How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50191
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

Some general advice would be much appreciated. I work

This answer was rated:

Hello, some general advice would be much appreciated. I work for a company whereby my contract states that I need to give them 8 weeks notice should I want to resign. This contract was signed by me at the time when I was taken on as a full time employee back in 2012. It also stated my annual leave allowance and everything else etc as a full time employee. I then switched to part time employment as of March 2014 as I moved much further away. I was never given a new contract to sign to advise if anything in that contract was now to change. I initially changed from 40 hrs full time to 16 hours part time, 2 days a week. Then in September 2014 I changed to almost 3 days, a total of 21.5 hrs a week. This was all verbally agreed. I now have found a new job and instead of giving 8 weeks notice I will give them almost 6 weeks notice. I feel this is reasonable...can they contest this and ask for payment in lieu of time not worked? In my full time contract it stated that they were allowed to ask for money to be paid back if the full notice period was not worked. Also, due to transport issues, I had to start 20 minutes late for the days I worked part time which my employer let me do, but they deducted this time from my wages. I imagine they are within their rights to do so, but did this need to be agreed by with me and have anything signed in writing? I allowed them to do this, but am now wondering if this was correct.
Thank you for your help.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Did they have a right to deduct that money for lateness - was it agreed anywhere in a contract or writing beforehand?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello, not it was not. They simply took that money and I accepted it was within their rights to do so.

Thank you for your response, which I will now review. I will get back to you as soon as possible. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you
Thanks for your patience. Even though you had an initial full time contract it could have remained in place with ta general terms and only the specific parts of it which changed would have been amended. So the contract in its majority would remain and only parts of it like hours, pay, holidays etc would have changed. The notice period is likely tonnage remained the same.
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.
Even if the employer has a clause allowing them to deduct money for not completing the notice period they must be able to show that they had actually incurred losses to the amount they are deducting. Otherwise it could amount to a penalty clause which is unenforceable.
Finally the deducted for lateness. They could only do this if there was a contractual or other written agreement allowing them to do so. In the absence of such a right they could amount to unlawful deduction of wages unless you had provided your consent for the deductions to be made.
I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you