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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 66869
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Do I have to give notice to finish with my employer or can I

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Do I have to give notice to finish with my employer or can I just resign
JA: Have you discussed this with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: I have discussed it with one of our office staff and they couldn't tell me
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: I have been furloughed 7 weeks I think some of the men went back to work two weeks ago but through some misunderstanding with my boss I didn't go back to work and last week he took me off furlough with out giving me notice it is only after I checked my bank account Thursday morning last week I noticed I wasn't paid

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 16 days ago.

How long have you worked there for?

and what does your contract say with regards ***** *****?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I have worked there for 11years and 1 week
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I don't know I have never had a contract that I know of

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.

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.

If no contractual notice period clause exists, an employee who has been continuously employed for at least one month is required to give a minimum notice period of one week in order to terminate their employment.

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, this reason can be relied on in order to leave with immediate effect. The most relevant one for you would be the on-payment of wages which you can potentially rely on to argue constructive dismissal .

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
more or less the fact that my employer is my brother in law and that we have not spoken for almost 2 weeks doesn't help matters

I appreciate that but it does not affect your legal rights as detailed above. Does this clarify things a bit more for you?

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question? You can simply reply on here with a quick ‘Yes, thanks’ and I won’t bother you again. Thank you

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Sorry yes thank you

All the best

Customer: replied 15 days ago.

No worries

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