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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47619
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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To cut a very long story short I have terminated my employment

Customer Question

Hi to cut a very long story short I have terminated my employment without giving full notice. My employer has now issued a letter from a soliticitor that I will need to pay many thousands of pounds for the cost of hiring someone to carry out my job for the remaining parts, unless I return to finish my notice. I have a fantastic job lined up and I do not want to miss the opportunity. I am in turmoil and looking for advice. My employer would hire a contractor at a cost of £600 per day. The contractor already has a contract with them, and I know he has been asked to pick my remaining project tasks, but they have not increased his days allocated. Also most of my work has now been handed over to the customer. I am a permanent employee at my company.
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 was the notice period required of you? Please note I am on the road so may not be able to reply straight away
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
sorry, 3 months - I am giving 6 weeks all in all.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
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.
So the key here is whether the costs they are claiming are reasonable and justified. Was it really necessary for them to hire this person and was there actual work the had to cover. Could the work have been distributed amongst existing staff without further issues. Was this person doing only your work or were they also doing the work they were already hired to do. These are all matters which a court would look at. In any event the employer must be able to justify that this was he only way to deal with your early departure and that there were no other cost-effective methods of doing so. Only then would then realistically allow the employer to claim this from you. So there are many hoops for them to jump through before they are successful in claiming.
I just can't guarantee that they won't pursue this in the first place or what the final outcome would be. So there is always going to be some risk by leaving early.
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
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you so very much for this.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi, another question. hte 3 month notice period is very unusual in my industry and I know people on my grade who have left previously are on a months notice. I suspect the company have increased the notice period to make it harder to leave because they have such an awful reputation, and find it hard to recruit and retain staff. On that basis, could I consider an unreasonable notice period, and they way they are making me feel enough to raise a grievance against the company?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Were you issued with this notice period in your contract at the start of your employment?

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