Can an apprentice claim to be appointed as a regular employee?
Under section 22(1) of the Apprentices Act, 1961, it is not obligatory on the part of the employer to offer regular employment to an apprentice who has completed his period of apprenticeship or training in his establishment nor is it obligatory on the part of the apprentice to accept the employment under the employer. Both are free in this regard. This provision is, however, subject to the non-obstante clause in section 22(2) in alternate leaving no doubt that despite the provisions contained in sub-section (1) the employer is under an obligation to offer suitable employment to apprentice if contract of apprenticeship contains a condition that the apprentice shall serve the employer after the successful completion of the training. When the letter of appointment intends to convey the meaning that there is an obligation on the apprentice to serve the employer after successful completion of the training, the employer is bound to absorb the apprentices in a particular department if there are vacancies since it creates reciprocal obligations on both parties.1
1. Narender Kumar v. State of Punjab, AIR 1985 SC 275: 1985 Lab IC 541: 1985 (50) FLR 132: (1985) 1 LLN 245.