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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50210
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I have a signed contract with my current employer.

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I have a signed contract with my current employer. It was issued and signed in 2006. It states that I need to give 4 weeks plus a 1 week for every year I have work with the company, if I wish to leave. This would be a total of 13 weeks notice. Since this contract was issued I have received a promotion. I asked for a new contract several time but my employer has not given me one. I have need in this new position for 6 years. My question is am I bound by this old contract or can I just give 4 weeks notice?
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Do you actually wish to leave the employer now?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes I do.
Sorry i was offline when you replied. Was a new notice period discussed since the promotion?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No there wasn't.
Hi there, the fact that you received a promotion but were not issued with a new contract would not automatically mean that your old notice period would not loner apply. In fact what is likely to have happened is that the same contract had remained in place but certain changes were implied, such as your job description, responsibilities and pay. However, the remaining terms would have remained as they were in the old contract. In terms of notice period it would also be difficult to argue that you would have been subject to a short notice period than in the job which was lower status than the current one. The more senior a role is the more it is likely a longer notice period would apply. So the current role you do would be subject to at least the same notice period as the previous role you did. As far as the law stands if an employee fails to honour their 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 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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