UK Employment Law
UK Employment Law Questions Answered by Verified Experts
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When an employee wishes to leave their employment, they will usually be bound by one of two notice periods – a contractual one or a statutory one.
If there is a written contract in place and it contains a specific notice period, the employee will be contractually bound by it. If the employee fails to honour this notice period then technically they will be acting in breach of contract. The employer can then make a claim for breach of contract and seek compensation for damages resulting from that breach. However, such claims are very rarely made. This is mainly due to the costs and time required to do so, plus the uncertainty over the outcome. Whilst there is no way of predicting whether the employer will take this any further or not, chances are that they will not. A more probable outcome would be that the employer refuses to provide a reference in the future or if they do, it may mention that the employee had left in breach of contract.
It is therefore best to try and negotiate a mutually acceptable notice period that would suit both parties. However, if that is not possible, and there is a pressing need to leave immediately, that may be the only option, subject to the risks identified above.
One final option is to claim that you believe you have been constructively dismissed. That occurs when an employer has committed a serious breach of contract. If you believe that such a breach has occurred, you can treat the contract as having been terminated with immediate effect and argue that you can leave without giving any notice as the contractual notice period would no longer be enforceable. However, only go down this route if there is a genuine breach by your employer and inform them that you are treating yourself as having been constructively dismissed. I would say that being placed under unreasonable stress can certainly qualify and it is highly unlikely the employer will take this any further in the circumstances if they do not get the notice you are due to give them.
yes you can also do that if necessary
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