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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48193
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have resigned from my job and am 1 month into a 6 month notice

Resolved Question:

I have resigned from my job and am 1 month into a 6 month notice period. I am trying to get my current employer to commit to a date in the next few weeks when I can leave (I am very keen to start my new job), but this is proving difficult. My current employer wants me to sign a compromise agreement (because they are very worried about what I might say about them in the marketplace) which as it stands has no massive benefit to me (I'm not being paid a settlement as I've resigned). In an ideal world I would get the compromise agreement and it would include an agreed internal announcement of my departure and a reference that I am happy with for the future. However I am wondering, given it isn't of massive benefit as it currently stands, whether I shouldn't bother signing and just leave. I am not moving to a competitor. What are the risks in doing that?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.Can you please tell me how long have you been with your employer

Customer: 13 mo
Customer: 13 months
Ben Jones :

Ok thank you leave it with me I need to look up a few things and then get my advice ready.I will post back on here when done there is no need to wait and you will receive an email when I have responded.

Customer: Thanks
Ben Jones :

By the way is the 6 month notice period contractual?

Customer: It is in my contract, yes
Ben Jones :

So you mean just leave now without working the remainder of the notice period?

Customer: Yes. I would obviously prefer to resolve amicably, but my new employer needs me there ASAP as they want to sell the business and can't do that without a finance director, which is what I am. I know there's a reputational risk of doing that, but it doesn't feel massive given I have very good references from all my previous employers. I suppose I'd like to understand the likelihood of them suing me for breach of contract and their likely chances of success given I'm not going to a competitor.
Ben Jones :

As neither you nor the employer can be forced to enter into a settlement agreement, the main risk is that by leaving early you would be acting in breach of contract for not working through the contractual notice period.


 


The employer has the option of suing you to seek compensation for damages resulting from your breach. However, in reality such claims are very rarely made. This is mainly due to the costs and time involved, also the relatively small damages that can be recovered. All they can realistically pursue you for is actual costs incurred from your breach, such as costs for getting a replacement on short notice. So 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 likely outcome is that the employer refuses to provide a reference in the future or if they do, it could mention that you had breached their contract.


 


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 early, that is still a possibility, subject to the risks identified above.

Customer: Thank you. Can I please just ask one related question. If I did just leave, and it was mid month, would I still be owed my salary for the weeks I had worked or could they withhold that?
Ben Jones : Hi sorry my connection dropped earlier. Yes you would be entitled to all pay up to the last day of employment. Hope this clarifies.
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