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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47362
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Last thursday, 2 days ago, I signed a contract as carer

Resolved Question:

Hi, last thursday, 2 days ago, I signed a contract as carer for children of a disabled person, can I withdraw today? thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What is the reason for you not wanting to go ahead?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello, thank you for your answer, I was contacted by employer through a nanny website, offered a live-in position,I was supposed to help with 3 kids for about 8-10 h per day, started working last monday, from the firt day I have been working for about 15h per day, did very little things kids related, on thursday I was given a contract to sign and a form to fill with 8 worked hours per day, the contract I signed was with the council, so I discovered I had become the mother's carer, and from thursday the situation got even more busy/crazy, while the family is living on public benefits I have been spending hours in the kitchen cooking refined dishes that nobody ate.

I felt deeply uncorfortable with the whole situation, I worked without eating or drinking or sitting down for at least 9h in a row.

I left the house/working place, should I call the council on monday to notify that I left and wish to break the contract?

thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
You are able to leave the job at any point. However 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. 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.
If no contractual notice period clause exists, an employee who has been continuously employed for at least one month is required to give a minimum notice period of one week in order to terminate their employment.
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.
Finally, there are circumstances when an employee may be entitled to leave with immediate effect and without honouring their notice period. This occurs when an employer has committed a serious breach of contract first. The whole contract, including the notice periods, then becomes immediately void and the employee would be treated as being 'constructively dismissed'. So if there are reasons to believe the employer has acted in breach of contract, whether a breach of an express contractual term, or other breaches such as bullying, exposing the employee to unreasonable stress, discriminating against them, etc this reason can be relied on in order to leave with immediate effect.
I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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