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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
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I have been at my job for just under 4 months. I am totally

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I have been at my job for just under 4 months. I am totally stressed out as the workload is ridiculous and completely unrealistic. My supervisor is extremely horrible and has made me cry in the office on a number of occasions in front of my colleagues and has a track record of being rude to her staff. I am not sleeping and dread going into work. My previous employer has said he would welcome me back. My contract states a notice period of 4 weeks but my supervisor will make my life hell in that time. I really want to be able to go as soon as possible. What are my options please.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

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.

Customer: Hi Ben, can I give my notice and then go sick?
Ben Jones :

yes you can also do that if necessary

Customer: Ok. Thank you.
Ben Jones :

You are most welcome. Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the advice I have provided as that is an important part of our process. Thank you and all the best

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