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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
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I am contractually obliged to give 1 months notice, however

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I am contractually obliged to give 1 months notice, however my new position wants me to start asap. I have negotiated a deal that would allow me to give my present employer 1 day a week to enable a handover period but I need to start the new job next Monday. I emailed him a resignation email yesterday. Needless to say he is not happy and will not accept 1 weeks notice. I have worked with the company for 5 years without a pay increase. I have very little to hand over and have offered him evening work as well. Am I being unfair? If I don't start on Monday the position will be given to someone else. It is double my current salary. I feel like I stuck between a rock and hard place. My boss is currently on holiday and not back until the weekend, therefore communication is limited.

Ben Jones :

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

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

Before proceeding please note that as I am a practising solicitor, I am often in and out of meetings, travelling between clients or even at court when I pick your question up. This may even occur at weekends. Therefore, I apologise in advance but there may be a delay in getting back to you and providing my advice. Please be patient and I will respond as soon as I can. You do not have to wait here and you will receive an email when I have responded.

For now please let me know what your specific question is?


What are my options?


What can my boss legally do?

Apologies for the slight delay, I experienced some temporary connection issues earlier. 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.

I hope this has answered your query and would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating. Your question will not close and I can continue providing further advice if necessary. Thank you
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