An Employment bond is a legal agreement between an employer and a candidate who has cracked the interview process and is now going to be a part of the company. The urge to develop this sort of agreement has its roots in the disloyalty from the employees. Basically, if you are an employee of an IT industry or say any industry which after lots of research and investment of time, money and other resources gets the result then, as an employer one will definitely think that investing in you is not worth it if you can’t stay up to a long tenure or at least till the completion of committed time period with them.
After a good number of experiences encountered by an employer, they realise that in spite of every possible activity of motivation, engagement and recognition still their employees don’t even think a moment back before leaving their jobs they start feeling the need of introducing a Villain of the cinema called “Employment Bond”. So at least they can replenish the loss they have faced after sudden job leaving from an employee. An employment bond comes with a negative gist of paying penalty and if you are thinking, why to pay a penalty, then you are absolutely right. Even the employer thinks the same. But we never think from another side of the bench.
Is Employment Bond Legal in India?
Yes, it is legal and enforceable in India, if the bond levies a reasonable negative covenant on the employee part. Also if it is signed with a free consent from both the end then the Bond is said to be legal and it has a negative consequence when it is breached by either of the parties. The Indian courts have held that in the event of a breach of contract by the employee, the employer shall be entitled to recover damages only if a considerable amount of expenditure was borne by the employer.
Well, we never think while signing the bond, once we are ready to move on to other organisation we start surfing the question “Are Employment bond legal or not in India?” We never think about the employer who has given efforts to hone our skills, have enlightened our career by giving us a chance to be in their organisation and try out our knowledge.
Employment Bond at Emipro
I joined Emipro before 3 months as an HR of the organisation. Being a staunch corporate experienced MBA, I was filled with a knowledge or we can say a notion that any successful software IT company is ought to have an employment bond which holds the employee at least for a specific span of time in the organisation. But gradually I realised that Emipro does not have any damn written bond or even does not withhold any original document from technical employees as well. My MBA knowledge was forcing me to believe this to be incorrect, I always had this in my mind that if we are not making any legal bond with our employees then why one will stay here for long. One day I got a chance to discuss this with one of our core management team member when one employee offered his resignation and left our organisation with no valid reason. I asked my Senior manager that when the man who left us was doing well and as per my knowledge he was naive in the field when he joined us. It was us who contributed considerably by imparting knowledge and training to him. We have given him a good number of increment in his tenure over here. Then why should we suffer, instead can’t we have an employment bond so that these people at least stay here until our investment of time into them is repaid? I got a beautiful answer which has cleared the fog from my eyelids. Below is a glimpse of what I learnt that day ;
These were the words of one of our top level management person to make me understand why Emipro believes ‘No Bond’ is the best bond,
" In autumn all the leaves fall down from a tree, no matter how useful or beautiful it may be. But it is not the end of the life of the tree. The trunks of the tree are so strong that the falling leaves from its branches may make it ugly for a few passage of time but it will regain its beauty soon at the farewell of autumn. Similarly, we want our ethics and values to be so strong that at least our team who are with us always have a beautiful output no matter whatever comes and goes due to autumn and we are sure autumn is not permanent."
Emipro believes in three fundamental tenets of the Zoroastrian religion :
"HUMATA, HUKTA & HUVARASHTA"
which means, "Good thoughts, Good Words & Good Deeds"
Above three things has helped us to establish a strong and long lasting relationship with our Employees. So once a strong mutual bond is established between us and our employees, what is the need of a written bond? Why should we become a convoy for someone’s original documents or minor deposits? We believe our trust towards our employees will make them more loyal than their signing of employment bond. We always keep the “Bond of Mutual Trust” and never a Legal Bond.
However, we had faced many problems and had loose many employees in whom we have invested our real energy. Being a fast growing IT company sometimes it also happens that we train a person so that (s)he can work on a specific project but before that employee leaves the job taking a good amount of training. It has been almost 6 years from our establishment and still sometimes we face the situation where an employee leaves with no valid reason.
We also have earned many employees who seem to have become a part of our family in the past 6 years. Their engagement and enthusiasm towards their work and our organisation make our trust stronger and our idea of not having any legal bonds strongest. Recently when we were in planning to inaugurate our workplace at Ahmedabad location, we somehow thought to introduce this employment bond for our branch office staff at Ahmedabad as being a new and developing workplace we can not afford to train and lose employees again and again. But in a fraction of a second, our management denied and we decided to stand to our ethics and believe in our autumn theory.
We want an environment where our employees work at their own will and thus can learn, grow and flourish in the field and do not get the feeling of working behind the bars. An environment where everybody works with an ownership. We want a quality output no matter how short the tenure is, of the employee. While abiding by our ethics, it becomes painful many times when employee do not think before leaving the organisation even once but at the end of the day we are satisfied that the people who are there with us are really with Us!
Before closing my blog, let me have some clarifications. Organization is sometimes forced to have bonds even if they do not want to have it. It may be the result of either high attrition without any reason or due to legal factors. This does not mean that ethics are changed,it is just the times that has changed. Ultimately let me recite our ethics again;
"HUMATA, HUKTA & HUVARASHTA"
At the end there’s just one question to all, is employment bond embedded or is it cultivated by us as an employee ??
See you soon with more exciting personnel hack!