Labour Laws Q/A

Conflict Between the Standing Orders and Appointment Letter

Q. Will an appointment letter issued to an employee providing probation period more than that what is specified in the certified standing orders have the binding effect?

The terms and conditions of employment in the certified standing orders cannot be negatived to a workman by conditions contained in his letter of appointment. For instance if the certified standing orders provide that the services of an employee cannot be retained on probation for more than six months and the appointment letter provides probation period nine months and if the probationary services of an employee are terminated after six months the termination will be illegal.1 The Allahabad High Court has held that when the terms and conditions of service in appointment letter are inconsistent with standing orders, the latter will prevail.2

The Bombay High court has also held that in case of conflict between appointment letter and standing order the latter will prevail.3


  1. Printers House (P) Ltd., Ballabgarh v. State of Haryana, 1982 (II) LLN 327; Uttar Pradesh Co-operative Spinning Mills Ltd., Etawah v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 1978 Lab IC 1137 (All HC); Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi v. Jawahar Lal Mamtani, 1985 Lab IC 3 (Del HC); Ponnuswamy (R) v. Labour Court, Coimbatore, 1989 LLR 280.
  2. R.P. Garg v. Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., 2007 LLR 247 (All HC).
  3. WIKA Instruments India Pvt. Ltd., Pune v. Mrs. Swati U. Nawgaonkar, Pune, 2016 LLR 209 (Bom HC).

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H.L Kumar

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