13 questions to ask when your current employer is delaying relieving letter

This article talks about the further course of action if the current employer is delaying relieving letter and provides the answer to the question, ‘Can a company refuse to give relieving letter?

It is truly a strange situation. 

Here are the questions one must ask: 

  1. Ask Why? Sort out the situation. Get to the problem – the root cause at hand. 
  2. Ask them for a recommendation on LinkedIn. It has its benefits for your future employment opportunities. 
  3. Is it possible for your employer to give something equivalent, that is, an experience or some other certificate? 
  4. Ask them if there can are ready to confirm your work presence and provide a recommendation. 

If the above is not going to work in your favor, and there seems to be friction between your employers and you, here are options you can consider: 

  1. Quit. As soon as possible. No questions asked. The longer you stay, the more detrimental it will be.
  2. Always be prepared. Be proactive. Forward your resignation email, relieving date confirmation, salary slips, and other related emails to your personal email ID. 

Do forward your recognition emails as well – this will help you be prepared, just in case they ‘debunk’ your existence in the company to future employers.

Can a company refuse to give relieving letter? 

Well, take a look at the appointment letter. There must be a clause in the appointment letter that talks about the relieving order or something along those lines. 

In addition, if employer not giving relieving letter after notice period, check whether a relieving letter is mentioned in the resignation letter email. If not, draft another letter quoting the earlier resignation and mention your last day of work.  

Furthermore, make sure you have a knowledge transfer document ready and prepared. It must be handed over to someone responsible and keep a copy with you as well. Ensure that you are not breaking any privileged information or clauses while you are in that process. 

Please note if your new employer wants you to join early, you must check with your previous or current employer. There will be a clause about buying out the notice and its possibility. The option of providing compensation to the Notice is a possibility.

If this is not possible, raise the issue with your new employer and politely request additional time. 

The other option is when you have completed the notice period and have to join the new company. The issue: you are not relieved from the present employer. You must address the problem to your employers and ask for a resignation acceptance copy from your previous one to send to your current one.

There is the option of suing the company, as you have completed your notice period, yet there is no relieving letter. Ensure you have the offer letter and proof of serving and completing the notice period.

Ask yourself two questions: 

  1. Has the resignation letter been acknowledged by the company? 
  2. Have you served the necessary and required notice period? 

If the answer to the above questions is ‘Yes,’ then the relieving letter should not be an obstacle. 

You can join the new company, with no legal problem arising for you. 

Your previous company will face legal issues for the non-issuance of relieving letter if you initiate legal proceedings. 

As per the Limitation Act, one can raise the application to the authority within three years of the incident. Submit the relevant documents and current conditions. It is advisable to share the employment agreement and appointment letter as well.  

It is imperative that you tell an advocate if the matter is not getting settled amicably. Submit relevant documents when required. No employer must prohibit the submission of relieving letter without any valid reason. 

What to do if company is not accepting resignation in India? 

It is unlikely that a company will not accept the resignation letter. If they do so, they have to provide relevant reasons. 

Ensure you have provided sufficient notice to your employer. If not, you can look into the option of depositing three months’ salary, which they will reject only under special circumstances. If a bond or contract is signed, a study on conditions that are specified must take place.

Please note, if the Notice period in your offer letter is not mentioned, it is an “At-Will” employment. The respective parties (employee and employer) severe their obligations as per their own will.

If the company is not accepting the resignation letter, consider sending an email to the company’s HR as per the terms mentioned in the employment letter.

Do Send a copy of the resignation letter through Post as well. 

If the company does not accept the resignation letter even after these steps are taken, you must consider issuing a legal notice.

Contact eSahayak to know how to continue the process further, and answers to the below questions are the first step to the process: 

  1. Proof of appointment or offer letter – to understand the clauses in the document. 
  2. Salary slips constitute proof of employment. Furthermore, if not paid on time, you can sue them. 
  3. You have the will to resign at any given time. They should not and must not hold you back. 
  4. Your filed complaint to HR, if available. 
  5. Do you wish to approach the Labour Commission with the complaint? 
  6. If the issue is not solved amicably, you can file an FIR for fraud and cheating.

Please do go through the Labour Laws under Industrial Disputes Act

If your line managers are not amicable, escalate the matter to the bosses above. 

  1. Mention that the notice period has been served and completed as per the clause number mentioned in the appointment order. 
  2. No tasks are pending from your end, and you have successfully submitted a Knowledge Transfer document for the next person to carry forward the responsibilities.
  3. FnF statements and payouts, Form 16 as per the statement, service certificate, relieving letter, and acknowledgment of all the assets are handed over are crucial.

Is your employer not giving relieving letter after notice period?

Address the issues and notice of resignation to the good office of the authority figure in the company. 

Think of the reasons why an issue like this could be arising, here are a few questions that you can answer: 

  1. Why is your line manager declining to accept the resignation? Why are they not providing a relieving letter? 
  2. Is your line manager the owner of the company? 
  3. In what capacity have they decided not to accept your resignation? Have they provided valid and legal reasons? If so, have they cited clauses from the appointment order to support that? 
  4. Is it a Commercial establishment or an Industrial establishment?
  5. What is the line of business? Please look at the State Laws. 
  6. What are your nature of duties, job responsibilities, etc.? 
  7. What is the hierarchy? How many people reported to you? Did you have a team? 
  8. Did you have any power to sanction leave and increment? Did you have the power to appoint and terminate individuals? 
  9. What is your duration of work in the company? 
  10. How many people are employed in the company? 
  11. Do Model Standing Orders or Certified Standing Orders apply to the company and your designation? 
  12. Do you have a copy of the Certified Standing Orders? 
  13. Is your next employer willing to provide you employment based on your salary slip as the employment of proof? Can they provide this in writing? 


In conclusion, convince your new employer that you have served the notice period in your previous organization. Tell them about the issue that the letters and documents are being delayed. If it is possible for them to intervene, ask them to do so. 

Is there an exit policy set in place in the company? Is there anything in writing from your previous employer? If there are no issues and challenges, send a legal notice asking them to provide the relieving letter in 15 days. If they fail to do so, you can file a motion in the Court of Law.