NC so as not to out, but I've been approached about an amazing new job by a recruitment agency. Massive payrise (more than 50% of current salary) and great working conditions. Agency asked how much notice I was required to give and I said that it's three months, but could be negotiated. The notice period is a deal breaker for this post as they need someone in place asap. Legally, how much notice am I required to give? My handover in my present job could be done in less than a fortnight, and my current workload easily distributed among the team. However I think my employers might want me to stay for the full three months until they find a replacement. I would not be going to a competitor, and am keen to keep relations good, but also prepared to do what's best for my career and family. Does anyone have any experience of this? What did you do?
Legally you need to give whatever it says in your contract.
Your best bet is to ask to be released early, and by making sure you'll do whatever handover/notes/tying up would be helpful to them they are more likely to agree that, obviously. Most employers would rather have someone helpful and constructive and hardworking for one month than someone with one foot out of the door feeling disgruntled and not working hard for three months.
If they won't release you early you have the option of walking out without working your full notice. You would be in breach of contract, and technically your employer could take legal action against you, however unless you leaving early represents a financial loss for them, it's unlikely to be worth them doing so. The bigger risk is no good reference from that job for now or for the future, and damaging good relations.