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3 Months Notice

3 Months Notice

I intend to leave my current employment and take up a new post in the near future. I have been with my current employer a month short of 2 years. My contract (English Law) states that the "employee may terminate the employment by giving 3 months’ notice" however I only want to give 4 weeks as it would restrict my chances in getting the new position if I had serve the full 3 months. There is a further clause in the contract which could be my get out of jail free card. It states "During the probationary period, which may exceed six and up until your appointment is confirmed in writing, your employment may be terminated with one week’s notice given in writing by the Company or the employee at any time before or at the end of this period." My position has never been confirmed either verbally or in writing.

My arguments would be the following

1. The notice period is unreasonable and restrictive 2. My employment hasn’t been confirmed either verbally or in writing

My questions to the forum are 1. Contractually do I have only to give 1 weeks notice? 2. Could they argue that because I have been there nearly two years and being doing the job successfully and because of both our actions implied terms of a contract apply and the 3 months notice is valid?

Look forward to hearing your thoughts.




3/17/2010 8:47:51 PM

The answer to 2 is quite definitely and absolutely yes. Therefore none of your other arguments apply. Your notice period is 3 months. You can negotiate less BY MUTUAL AGREEMENT with the employer, but if you walk out without giving the full notice and without a mutual agreement you may be sued. It doesn't happen a lot, but it happens. So if you decide to risk it and you get sued, then it is on your own head.

Just to add, one person on here did decide to risk it - they got sued. The employer also contacted the new employer and threatened to sue them for inducing the employee to break their contract. Guess who got sacked too? Remember, you have no employment protection in a new job, and new employers tend to get shirty with new employees who get them into trouble - whether or not the old employer carries out the threat, it tends to leave a bad taste, to mention nothing of the fact that they may begin to wonder if you are worth the trouble.


3/17/2010 9:00:25 PM

Thanks for your reply shikahra. I am not doubting your advice and appreciate you taking the time to reply. May I ask if your are a solicitor/lawyer? Just trying to validate the advice.




3/17/2010 9:19:20 PM

The advice given by Shikahra is correct.

If you felt that the 3 month notice period was unreasonable and restrictive the time to raise this would have been at the time you joined the company. And remember, the notice period is likely to have worked both ways so would have been to your advantage had the employer served notice on you (redundancy, etc.)


3/18/2010 10:14:59 AM

Just to observe that solicitors are most definitely not immune from giving absolutely wrong advice, especially in employment law matters !

And that three months notice is neither uncommon nor unreasonable.


3/18/2010 10:36:30 AM

Again thanks for the replies

lm862510 raises the issue on the notice period working both ways however this is not the case with my contract

"If the employment is confirmed at the end of the probationary period the employment may be terminated by the Company giving the following periods of notice in writing:

At least 1 week’s notice if the employment is for one year or less and thereafter:

One additional week’s notice for each further year of employment up to a maximum of 12 weeks’ notice after 12 years’ continuous service.

The Employee may terminate the employment by giving 3 months’ notice."

My employment has not been confirmed in writing or verbally after 6 months however I do accept that the employer may be able to argue "implied terms"



3/18/2010 10:45:35 AM

(a) Different notice periods for employee and employer are very common - and entirely legal.

(b) This is not "implied terms" - the lack of confirmation, in law, is confirmation in itself.

You are, of course, welcome to consult and pay for a solicitor to confirm all of this.


3/18/2010 11:36:17 AM

I stand corrected re the notice that your employer would have to have served on you.

Though I agree that different contractual notice periods from employer/employee are not at all uncommon, most that I've seen have worked the other way round - i.e longer notice requirements upon the employer that the employee.

Still, the contract seems clear, they are entitled to three months notice from you, unless they agree otherwise.


3/18/2010 1:08:11 PM

Notice period but no contract?

Hi, I need some advice please.

I have been working for the NHS for 10 years but working in my current hospital for the last 8 months. My current employer never sent me a contract despite me asking for one. I resigned because I have a new job starting in May. I was told that I had to serve out a 3 month notice period as indicated in the terms and conditions of employment. I have work for 2 of the three months but want to stop now - it's just irritating me!

Given that i have not signed a contract with my current employer, must i still serve out the remaining time of notice period?



3/24/2010 8:14:46 PM

If your employer requires you to work the notice period, then yes, you are required to do so. The absence of a written statement of terms & conditions doesn't mean that a 'contract' doesn't exist.

Have you asked your employer whether they will agree to an early leave date?


3/24/2010 9:49:41 PM