Mandatory appointment letters: ‘Building the base’ for employment verification

“Appointment letters become a starting point for industrial disputes in many cases”. In extreme cases, the companies’ even try to deny that the worker was appointed by them said a senior labour ministry official.’’ According to The Hindu,’ appointment letters will be made mandatory soon for companies with more than 10 workers’. Companies in the manufacturing, construction, plantation, mining and a few more sectors will have to issue a letter of appointment at the time of hiring. It shall be a good way to build relationship and commitment beyond verbal job assurances. The unorganized sector shall be greatly benefited from this much needed step.

As it is, employment verification is a pre-requisite to exhaustive background verification. To start with, previous employments can be checked with last authorized appointment letters, to confirm last held positions. Granting appointment letters at all levels will not only remain as an evidence of employment but also ease out verification of past employment credentials. The letters will help bridge gaps between the employer and the employee, clearly stating the entitlements.

Centre of Indian Trade Unions President A.K. Padmanabhan said only a handful of labour laws such as the Sales Promotion Employees (Conditions of Service) Act, 1976 specifically talk about the need to issue an appointment letters. The letter includes critical data like designation, tenure, benefits etc. “Appointment letter is the only authoritative proof that a person is employed and all the statutory benefits including Employees’ State Insurance, provident fund are passed on to her or him,” Mr. Padmanabhan said. There have been instances where employees are removed, amidst on-going contacts leaving no evidence of employment.

Any kind of employment or work engagement including contingent and temporary contracts require to be well-documented to be presented, when needed during verification processes. To avoid any administrative and compliance hassles, employers avoid handing out formal letters. But then the letter can pave way for the next best job for the candidate.