How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46773
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
29905560
Type Your UK Employment Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

We have a staff member who was on a 1 month notice period

Customer Question

We have a staff member who was on a 1 month notice period who handed in their notice and only worked 1 week and then left and didn't come in. What is our position as they were an IT engineer and we have a 1 month notice period to ensure that we have time to replace them to continue providing service to our clients so not to compromise our service levels. Can we sue them for anything?? The cost to get a contractor in for the further 3 weeks would probable cost £50.00 per hour, however it would probably take 2-3 weeks to find one and train them in our processes etc. Therefore in this instance it is not something we have been able to do, however it has lost us face with our clients as it has left us short on resource. In the future is there anything we can put in our employment contract to stat that if staff do not work their notice period then there is a standard charge of £1,000.00 per week (for example) which will be claimed back from the staff member, is this legal?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

What are the actual losses you may have incurred considering you would have still had to pay this person to work for you for the remainder of the notice period?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

No actual losses as such it has just left us a position whereby it has compromised our service levels as we do not have the staff member in the office to deal with client requests. As stated we haven't taken anyone else on due to the timescales it would take us to train someone up.

I suppose the main query is moving forward can we put anything in our contract whereby if the staff member does not work their notice period then we can charge then a fee??

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

It is possible to have a clause in future contracts where the employee may be liable to pay you a fee to cover any costs or losses incurred as a result of their breach of contract, were they to leave before the end of their notice period. If anything, such a clause could act as a deterrent to try and avoid a repeat of this situation. However, it does not mean that you could automatically go and charge them the fee because to do so you would need to show that it is covering actual losses which have been incurred as a result of their breach. So if you have not suffered any losses and try to charge this fee it would amount to a penalty clause and be unlawful. So you can only realistically charge them if their breach has resulted in losses for you. But as mentioned, even if you cannot necessarily apply this clause and charge the fee in question, the simple existence of this clause could act as a deterrent and make employees think twice before they go and potentially breach their contract in this way.

I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? If your query has been dealt with please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. If you need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you.

Related UK Employment Law Questions