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Working notice period -do I have to work it?

(16 Posts)
Livpie Fri 21-Mar-14 22:43:53

Six months ago I was promoted and received a new contract however I didn't notice that my notice period changed from 1 to 3 months. Now the company has announced a relocation 20miles away and I it will be difficult to fit the job in with family commitments due to the extra travel time so have started looking for other jobs. A recruitment consultant told me it will be difficult to get a new job at my level with that sort of notice period. What would happen if I didn't work out my notice, I feel as if I have been shafted as they would have known about this relocation when I signed my new contract.

OohOod Sat 22-Mar-14 06:18:03

Is your location in your contract?

Livpie Sat 22-Mar-14 07:49:50

Unfortunately yes there was a mobility clause, my old contract said I could be asked to work up to 10miles from my current base but the new contract didn't specify the distance, it never entered my head that they were looking at moving so I didn't question it. Again it looks like they deliberately changed my terms with a view to the relocation.

Finbar Sat 22-Mar-14 07:58:49

You can ask them if they would consider shortening it particularly if you have a new job lined up. But long notice periods are to protect companies interests and try and ensure no gaps. I don't think you have been 'shafted' And if a new company wants you - they will swallow a 3 month wait! That recruitment consultant just wants a quick commission.

LIZS Sat 22-Mar-14 08:02:52

3 months isn't that unusual so Consulant is talking tosh , it can be done but the more flexible the easier for them to place you. You could take some as leave but you couldn't start sooner if so as you'd be under contract still. They may even agree to "gardening leave" but impose 3 months if you are transferring within a competitive business ie. sales so you don't poach customers or contacts.

Livpie Sat 22-Mar-14 08:15:02

The consultant said there are so many applicants for the type of jobs I would be applying for that the new company would have to see something special to be willing to wait 3 months for me - there would be so many applicants that could start immediately or in a month. I can't see how I could offer anything special to be honest.
I did ask my current employer if the notice period could be reduced considering the relocation but they won't back down, having said that & have never heard of them suing anyone who has not worked their notice.

flowery Sat 22-Mar-14 10:02:10

They are probably unlikely to sue you for breach of contract if you walk out, but you'll kiss goodbye to any future hope of a decent reference from them, and depending on the industry, may damage your reputation.

HermioneWeasley Sat 22-Mar-14 13:21:47

What flowery said

eurochick Sat 22-Mar-14 13:31:19

Are you prepared to take the consequences of breaching your employment contract? If so, no you don't need to work it. Just leave.

The possible consequence is your employer suing you for their loss resulting from you not working your notice period. So they will have to show that they couldn't get anyone to replace you and that this has had financial consequences for the business.

In the real world, it is highly unlikely that you would be pursued. But flowery makes a valid point about references and reputation.

Livpie Sat 22-Mar-14 15:18:08

Yes I hadn't thought of the reference issue and a breach of contract doesn't sit easily with me, it worries me that I could get disqualified from a professional body I am a member of too.

fascicle Sat 22-Mar-14 18:40:37

Are there other employees who have the original 10 mile mobility clause in their contracts, who don't want to relocate? If so, how is the company dealing with them?

Whilst you should have read your contract, I think your company should have flagged up changes to the mobility clause and your new extended notice period.

A recruitment consultant told me it will be difficult to get a new job at my level with that sort of notice period.

Does this mean that the jobs you are interested in are not also likely to require a 3 month notice period? Otherwise, you would some understanding/flexibility.

Re references. Do you know your company's policy on providing them? Some clarify minimal details (e.g. dates of employment) and employers have a duty to ensure any information given is fair and truthful. If your employer were to mention leaving without serving full notice, your future employer would presumably fully understand, since you would be leaving early to start a new job with them.

I would suggest contacting your professional body, and getting some advice from them, to ensure your membership isn't jeopardised if you don't serve your full notice.

Overall, I think it's a question of weighing up the pros and cons of leaving early, if a new position depends upon it. And check your contract to see if there is any mention of/likely repercussions from leaving before the end of the notice period.

BecauseIsaidS0 Sun 23-Mar-14 11:10:57

If the recruiter is implying that other companies would turn you down because they wouldn't want to wait for three months while you work through your notice period, I tend to call bullshit on that and I'm going to guess that he/she is telling you that so that they can stack odds in favour of finding you a new role pronto and getting their commission sooner rather than later.

Having said that, I think it is possible to agree on how much of the notice period to work when you resign in some cases. In others, like in my industry, they send you home but you have to sit your 'gardening leave'.

thegraduand Sun 23-Mar-14 19:43:46

I know of people who were told by recruiters that it was fine to ignore notice periods, and ignore letters from employers saying that you weren't allowed to work during gardening leave. The new employer found out on the first day that the person was still on gardening leave and not allowed to work, so they were escorted out of the building with no new job. Moral of the tale is - don't trust everything recruiters tell you. (Recruiter also lost contract with new employing firm)

EdithWeston Sun 23-Mar-14 19:52:58

Are you absolutely sure you're leaving current post? If so, you have nothing to lose by asks your employer now how much flexibility there is in the notice period. Yes, they'll want something (to cover recruitmnt/selection for promotion time). But with a bit if goodwill and pre planning, the notice period an be drastically shortened. Employers don't actually want pissed off and reluctant people sabotaging the business for the sake of a few weeks specified in a contract.

Do not however try that unless you are sure you are going and all you are haggling over is when.

Livpie Sun 23-Mar-14 21:15:21

I have already approached my employer to see if the notice period could be reduced but they firmly said no, I work in the public sector so they don't have to worry about me going to a competitor. I will just keep my fingers crossed that a company is willing to wait 3 months. Thanks for all the comments and advice it has given me a lot to think about.

mymiraclebubba Sun 23-Mar-14 22:31:05

your recruitment consultant is talking utter crap!!! if you have a 3 month notice period i assume you are in some form of management position. If so, then this notice period is incredibly common ime. it is certainly written into the contracts in most private sector companies, so i would find it unlikely that it would cause you to lose out unless there was a similar candidate who had already left/made redundant and therefore in position to start immediately

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