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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 75078
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Can you advise on employment law in Scotland? In Scotland,

Customer Question

hello, can you advise on employment law in Scotland?
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this? In which country do you live? If different, which country is your legal question related to?
Customer: In Scotland
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: nothing
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: yes i need to see someone with knowledge on employement law in Scotland
Submitted: 10 days ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
I am a secondary school teacher and I have a fixed term contract in a school in Scotland. I have been employed from the 17th August 2021. My contract should end on the 18th November 2021.I had an interview and I got a job to teach at university. I went to see my headteacher on Thursday and told me my notice is a 2 weeks notice. I negotiated with university to start after these two weeks and they agreed. I sent my notice on Friday stating I would leave the school on the 24th September. He came to see me after receiving my email and said he made a mistake and my notice should be of 4 weeks and not 2 weeks as he said. I checked my contract and it does states 4 weeks for any teacher paid on the main scale. I am paid on the main scale.
The issue is I have only been working for 3 weeks in this school. I started my contract on 17th August and gave my notice on 10th September and I am not sure if the 4 weeks notice applies in my case.I really want to leave on the 24th September as it was verbally agreed with my headteacher on Thursday. He told me on Friday that I would leave earlier I would have to pay my holiday allowance ect and that would cost me a lot. Since I have a short contract (4 months) I'm not sure how to calculate this.Could you please advise?
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 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 10 days ago.

What do you specifically want to know about this, please? Please note this is not always an instant service and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I am dealing with your question and will get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
thank you for getting back to me.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
First I am based in Scotland not in England. So I suppose we need to refer to the Scottish law on employment
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
My contract states I should give a 4 weeks notice. However. I started on the 17th August and I gave my notice on Friday 10th September because I got another job. Since I have been employed for less than a month, i'm not sure if this 4 weeks notice applies
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Can you answer my question?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. Why do you think the 4 week notice period does not actually apply to you? Simply because you have not worked there for more than a month?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
my contract is a fixed term contract
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
i suppose i am still in a probationary period too
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 days ago.

Ok thanks, ***** ***** of service has nothing to do with this unfortunately. It would have been relevant had there been no contractual notice period but that is not the case and you have a specific notice clause in your contract, which applies no matter how long you have worked there for. Had the contractual notice period not existed, then you default to the standard statutory notice period which states that anyone who has worked for the employer for more than a month needs to give at least a week’s notice. However, as mentioned, that only applies if there is no contractual notice period in place.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 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.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
I have worked there for less than a month : from 17 august and i gave my notice on
10th september
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
ok thanks, ***** ***** want to leave earlier i suppose i need to pay something to the employer?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 days ago.

No, not necessarily. If an employee fails to honour their contractual 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.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** is since my headteacher made a mistake in giving me my notice period I said to university i would start after my two weeks notice. I am probably going to loose this job opportunity if i said i have a four week notice. So i think i will sign my contract to start on the 27th anyway.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Do you think my current employer can take legal action to prevent me from starting working at university? My references have been checked im just waiting for my contract to be send so i can sign it
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
my headteacher said to me after he realised he made a mistake it was a 4 week notice instead of 2 that i would need to pay for my holiday allowance, sick leave and this would cost me money. I think he told me that to prevent me from leaving in two weeks. I am happy to pay this and go. I have a 4 months contract and the holiday would be only one week in october and 2 days in september so i don't think it's going to be a massive amount to pay
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 days ago.

It is very unlikely they can prevent you from starting to work there. They have to go to court and get an injunction and it is going to be difficult, but not impossible. You will have to pay for any holidays you have taken over and above what you have accrued

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 days ago.

Hello, I trust that everything has now been dealt with to your satisfaction and your original question has been resolved. 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.