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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50148
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I had 4 week notice at work but asked them to leave earlier

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Hi. I had 4 week notice at work but asked them to leave earlier (3 weeks) . They said it should be fine if I do the handover note for them, what I did. Today is the day what I thought would be my last day and left them by shaking their hands and left office. By getting home I had my boss letter saying that they did not accepted my last day to be today and they need me next week to work. Can they force me to work or not? Can they sue me? What are my rights? What can I do to avoid being sued? Please reply to***@******.***
We had the following e-mail exchange:
Dear x,
This letter is to notify you I’ve decided to resign from my position as xxx.
Although I’m required to work 4 weeks notice I would appreciate it if I could leave on the 12/05/2016 instead as I am unable to work my full notice period. I apologise for the short notice and any inconvenience this may cause. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help make the transition easier.
Thank you for the opportunities and experience you’ve given me during my time here, I’ve learnt a lot at this company, both personally and professionally. I’ve really enjoyed my time here and I wish you and the rest of the company the very best for the future. I hope that I can rely on you for a positive reference in future.
Respectfully yours,
Hi Y,
Sorry I missed you tonight
You have requested that you leave on Tuesday 12 May, instead of Tuesday 24th May.
A, B and I have discussed this today. We have agreed that we will do our best to release you early, however, as you can appreciate this does not give us any time at all to recruit. Before we can agree an early date, Eddie will need to spend some time with you assessing the handover etc.
Eddie will start this process with you tomorrow if that is OK?
I am happy to discuss this with you but I also wanted you to have it in writing as I realise that it is important for you.
Dear x
It is fine with me. I will start creating a list of tasks and projects I have been working on and what should be done in the next couple of months. As most of my daily tasks and duties are documented I think it would be easy for someone new to learn the role.
Dear Y
I understand that you have said goodbye today?! Why is this?
If you read my email i said that we will do our best to release you early but that it cannot be guaranteed. Early means sometime before 24 May.
We will need to see you next week.
Please reply to this email.
Was this a private sale or a trade sale please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
it was not any sale involved, this is related to employment notice
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Sorry, that reply was not meant for your question
How long did you work there?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
1 year
OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. 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
Ok I agree with the employer that they did not formally confirm they will release you early and only said they will try. They would have confirmed it if it was to happen but they never did. So you wrongly assumed that you could leave today I’m afraid. So 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. Whilst they cannot force you to work, the employer 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. 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
Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. If this has answered your question please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars from the top of the page. I spend a lot of time and effort answering individual queries and I am not credited for my time until you leave your rating. If you still need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Many thanks.
Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.
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