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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47592
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I am on probation and have served four months of a six month

Resolved Question:

I am on probation and have served four months of a six month period and have resigned giving 5 weeks notice. The relevant clauses are below. I never imagined I would have to give 6 months notice in any job let alone the probationary period. Usually this is immediate or say one month maximum. My boss says that I have breached my contract and will not let me go within 5 weeks but we have to come to some agreement longer period. I resigned to take up a new overseas contract and promised to be there March. Due to the current release problem they have given me until 1 April. Do I have the right to just go by that date as I have never heard of such a long notice. No employer is ever going to wait 6 months. They can terminate me in 4 weeks but I have to give them 6 months!
2.2 Subject to clause 3.1 below, the Executive shall serve the Company as
a Quality Manager (and/or in such other capacity of a like status as
the Company and the Executive may agree from time to time) from
the date of this Agreement unless and until the Executive’s
employment shall be terminated by either party giving to the other
not less than six months notice in writing.
2.5 Notwithstanding clause 2.2, at any time during the first 6 months of
employment, the Company may reason terminate this
agreement by giving 4 weeks notice.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones : , my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What if any losses will the company incur if you were to leave early? I am just going offline im afraid so may not be able to respond until the morning. Thanks
Customer:

Well I am approved by the UK CAA as a post holder. They would need to find a replacement to maintain the company's approval. It is permitted to have a gap between post holders and this gap is a judgment by the CAA. I have been a post holder 20 years both overseas and in the UK. I have never heard of anything this long before. I note that they can give me a months notice - what is my loss if they sack me?

Customer:

All the other company's I have worked had sensible shorter notice periods that are symmetrical and typically a week on probation and either a month or three months after a three or six month probation. This particular company has had 4 quality managers before me and I was not aware of their problems before I started. They were not entirely honest with me during the recruitment phase. No company will wait months employee to join them. Thanks help.

Customer:

Ben. Are you answering my question? Thanks

Ben Jones :

I have just checked back on your question but it appears my response from last night did not register reason so my apologies , I will try again now.


Ben Jones :

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 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. Also the employer has to show that actual losses have been incurred and often that is not easy to do. 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.

I do admit that 6 months is a rather long period to have to give so if the employer is going to pursue you they will have to justify why it was so long and what losses they have actually suffered as a result of you leaving earlier than required.

Customer:

Thank you Ben. Just , this was the clause. 2.2 Subject to clause 3.1 below, the Executive shall serve the Company as a Quality Manager (and/or in such other capacity of a like status as the Company and the Executive may agree from time to time) from the date of this Agreement unless and until the Executive’s employment shall be terminated by either party giving to the other not less than six months notice in writing. 2.5 Notwithstanding clause 2.2, at any time during the first 6 months of employment, the Company may reason terminate this agreement by giving 4 weeks notice.

Customer:

That is the exact wording. It doesn't mention the employee giving notice specifically, hence the reason i missed it. I though my notice was one month. It does however, mention either party. Anything else before we finish?

Ben Jones :

either party would include you as you can imagine so even if there was no mention of 'the employee' giving notice, it would still be covered by this but the key is that they still must show actual losses rather than just penalise you early, otherwise they can't claim

Customer:

Thank you very much help. Its appreciated.

Ben Jones :

you are welcome, all the best

Customer:

where's the submit button.

Customer:

It says you have not finished answering, so cannot rate and submit.

Ben Jones :

sorry it should work....maybe you can try again please, thanks

Customer:

yes, thats better.

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