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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50193
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I have an Employment Contract which I need some clarity on

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I have an Employment Contract which I need some clarity on please? I would like to hand my notice in and give 12 weeks notice, I believe however that the business will force me to only give 4 weeks notice based on the wording of the contract. Can they do this or can I give the full 12 weeks notice.
Contract Segment
10.1 The length of notice that you are required to give is as follows:
Length of Service Notice Period
Less than four weeks No notice due
After four weeks 4 weeks
After successful completion of trial period 12 weeks
10.2 The length of notice that you are required to receive is as follows:
Length of Service Notice period
Less than four weeks No notice due
After four weeks 4 weeks
After successful completion of trial period 12 weeks
Letter Segment
Sick Pay: You will not be eligible to the Company sick pay scheme whilst on your probationary period. Following a successful probationary period you will be eligible for Company sick pay, which is: - first three days are waiting (unpaid) days; day four to week three is paid at 100% basic; and week four to week six is paid at 75% basic. Full details can be found in the Company Handbook.
There is nothing in the letter about a probationary period for Notice or how long the probationary period is?
I would like to give 12 weeks as I will need the salary until the end of year while I look for another position.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

How long have you worked there for all in all?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Good afternoon Ben, I started as Manufacturing Manager in May 2016 & I was promoted to Site Manager backdated to May on 3rd Aug this year.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have attached the Documents if that helps.

Hi there. Thank you for your response; please leave it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice in a while and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Many Thanks. Have a good Afternoon.

No problem at all.

Many thanks for your patience. So as far as the contract is concerned, you get 12 weeks’ notice after successful completion of what they refer to as a ‘trial period’. Having checked the contract and offer letter there is no mention whatsoever of such a trial period or of its duration. So in the absence of that, it should be assumed that the normal notice period applicable on the completion of such period would apply. Also as the contract is contradictory on the subject and basically somewhat vague in this respect, it would be construed against the party trying to rely on it, in this case the employer. Therefore, in the event that a claim is made, they would be expected to show that there was a trial period in place and that you had not yet passed it. In the absence of anything specific mentioned about this, it could be difficult. Finally, there is case law which has held that if there was a trial period and it was not formally extended prior to the nominated completion date, it would be assumed that the employee had completed it successfully and that the terms applicable following its completion would be the valid ones.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the options you have on taking this further if they try and refuse to pay you for the longer notice period, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Ben Jones and 2 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks. If the employer refuses to allow you to give 12 weeks notice and terminates you after 4, then you can treat that as a wrongful dismissal (basically a breach of contract). In order to try and resolve this, the employer should be contacted in writing, advised that this is being treated as a breach of contract and ask them to pay the money within 7 days. Advise them that if they fail to pay the money that is owed, legal proceedings could follow.

If the employer does not pay the money as requested, the following options are available:

1. Employment Tribunal - the time limit to claim is only 3 months from the date the dismissal took place. To make the claim, form ET1 needs to be completed and submitted - you can find it here:

2. County Court – this is an alternative way to claim and the advantage is that the time limit is a much longer 6 years and is usually used if you are out of time to claim in the Tribunal. The claim can be made online by going to:

Hopefully by warning the employer you are aware of your rights and are not going to hesitate taking further action they will be prompted to reconsider their position and work towards resolving this.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I really appreciate the advice, thank you. I would like to leave on good terms so hopefully it won't be necessary. Thanks again and have a good evening. Kind Regards.

You are welcome and all the best