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Jenny, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6466
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor specialising in Employment Law and general legal matters. Please start your question For Jenny Only
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I have to give 3 months written notice to leave my current

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I have to give 3 months written notice to leave my current job.
Last month we were paid our monthly salary late by 3 days due to financial problems and no available funds.
We were advised by our CEO that the company future was uncertain and they could not tell us that future salaries were going to be paid and if on time.
We were allowed to take time off for interviews and when I asked the question about notice periods and if we could go sooner if need be i was told that 'you have to do what you have to do as we can't really do much about making you work notice'. I have been working for this company for almost 5 years.
I have secured a job and have given a months (a little over) notice. Today I was called into a meeting to discuss this as they were not happy about it.
I advised them that the reason was i needed financial stability as i have a wife and 2 yr old, mortgage, bills etc and no savings therefore needed a secure source of income.
5 members of staff and one in particular doing the exact same job role as myself left after giving 2 1/2 weeks notice because of the same reasons that i have stated.
When I asked them why others were allowed to forego their notice i was told that it was due to extreme circumstances! I said that mine were the same, they answered with 'financial situation has got better here now'.
I asked if they could now guarantee salaries and to be on time, I was answered with a 'no'. I asked the same question twice and got the same reply.
Can they really make me give 3 months notice? Even though they let someone else go in the exact same situation after only 2 1/2 weeks?
I realise I have a signed contract stating this but surely due to circumstances and how they have let others leave i have some rights to doing the same?
taratill :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today. Is the employer likely to suffer any financial loss if you do leave early?

Customer: Hi Jenny, no not at all. I've done my job way in advance. They will probably gain by not having to pay my salary.
taratill :

Ok well in that case there is nothing they can do about it if you refuse to work the notice. Technically whilst you will be in breach of contract for failing to work the full 3 month term the only action they could take is for damages in breach of contract. They can only claim for actual financial loss as a result of the breach. As there is no loss there will be nothing they can do if you do leave. Many employees leave in breach of contract in this way.

taratill :

The only thing is that, as you know, you will not be entitled to any notice pay.

taratill :

By that I mean notice pay for the period of notice that you do not work.

taratill :

If you have any further questions about this please do ask.

Customer: Ok thank you Jenny. So have they set an example by letting the other person go after 2 1/2 weeks for the same concerns that i have?
Customer: I of course would only be expected to be paid till my leave date and not for the full 3 month, totally understand that.
taratill :

Yes that does come into it as you can also argue a precedent has been set, but that would only be relevant really in the even that they could bring a claim against you for damages. Which they cannot.

Customer: If my new employer requires a reference from my current employer whom I now have this dispute with can they give a negative reference?
taratill :

They are not entitled to say anything which is untrue, if they do and you suffer a loss then it will amount to negligent misstatement and you could bring a claim against them.

taratill :

They are enittled to say you left before the end of your notice period so you may want to raise this with the new employer.

Customer: So can they say i am in breech due to notice?
Customer: *breach
taratill :

They can say you are in breach of contract as this is technically correct. I would suggest you inform your new employer that this is the case in advance so if they do they will know what it relates to.

taratill :

It is quite unlikely that they would say that you are in breach in this manner in any event.

taratill :

Please do let me know if there is anything further you would like to know about this. If I have answered your question I would be grateful if you would take the time to rate my answer. Thank you and all the best.

Customer: One more question sorry, they still couldn't assure salaries and technically they were in breach by paying late last month. Am I right in using this 'non comital to payment' as a reason too?
taratill :

Yes definitely.

Customer: Ok thank you very much!
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