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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 44867
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I am an employee who has just resigned and I have a 3 months

Customer Question

I am an employee who has just resigned and I have a 3 months notice period contractually.I want to leave at the end of one months notice ,I dont expect to be paid for the remaining 2 months but my employer has threatened me with legal action ?What are my risks and options?FW
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to be able to assist with your question today. Please let me know is your specific question about this?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

For Ben Jones Only,yes and I have an additional question on my employers legal right not to pay my bonus for jan to dec 2012 because I resigned on 28th Feb 2013 and the bonus is payable in march 2013 pay.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
When an employee wishes to leave their employment, they will usually be bound by one of two notice periods – a contractual one or a statutory one.

If there is a written contract in place and it contains a specific notice period, the employee will be contractually bound by it. If the employee fails to honour this notice period then technically they will be acting in breach of contract. The employer can then make a claim for breach of contract and seek compensation for damages resulting from that breach. However, such claims are very rarely made. This is mainly due to the costs and time required to do so, plus the uncertainty over the outcome. Whilst there is no way of predicting whether the employer will take this any further or not, chances are that they will not. A more probable outcome would be that the employer refuses to provide a reference in the future or if they do, it may mention that the employee had left in breach of contract.

In the absence of a contractual notice period, an employee who has been continuously employed for at least one month is required to give a minimum notice period of one week to leave.

It is therefore best to try and negotiate a mutually acceptable notice period that would suit both parties. However, if that is not possible, and there is a pressing need to leave immediately, that may be the only option, subject to the risks identified above.

One final option is to claim that you believe you have been constructively dismissed. That occurs when an employer has committed a serious breach of contract. If you believe that such a breach has occurred, you can treat the contract as having been terminated with immediate effect and argue that you can leave without giving any notice as the contractual notice period would no longer be enforceable. However, only go down this route if there is a genuine breach by your employer and inform them that you are treating yourself as having been constructively dismissed.

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