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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 45291
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hi I wish to start a new job and have a fixed year contract

Resolved Question:

Hi
I wish to start a new job and have a fixed year contract with my current employer. However he states I cant put my notice in until the full year is up and then have to give him two months notice. I have copied relevant parts from my contract which you can see below and would appreciate any help as he says he will take me to court and sue me if I don't do the 2 months extra which is putting me off taking the new job, I have called ACAS who told me I only need to give one weeks notice and I can leave when my year is up but my current employer says that the contract is legally binding by ABA law ? and ACAS wouldn't have a clue.
Service Contract
For the first 12 months we will offer a fixed service contract for this period, reverting to a rolling contract as set down in our standard terms and conditions thereafter.
Notice of termination
After the initial fixed 12 month period the required written notice which will be given to you is 1 month.
After the initial fixed 12 month period the written notice which will be required from you is 2 months.
If you need to see full contract I can email it, Basically I want to end my contract on the year not after
Many Thanks
Craig
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. firstly can you tell me how long you have been with your currant employer please.

Customer:

Hi Ben

Customer:

I started on 10/02/14

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 :

Good morning and apologies for the slight delay, I experienced some temporary connection issues earlier on and was unable to get back on to the site. All seems to be resolved now so I can continue with my advice.

I wanted to check if you were employed as an employee or self employed and also what does the employer mean by ABA law? If you want to you can try and attach the contract on here, I believe there is a paperclip icon on the toolbar which you can use. Many thanks

Customer: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/s/?view=att&th=1438140606da14b8&attid=0.1&disp=attd&realattid=8689dcdcba5c579b_0.1&safe=1&zw
Customer: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/s/?view=att&th=1438140606da14b8&attid=0.1&disp=attd&realattid=8689dcdcba5c579b_0.1&safe=1&zw Hi Ben I am trying to do this from my phone I hope the link works to my contract if not I will resend tonight from home. I am an employee and wouldn't worry to much regarding Aba law I believe this is a a soliciter they may have used previously . I just wanted to find out how I stand legally if I complete my fixed year and then leave.acas has said there is nothing in the contract to state if I put my notice in before the end of contract
Ben Jones :

sorry not sure it has worked, if you could try later on that would be great. If you need to use a third party site on which to upload the document for free and send me the link you can use www.mediafire.com

Customer:

Hi Ben

Customer:

Sorry Ben I am struggling a little with the site, I hope you can see the attached contract. I may have duplicated my answer, acas has said To have NO NOTICE or SEVERANCE PERIOD during the initial term means that the DEFAULT STATUTORY 1 WEEK SHOULD APPLY see what you think

Customer:

Kind Regards Craig

Ben Jones :

Hi Craig, got the document, thank you. It looks like you are employed under a fixed term contract for 12 months. This does not mean that you can be forced to remain working there for that time, it actually works in your favour in a sense that the employer guarantees you work for that period and they can only terminate your employment early if there is a specific early termination clause. It does not mean that you have to remain working for them for the same period of time and cannot leave earlier if you decide to do so.

When you are employed on a fixed term contract and wish to leave before the end of it you would either have to give the notice period required under contract, or the minimum statutory notice period of 1 week. In your case there is no stipulation of a notice period that applies in the first year of employment so you would only be expected to give the week’s notice to leave. After the initial year has passed you would be subject to the 2 month notice period as per contract.

If you leave with the week’s notice and the employer decides you are in breach of contract they cannot just go ahead and sue you and penalise you for leaving early. The employer can only sue the employee to seek compensation for actual damages resulting from their breach. This could include costs associated with getting a replacement at short notice, such as agency fees. 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.

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

Customer:

Thanks Ben

Customer:

Thanks Ben, Knowing the nature of my employer he will seek compensation , I have already given my resignation in and have given 5 weeks notice and will work to the end of my 12 months fixed contract . Does he have a chance of winning? or with my basic contract that you have read , am I free to go at the end of my fixed term .Just worry about paying out costs further down the line

Customer:

Thanks Crai

Ben Jones :

you have given reasonable notice now which will take you to the end of the fixed term period and that will give the employer time to try and minimise any potential losses from your departure. Remember the employer cannot just penalise you for leaving early, they can only seek compensation to cover actual losses and if none have been incurred then there will be no claim they can make. So it really depends on what losses they will suffer and if there was a chance they could have minimised them in any way.

Customer:

Thanks Ben , Much appreciated ,

Customer:

Kind Regards

Customer:

CRAIG

Ben Jones :

you are welcome, all the best

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 45291
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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