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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48172
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I joined a company nine years ago and at the time I had a three

Resolved Question:

I joined a company nine years ago and at the time I had a three month notice period on the employee contract I signed and agreed.
About four years ago a new contract was given to me to read and sign. This was to extend my notice period to six months.
I did not sign it or return it, but it stated by the signature box that if not returned within 10 days it would be taken as agreed.
I did not challenge this at the time or state I was not happy to sign as I did not want to jeopardise my role and career opportunities, (although I could not prove this would happen, I felt it would be frowned upon).
I am know looking to hand in my notice - Do I need to give 3 or 6 months notice...?
Many thanks,
Matt.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, in the circumstances you are most likely going to be bound by the 6 month notice period. Your signature would not have been required to make that legally binding and if you had not challenged this at the time, continued working under the new contract and on the basis that there was a specific term stating no communication would amount to an implied acceptance, the likelihood is that the longer notice period would now apply.Saying that, it is still possible to try and leave with a shorter notice period. If the employee fails to honour their contractual 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.I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. 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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