Help! Advice needed please - Employer cutting short notice period??

(10 Posts)
HeyYouWithTheHair Mon 05-Oct-15 23:32:21

Hi everyone,

I'm hoping someone will be able to give me some advice with an issue I've got with my employer. Apologies as this is a bit long, but:

I'm about to leave my current employer to start a new role elsewhere next month. My job's a senior management role, so I've been on 3 a month notice period. (Handed my notice in at the end of July and my notice period ends in a fortnight's time at the end of October)... I've found the notice period a bit tough at times as I'm itching to start the new job, but have worked to my usual standard, been committed and professional with colleagues and clients, exceeding targets, and my boss has been happy with my work.

The whole company generally seems run off its feet most of the time, so I've not been able to take much of my annual leave, and because it's been so busy I was expecting to have to sit the notice out more or less until the end (maybe take a few days of my remaining leave and then have the rest owed to me as pay in the final salary - which wouldn't have worked out much).

Earlier today, I met with my boss and she said that rather than staying the full notice period, how would I feel about leaving at the end of this week, and that I could then take all the leave owing to me. When I expressed how surprised I was at this she explained that because I'm leaving so soon it would be pointless for me to be working on new projects (as I wouldn't be able to see them through to the end), or for me to be working with new clients (fair enough to both of those points as project and client management are two key parts yo my job, but not the only parts)... Anyway, she explained that with those out of the way there's little left for me to do so I should consider leaving early and taking the leave.

I have a few issues/questions with this:

- Firstly, I realise my employers are blatantly trying to get out of paying me the outstanding holiday pay, but can an employer force you to take leave instead of working your remaining notice?

- Secondly, even if I was to leave on Friday and take the outstanding holiday, this technically leaves me short changed by 3 days pay. It seems as though they're trying to sneakily "let me go" and save themselves some money at the same time. Are they allowed to do this? I've agreed a date to terminate my employment with them so are they in the wrong to suggest this? And if so, what can I do about it.

I'm really disappointed about all of this - I've worked by backside off, have been completely committed to my job and until now was leaving on great terms with my current employer (I'd even questioned whether I was making the right decision to go). I feel as though they're trying to lay me off. Last week they were asking me what I want to do for my leaving-do and this week it's like they want to surreptitiously fire me!

Are there any HR/legal experts around, or anyone who's had experience of a similar situation who can advise. Would be really grateful for some help on where I stand on all of this... Thanks in advance flowers

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Tue 06-Oct-15 04:39:25

It's fine for them to suggest this - it's normally called garden leave - but they should pay you all your notice entitlement and your holiday pay.

You shouldn't see it as a reflection of how they view your work. You are leaving, they are adjusting to that reality.

HeyYouWithTheHair Tue 06-Oct-15 08:58:15

Thanks very my much for your response - I would be fine with garden leave but I don't think that's what they're suggesting.

From the conversation yesterday, what they seem to be saying is that I can take the outstanding holiday rather than work my full notice and that in doing that they won't need to pay for the outstanding holiday entitlement, or what was left of my notice as I will have left the company.

It seems very shady to me. Just wanting to get a handle on whether this is above board/common practice, and what if anything, I can do about it.

flowery Tue 06-Oct-15 09:24:26

If she asked "how you would feel" about it, and is saying you should "consider" leaving early, then it doesn't sound like she's forcing the issue anyway, or has given any indication that you'd lose outstanding leave that you wouldn't be able to take.

If you don't want to, say no you'd rather stay at work and save your holiday and be paid it out as initially agreed.

if she then wants to force the issue, yes your employer can certainly require you to take holiday during your notice period, and this is common, and not at all "shady", however they must give you twice as much notice as the amount of holiday they want you to take. So if they want you to take a week, they need to give you two weeks' notice of that.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Tue 06-Oct-15 09:25:50

I think legally they can make you take holiday, but the notice period to compel you to take it has to be as long as the holiday itself (or longer)?

Can you phone ACAS to get some advice?

Is there a lot of money involved? Could you start your new job earlier?

Darcourse Tue 06-Oct-15 09:32:54

Sounds normal to me. If your annual leave is more than the statutory minimum they are under no obligation to pay that when you leave at the end of your notice (unless your contract specifies that they will) so it sounds like they are ensuring you'd get paid your full leave by taking it at the end of your employment.

Check out your contract or speak to your manager again to clarify exactly what they meant.

OllyBJolly Tue 06-Oct-15 09:39:13

This is all usual. You can take holidays as part of notice, and the employer can ask you to do this. The employer must pay for the notice period even if they ask you not to attend work. You should still accrue holiday for this notice period.

I'd usually advise that once someone hands in their notice that you let them go as soon as possible. It's rare that someone stays as motivated and committed after resignation as they might have been previously. There is usually a negative impact on remaining staff to consider. Hats off to you, OP, for keeping it up.

daisychain01 Tue 06-Oct-15 10:18:34

Just a thought... did your employer and/or you commit any of it in writing. Presumably you will have handed in your resignation in written form and hopefully they will have accepted it, as well as mention g the agreed end date and hence the period of notice.

Also look and your employment contract, and if it says contractually that there is 3 months notice on either side,that's what you and your employer need to honour.

However.... if for whatever reason your employers wishes to let you go sooner, then they must meet their obligation of paying you the notice period as mo they salary even if you don't turn up to work each day. Also they need to honour accrued holiday up to your last day, in other words pay you for those days as if you had been working there up to your last day.

If I were you I would put together a file of any documents that relate to your notice period. Letters and emails correspondence between you and your manager and request a formal meeting to review the situation and come to a mutually agreeable arrangement. I would include HR and a union rep if you feel you need some moral support. I would also go I to the meeting with all the facts clear in your mind, so they don't try to bamboozle you into accepting so ething you aren't happy with and also request a period maybe 24 hours for you to consider what is being offered and decide if it's right for you. Don't be forced out by the end of the week unless you are 100pc happy to do so.

daisychain01 Tue 06-Oct-15 10:22:21

Dam autocorrect

....they must meet their obligation of paying you the notice period as monthly salary even if you don't turn up to work each day. Also they need to honour accrued holiday up to your last day. Etc...

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Thu 08-Oct-15 16:37:13

What happened OP?

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