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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 75057
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I work for a cleaning company (40hour contract) and I'm

Customer Question

Hello, I work for a cleaning company (40hour contract) and I'm doing my notice period (1 month total) at the moment. For reasons of stress at work and tireness and want to leave earlier. What can I do?
JA: Have you discussed this with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: I told management those were the reasons I gave my notice
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: Full time employed, 40 hour contract
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: No. That's the important information
Submitted: 11 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 days ago.

How long have you worked for this employer? and does your contract state you are required to provide 1 months' notice?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Hello Ben
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Since March 2021, yes I need to give 4 weeks notice
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 days ago.

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please leave it with me for now; I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, usually the same day. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

If there is a written contract in place and it contains a specific notice period clause, which 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 rarely made. This is mainly due to the costs and time involved and also the relatively small damages that can be recovered. The employer has to show that actual and unavoidable losses have been incurred and often that is not easy to do. The most common damages they could claim for are due to engaging temporary cover for the employee’s duties. That would attract costs such as the difference in pay, if they were to be paid a higher wage, or recruitment fees for finding a replacement at short notice.

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 does not consider the employee for future work and/or refuses to provide a reference if requested.

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 this is known as ‘constructive dismissal’. If there are reasons to believe the employer has acted in breach of contract, whether a breach of a specific contractual term, or other breaches such as bullying, unreasonable stress, discrimination, etc. then these reasons can be relied on in order to leave with immediate effect by stating this is a constructive dismissal situation.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 days ago.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 days ago.

Hello, I trust that everything has now been resolved to your satisfaction and your original question has been dealt with. If you have any further queries about it, please do not hesitate to get back to me on here. In the meantime, I wish you all the best.