. I told my manager that I will not be able to work and need to be on long leave or may not come back. I also sent emails with doctors certificate for the same. But the company says I'll have to pay the bond amount.
I don't want to pay the amount. What can I do?
Any type of Employment Bonds are nothing but a private agreement between two parties which are governed by the Indian Contract Act. There is nothing called as Employment Bond Act etc. Such bonds are applicable only if the company has spent money on the personal grooving and enhancement of the employees, but not just a training that helps employees perform better.
As per the Indian Contract Act, contracts entered between two parties, if is one sided, then such contract would be null and void.
In India, Bond is illegal in relation to employment since as per the Indian Statute, bonded labor system was long abolished and no bond can force any person to work against the employees wishes.
Article 19 of the Indian Constitution talks of fundamental rights and as per the Article 19 of the Constitution, the write work is a fundamental right, and under no circumstance does the Fundamental rights under Article 19 be waived by any person nor can any person be forced to do something that amounts to the violation of the rights mentioned under Article 19.
In view of the aforesaid discussions, the employment bond is considered to be reasonable as it is necessary to protect the interests of the employer. However, the restrains stipulated upon the employee in the said contract should be "reasonable" and "necessary" to safeguard the interests of the employer or else the validity of the bond may be questioned.
So, if the company has spent certain amount of money on your training, in such an situation, you are liable to pay the said amount, provided the company is able to prove the same.
We suggest you, if you are really unwell then you should to first go on leave by writing an email and thereafter, if you don’t recover then send the company a fitness certificate by a doctor wherein you must specify you are unable to work for aforesaid problems.
However, if you are joining some other organization. then we will not advise you to follow the above mentioned steps and further advise you to serve a notice period of 45 days and pay the bond amount, if the company is able to prove that they imparted training to you.
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