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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 78615
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I have a contractual agreement that states an 8 week notice

Customer Question

Hi There, I have a contractual agreement that states an 8 week notice period. Do i have to legally oblige to it or can I just walk away after a month? I tried to negotiate a shorter notice period but was denied
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Eng;and England
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I spoke to them to request a shorter notice period but only if they find a suitable candidate, which I think they won't try until the end
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
Submitted: 9 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 days ago.
Hello, I’m Ben, a solicitor, and it’s my pleasure to assist you. I may ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
thanks Ben go ahead
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 days ago.

I understand your query relates to your contractual notice period. How long have you worked for your employer please?

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
just over a year
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
1 year 1 month
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 days ago.

OK thanks. Please copy and paste the exact wording of your notice period on here

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Employee’s Name: Diana Victoria Stewart
Description Clause
RefDetailsDate of Commencement of
Employment1.1 5th July 2021Job Title 4.1 Café and F&B ManagerDuties 4.1 See Job Accountability StatementAppendix 1Reporting to/Line Manager 4.2 Nick KeynesSalary 7.1 £35,000 gross per annumAdditional Benefits NoneHolidays 9.2 24 days plus public holidaysNotice Period 2.1 8 weeksHours of Work 6 45 hours per week over 5 days per week(Monday to Friday)
Some Saturday work required to fulfil the Job
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 days ago.

OK I understand and thank you for providing the information requested. Please do not worry and leave it with me for now. I will get back to you with my full reply on here; usually the same day and the system will notify you when this happens.

I should also make you aware that this is not always an instant service, due to various legal engagements I could have and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I will be dealing with your query and will get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Thanks again
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 days ago.

No problem at all. I will get back to you at the earliest opportunity. Many thanks

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, it is appreciated. I am now pleased to be able to provide further assistance with your query.

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.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 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 8 days ago.

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.