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Kasare, Solicitor
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1301
Experience:  Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
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I am a computer programmer working in London. I have an unusually

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I am a computer programmer working in London. I have an unusually long notice period of 3 months.
I have been made a very good offer by another company, but the new company needs me to start within 2 months.
I would like to know where I stand legally, and what the usual outcome of such situations is.
I have a good relationship with my current employer and do not want to burn my bridges.
My current contract states: "the Appointment shall continue until terminated by either party giving to the other not less than three months’ prior written notice of termination".
I'm pulling my hair out over this so a speedy response would be appreciated!
hi thank you for your question, I will assist you with this.
If you job is quite specialised, then in fact 3 months is not "unusually long" unfortunately.
The only way in which you could attempt to leave on good terms is to speak to your current employer and advise them that you have been offered a great opportunity with another company who require you to start in 2 months and ask them if they would be willing to agree to a shorter notice period.
The other alternative is to simply resign and not work your full notice. In effect this would be breach of contract and your employer could attempt to pursue you legally for this. In practice it rarely happens, unless by the move you are also in breach of another clause that often appears in your contract - the non compete clause/restrictive clauses after termination of employment.
I hope this assists you. If you have any questions please ask.
Kasare and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Thanks for getting back to me quickly.

Do you happen to know the usual outcome in these situations? I.e. in the real world do employers ever agree to reduce your notice period?

Hi, Tim
In the real world, it often depends on many things - basically the attitude of your employer. They can be difficult if they want, but this does not always happen. I would say a lot would depend on whether the employer has a big deadline that they cannot do without you on etc.
Quite often if the employee is wanting to leave, the employer is often agreeable to shorter notice or the parties can agree to the employee leaving immediately with payment in lieu.
Another thought that I have just had is how many days holiday do you have available? Perhaps your employer would let you utilise your holidays in the last month (i.e. the 3rd month).
If you are wanting to leave on good terms as you say, then the best way to approach this is to be upfront and honest with your employer. They may offer you something better to stay!
In this instance, if your employer did let you leave with a shorter notice period, they would only have to pay you that period.
Any other questions? Just ask!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for your help with this. Very useful indeed.


You are most welcome Tim.
If you need anything else, please ask.
Good luck with everything!