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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47881
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have given notice which is 3 months in my contract. My employers

Resolved Question:

I have given notice which is 3 months in my contract. My employers are holding me to it despite the fact I have only been working for them for 8 months. Is there anything I can do to leave earlier? If I just walk out what can they do?
Many thanks, Joanna
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 leaving?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The job was sold as a "lifestyle" change both by the recruitment agent and the company at interview. The salary was lower than my previous salary but I was working between 50 and 60 hours a week. The "lifestyle" change was far from a reality and I have been working similar hours since I joined the company for over 20k a year less. I joined in January and by March was in the top 3 out of 18 in the role where I have remained ever since so I am fully capable of doing the job. I have advised my line manager of my dissatisfaction with the situation and he asked me to go back to him when I had an offer of employment and he would see what he could do with the director in regard to a salary increase. I do not feel this is an appropriate course of action so when I was offered a job which was acceptable I resigned asking in my letter if we could come to an agreement for a shorter notice period. He is hiding behind HR saying they insist on the 3 month notice period. Help!
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. 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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