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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47609
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hi,I have singed a contract of employment with a new employer

Customer Question

Hi,
I have singed a contract of employment with a new employer but now wish to back out and not leave my current job. The employment contract states that it is legally binding with notice period of 4 weeks, however my employment does not begin until 1st December.
Is there anything I can do or will this be a breach of contract?
Thanks,
D
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones : Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. When did you sign the contract?
JACUSTOMER-vg5tr4t1- :

Hi, I signed the contract on the 21st October and want to speak with the prospective employer tomorrow regarding cancelling it

JACUSTOMER-vg5tr4t1- :

Please can you advise on this as I need to speak with the prospective employer tomorrow

Ben Jones :

Hi, technically the contract would still be valid even if it has not started yet. A legally binding contract would already be in place, it will have a start date when the employment would commence but the contract itself will already be in existence and its terms would apply, including the termination notice. However, from a practical point of view, there is little the employer can do to enforce that – they cannot force you to work through the notice period you are expected to give and the most they can do is pursue you for any losses they have incurred as a result of your potential breach – these could include the costs of getting as replacement at short notice to fill in your position. They will still have to show that such costs were necessary and ‘extra’ to what they would have spent in the circumstances anyway. Also it is extremely rare for employers to pursue such claims – of course they can if they wanted to but they very rarely do as it is simply not worth their time and expenses. It may break the professional relationship with that company but if you are not going to be working for them anyway that may not really matter. So you may indeed be in breach of contract of you do not give the specified notice but the repercussions are likely to be minimal, if any at all.

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

Ben Jones :

Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? I just need to know whether to close the question or not? Thanks