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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48465
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Dear Sir/Madam, I have a question, I hope you can help. I

Customer Question

Dear Sir/Madam,
I have a question, I hope you can help.
I work in the city and wish to leave my job. I intend to start work as a contractor and was offered a position on friday (just gone). I intend to resign on Monday. The issue is I have a 3 month notice period and the company that recently offered me the job require that I start in 3 or 4 weeks time. I have about 4 weeks holiday which I have purposely not taken and I hope I can use this to offset some of the notice period, but that still leaves 4 weeks that legally I presue I am contracted to serve.
My question is what are the consequences if I cannot convince my employer to waive this period. What if I just walk away?
I am also tempted to profess to leave "for personal family reasons", but not sure if this is a good idea.
Please advise what my legal position is?
If I leave before the full notice period could I be sued?
Could the firm refuse to wite me a reference in future?
Could this jeopardise the company I am about to join?
Regards,
Victor
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Is the employer going to suffer any losses as a result of you leaving early?
JACUSTOMER-x9k6hc4n- :

I do not believe so. Certainly not financial. The team is reasonably large and so there will need to be be a re-arrangement of resources to address on-going projects.

Ben Jones :

Hi, sorry I was offline when you replied earlier on. If there is a written contract in place and it contains a specific clause detailing the notice period an employee is supposed to give if they wanted to leave their employment, they will be contractually bound by it. Therefore, if the employee fails to honour this notice period then they will be acting in breach of contract. The employer then has the option of suing the employee to seek compensation for damages resulting from their 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. 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 the employee 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. However, if no financial losses have been suffered by the employer by you leaving earlier than required by contract, it is unlikely they can do anything because any breach of contract claim they could make will only entitle them to recoup such losses and of none have been suffered, then no realistic claim exists.

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

JACUSTOMER-x9k6hc4n- :

Ben are you online?

Ben Jones :

hi yes I am

Ben Jones :

Hi, do you need any further advice in relation to this?