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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 49853
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I got one week notice left to work. I have informed my

Customer Question

Hi. I got one week notice left to work. I have informed my employer that i won't be coming to work due to family emergency. Then he tried to call me few times and wrote email threatining that he won't pay outstanding holidays and days up to my leave date if I don't tell him what is family emergency. I don't want to come back to work after this threats. Do I breach my contract if i dont go back to work? Tomzler
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

How long have you worked there and what does your contract say about notice period?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi. 12 months. Contract says 4 weeks notice in writing. Which i did. My last day is this thursday.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice during the day 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.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Apologies for not getting back to you sooner, I experienced some temporary connection issues and could not get back on the site until now. All appears to be resolved now so I can continue dealing with your query.

Potentially yes, you would be breaching your contract by not fulfilling the notice period but I will explain your position in more detail below.

If the employee fails to honour the contractual 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.

Finally, there are circumstances when an employee may be entitled to leave with immediate effect and without honouring their notice period. This occurs when an employer has committed a serious breach of contract first. The whole contract, including the notice periods, then becomes immediately void and the employee would be treated as being 'constructively dismissed'. So if there are reasons to believe the employer has acted in breach of contract, whether a breach of an express contractual term, or other breaches such as bullying, exposing the employee to unreasonable stress, discriminating against them, etc this reason can be relied on in order to leave with immediate effect. You could argue that the way they have acted amounts to such a breach but a tribunal may find that it was not necessarily serious enough.

Finally, the employer cannot refuse to pay you for holidays or pay already due for time worked. If they do then it will amount to an unlawful deduction of wages and you can take the matter further to recover what you are due.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow should they refuse to pay you, 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

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Ben for info. I ll get in touch if they dont pay me. Should i write any reply to my boss regarding threatining email i got from him?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hi Tomzler, do you wish to have the threatening email investigated formally by the employer?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Ok thanks, ***** ***** want this then ideally you need to consider raising a formal grievance. This is a formal complaint to the employer where they have a duty to investigate it and deal with it. You need to do this whilst still employed by them though because if you leave then there is no obligation on them to continue investigating this. However, even if you leave they can still decide to continue with it if they believe it is an issue which needs dealing with (i.e. they can still discipline the person if they thing he had done something wrong even if you have already left).

To raise a grievance submit your complaint in writing and state you are raising a grievance – it usually needs to be sent to your manager but if the complaint is about him then you may have to send it to their manager.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question and if you need me to discuss the next steps in more detail? In the meantime please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. The question will not close and I can continue with my advice as discussed. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.