Husband being threatened with court action for not working his notice

(17 Posts)
lilyheather1 Thu 30-Jan-20 12:10:56

I realise the company are well within their rights to do this, but I was curious as to what extent extenuating circumstances are taken into account should it come to that?

For background, Husband's company are beyond dreadful, losing accounts left right and centre, regular upper management shake ups, redundancies and then re-employment for the same positions but different titles, all a bit dodgy. Our direct issues are as follows:

In September 2019, husband received a written warning. All points raised in the warning were appealed to in writing with supporting evidence to the contrary and supported by the account for which the warning referenced. The appeal was never acknowledged or replied to in any sense.

The company's contract with the account Husband works for states that three levels of management must be employed and on-site in full-time positions, these are a General Manager (husband's position) Events Manager and full time chef. The latter of the two are not filled and therefore husband covers both roles when required.

Husband's company do not pay sick leave at all. If you're ill, it's considered a day's unpaid leave.

any hours worked above and beyond the base rate are not paid nor offered back as time in lieu. Husband regularly works above and beyond these hours.

Husband has received a job offer in his dream role and has requested a one month's notice period to suit the new business. Current company have refused and are threatening court action. Should it come to that, will the above be taken into account? I desperately don't want my husband to miss this opportunity and whilst I would love him to be able just to put two fingers up and turn and leave, I'd like some clarity on what would happen if the worst came to the worst.

Thank you

OP’s posts: |
BBBear Thu 30-Jan-20 12:12:20

What does his contract say about notice period?

lilyheather1 Thu 30-Jan-20 12:15:22

3 months

OP’s posts: |
Shadyshadow Thu 30-Jan-20 12:15:41

What is his notice period.

To be honest all the back ground doesnt matter. They either will or wont pursue him for this

Can he speak to his new employer? Some employers wouldn't care and say 'they are shit come anyway' obviously not in those words. My current employer, did that. My old employer kept insisting on putting me on gardening leave. This was in my contract if I went to a competitor. My old job and new job were in no way related.

My new employer supported me and offered to pick up any legal Bill's if they pursued me. They didnt.

ChainsawBear Thu 30-Jan-20 12:16:47

The only thing that matters here is his contractual notice period, not how dodgy the company is or shift rules or whatever.

If he's contracted to more than one month's notice, he needs to work his notice, unless he is incapable of doing so because of ill health or the company agree to a shorter period.

His new company should allow him to work his contractual notice - that's exactly why most companies ask what it is during the hiring period.

Marzipanface Thu 30-Jan-20 12:18:31

Are you in the UK? No sick pay?! Work one month then take two months off unpaid sick leave. They can jog the fuck on.

ChainsawBear Thu 30-Jan-20 12:20:37

They'll either pursue him legally or they won't, most sensible places wouldn't bother, but 1) they don't sound particularly sensible, 2) it will comprehensively burn his bridges with them, which seems silly when he could just work the notice he agreed to.

If his new company are kicking off about his notice period, they're being dicks and is consider that a red flag about the environment. Many senior and skilled roles have a standard 3 month notice.

BlueJava Thu 30-Jan-20 12:39:37

I don't believe the background info has any bearing on things, it's the notice period which matters. So, according to his contract he should give 3 month's notice, he wants to give 1 month's notice. My strong advice (and this worked for me) is to see an employment lawyer immediately. There are definitely ways to get out of this such as: has his role or title changed but it's not reflected in his contract. That had happened to me, but my contract wasn't updated and I was able to leave. Definitely worth a shot.

lilyheather1 Thu 30-Jan-20 12:47:50

Thank you all. We shall seek an employment lawyer.

OP’s posts: |
TrixIrl Thu 30-Jan-20 12:52:04

One thing to discuss with the employnent solicitor is the notion of constructive dismissal.

If the current workplace has become so intolerable (think refusal to deal with appeal, refusal to replace the events manager, no time in lieu leading to exhaustion etc.) then perhaps your husband would have no choice but to quit.... And this could be used as a countersuit should his employer be silly enough to pursue the notice.

socksandshoes1 Thu 30-Jan-20 13:18:40

Is there an Assistant Manager? If so, he can leave whenever - as long as it won't cost the company any extra money to cover him during those three months (e.g if he was the only nurse in an area, and they had to get agency staff in at short notice at double the cost) they can't do anything, and also can't withhold any wages owed or holiday pay.

cheekaa Thu 30-Jan-20 13:22:08

Please check your home insurance policy as you may be covered for legal expenses.
Good luck.

lilyheather1 Thu 30-Jan-20 13:52:54

Thank you everyone. It's an horrendously toxic company and I just want him out of there. Not going out without a fight and whilst a realise he'll be in breach of contract, there's plenty of wrongdoing on their part too.

OP’s posts: |
TheTruthAboutLove Thu 30-Jan-20 21:39:58

Have you asked the new company if they are happy to honour his three month notice period?

I thought this sort of thing would have came up in interview and so they’d be aware already. I’ve also never heard of a company retracting an offer of employment because of someone’s notice period.

mumwon Thu 30-Jan-20 21:47:59

solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/
search for area of law to get specialist & local to you
some may give free half hour or a set price for first appointment

prh47bridge Thu 30-Jan-20 22:05:53

If they want to take action against him they will have to show that they have suffered a loss due to him not working his notice, e.g. they have had to take on a temp costing more than they were paying him. Unless they can prove that your husband's failure to work his notice has caused them loss of profits they won't get anywhere.

The background isn't really relevant unless either it provides a basis for taking action against them for constructive dismissal or they are in breach of contract. Looking at what you have written, it is possible their failure to do anything about your husband's appeal is a breach of contract. If they are in breach they won't get anywhere with an action against him for failing to serve his notice.

Christmadtree Thu 30-Jan-20 22:24:26

The background isn't really relevant unfortunately. It's unusual for people to be taken to court over this unless it's a very specific role and/or costing them significantly to either cover or loss in terms of moving to a competitor. It'll cost them a fair chunk of cash to pursue it and realistically most places won't want to keep an employee by force once they have decided to leave, for obvious reasons.

Does he have holidays accrued that he can use for some of the time?

Best to contact ACAS in the first instance rather than paying an employment lawyer.

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