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India: Contracts of employment

Original and updating author: Kochhar & Co


  • The form and content of employment contracts are subject to little statutory regulation, and generally contracts need not be in writing. (See General)
  • Probationary periods are subject to specific statutory regulation only in the case of establishments that are required to have in place "standing orders", setting out certain conditions of employment applicable to employees defined as "workmen". In such cases, the maximum probationary period is three months. (See Probationary periods)
  • In employment law terms, the main distinction is not between types of contract but between employees defined as "workmen" and other employees. Various statutory rights and protections apply only to workmen, while in other areas workmen have enhanced entitlements and protections. (See Types of contract/employee)
  • Employers are not generally required to provide employees with written details of their terms and conditions of employment, except in shops and commercial establishments in certain states. (See Written statement of terms of employment)
  • Any amendment to the employment contract must generally be agreed by the employer and employee. However, in the case of employees defined as "workmen", the employer may, by observing a specific procedure, amend certain conditions of employment, without an explicit written agreement to this effect. (See Variation of contract)