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Period of Notice?

(6 Posts)
CharlieStinkySocks Sat 13-Oct-12 21:43:35

My DH is trying to change jobs, due mostly to the unreasonableness of his current employer (longstory, but hence my namechange).

In his contract it says he needs to give 8 weeks notice.

My friend who works in HR says she doesn't think this can be imposed- that 4 weeks is the maximum whatever the contract says?.

Does anyone know if this is true?

My DH has a second round interview this week and will be asked when he can start. He gets the impression that the new employer would think 8 weeks too long for various reasons to do with the seasonality of the business.

If my DH did give 4 weeks notice, his employer would definitely see it as being 'left in the lurch' as other staff will be off on holidays and he will therefore be short staffed.

However one of my DH's reasons for leaving is that the business is understaffed for cost cutting reasons currently so that if 1 employee is on holiday, my DH has to work 6 days instead of 5 a week, and if several take their holiday in a run, as is happening at the moment, it means my DH has to work periods of up to 10 weeks without any of his normal days off.

So in effect whenever he left he would be leaving the employer in the lurch, as he doesn't have any capacity for 1 person to resign if someone else is on holiday/ill etc.

Could the employer enforce the contract? Would it be bad to leave after 4 weeks notice?

RVPisnomore Sat 13-Oct-12 22:00:34

I don't have a legal background but I know that I have to give 3 months notice if I resign and it is up to my employer if they release me earlier.

Fozzleyplum Sat 13-Oct-12 22:14:16

I'm afraid your friend in HR is wrong (I'm a solicitor who specialises in employment law).
Your DH is contractually obliged to give the notice in his contract, provided he is working to those terms. Having said that, if he simply leaves early, it is unlikley (but not impossible!) that his current employers would bring a claim in breach of contract, unless they had suffered significant financial loss as a result of this. The current employer would be justifiably annoyed, and this could damage your DH's reputation in his industry - is that likely to be a problem?
It might still be worth asking if he can go early Whilst the employer would have a short-term cover problem, employees in your DH's situation often find that the current employer will agree to release early, unless there is some commercial advantage to them in keeping him for the full 8 weeks. He also needs to check if there are any post-termination restrictions in his current contract which would be breached by him taking his new role.

CharlieStinkySocks Sat 13-Oct-12 22:38:13

Thank you so much for taking the time on a saturday night to answer!
It is much appreciated!
I don't think the reputation thing is much of an issue in that his current employer is a bit of a rogue within the industry, but if there was a possibility of being sued I don't think my DH would risk it.
I think he'll just have to tell the employer that its 8 weeks unless he can be released early (unlikely tbh, the employer is v unreasonable generally- salary deductions with no explanations, witholding of earned bonuses due to the economy etc)

CharlieStinkySocks Sat 13-Oct-12 22:43:08

Just read your reply to my DH and just wanted to say thank you again for replying because you have really helped us x

Fozzleyplum Sat 13-Oct-12 23:03:05

You're welcome - good luck with the interview smile

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