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Advice on notice period please?

(12 Posts)
OlivesTree Sat 22-Jun-13 09:26:45

Does anyone know where I can get some free (or cheap) advice on notice periods? My employer is trying to hold me to an 8 week notice period that is not stated in my current contract, which I cannot complete without jeopardising my new role.

I have spoken with Acas, but they couldn't give me a complete answer.


HomeEcoGnomist Sat 22-Jun-13 09:34:08

Well, we probably need to know a bit more info....

What's in your contract?
Why are they saying it's 8 weeks?
What do you think it is?

ItStartedInRome Sat 22-Jun-13 09:35:25

Your notice period should be stated in your employment contract. Do you have a contract? Can you give an idea of your job? Is it a professional role/small business/easily replaced? Otherwise it is thought normal to be the same length as the frequency you are paid ie if you are paid monthly, notice period is 4 weeks. Best advice is to talk to new role, ask them to wait for you. If they will not, try and speak calmly to current employer.

OlivesTree Sat 22-Jun-13 10:08:00

Thanks for all of your replies.

Upon returning to work after mat leave, I was put onto a probation contract with a one week notice period, stated in the contract. I have since moved into a new role and again put on probation for 3 months. The contract states that aside from the new position, all other terms of employment remain the same. I have now found a new job, given the one week notice that I thought was expected, but am being told that the terms of employment that 'remain the same' actually refer back to my original pre mat leave contract, which include an 8 week notice period. This is in spite of it being a completely different role and salary. They are saying that their HR advice company (it is a mid sized business without a dedicated HR dept) says that I need to give 8 weeks notice.

I feel as though they are interpreting it in whatever way will be most beneficial to the business, and am worried that they will withhold a reference. I doubt they would bother to sue.

AuntieStella Sat 22-Jun-13 10:22:27

They should not be putting you on probation following maternity leave, as this should count as continuous employment. A try-out in an amended role is not the same as a return to formal probation.

The earlier contract should have remained in place throughout, and I think the imposition of a one-week notice period was probably an error. As is paying you less than your pre-maternity pay (you say salary is different).

Are you part of a union?

OlivesTree Sat 22-Jun-13 10:28:00

The reason it was probation initially was that I went back part time. My salary is less, but only as it is pro rata. I had a pay increase after returning, so if I was full time it would be more than before.

I am still part time but in a new position, which I am again on probation for.

No unions unfortunately.

AuntieStella Sat 22-Jun-13 10:31:21

SO you made, and they accepted a flexible working request? This would form a permanent change to your T&Cs, but only the bits specified. What paperwork did you get when the change was made?

OlivesTree Sat 22-Jun-13 10:40:25

Yes, I requested part time and was given this.

I was given an amendment to statement of particulars of employment, that included job title, pay, hours, probationary period of six months including one week notice period. An extra month had passed before receiving my latest amendment, which included all of the above. The only difference is that it states that all terms and conditions of employment remain unchanged and there is no mention of notice period in the section about the 3 month probation.

It also has an extra paragraph saying that they reserve the right to return me to my pre maternity contract including the t & c's associated with that, based on my performance. I have not been informed that they would be doing so. I am still in the latest appointed role on probation.

flowery Sat 22-Jun-13 13:44:48

If your most recent contract had a week, and you subsequently had a contract variation letter stating your new role but that all other terms remain the same, then that means all other terms remain the same as in your existing contract. Not all other terms revert back to a previous contract.

Sounds like a cock up on their part, but that's their tough luck.

sis Sat 22-Jun-13 13:57:39

Yep, their mistake and you accepted it in good faith. Explain to them in writing that you have given the notice as specified by them. It is unreasonable of them to expect you to give notice in preceeding contract when the contract nit only did not clarify this but gave a different notice period. You wish them all the best but you will leave at the end of the original notice given by you and you trust that your excellent work record will be reflected in any references they give in the future.

ItStartedInRome Sat 22-Jun-13 15:06:05

I agree with the others. On strict reading of what you say it is a 1 week notice period. Perhaps you could say to your employer you're happy to work a little longer but not the full 8 weeks they seek? Good luck.

OlivesTree Sat 22-Jun-13 21:56:43

Thanks for all of the replies. I feel a lot more confident about the situation now.

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