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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 61714
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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If I was to end my employment early before the end of my

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If I was to end my employment early before the end of my notice period (3 months, contractually but I am prepared to do only 2 months) and I am not a senior employee - what are the chances of legal issues?
JA: Have you discussed this with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: Manager
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: Employee
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. I may also need to ask some questions to determine the legal position.

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
Sure. The situation currently is that I have handed my notice in as per the contract to 3 months but have written that I would like to discuss a reduction given my short stay at the business (4 months service). He said he would consider it, so I asked for multiple updates on the situation a week later and he is not responding or acknowledging receipt of any of these messages. It's a remote business so I can't speak to him face to face.

I need to know realistically when I can leave to notify my new employers and it has to be before the end of January so would I be in an "okay" position to do 2 months and leave, or would that not be advisable.
Customer: replied 5 days ago.
I do not need a reference from these employers so I am not too fussed about ruining my reputation with them, however bad that sounds the ignorance from my manager is causing me too much anxiety and stress to care.

How long have you worked there for?

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
4 months

Thank you. I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Ben Jones and 4 other Law Specialists are ready to help you

Many thanks for your patience. If there is a written contract in place and it contains a specific notice period clause an employee must give if they wanted to resign, they will be contractually bound by it. Therefore, if the employee fails to honour this notice period they will be acting in breach of contract. Whilst no one can physically force them to work through their notice period, it would instead allow the employer to sue them for compensation for losses/damages resulting from their breach.

 

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. The employer has to show that actual losses have been incurred and often that is not easy to do. The most common damages they would claim for are if they have to engage temporary cover for the employee’s duties and the extra wages they have to pay them or recruitment fees for recruiting a replacement at short notice.

 

So whilst there is no way of predicting whether the employer will take this any further, 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.