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Contract states 4 weeks notice but leaving after one week

Discussion in 'Employment & HR' started by solidsilver, Mar 3, 2018.

  1. solidsilver

    solidsilver UKBF Contributor Free Member

    75 3
    My employee has just handed in her resignation letter and in it, given me one weeks notice. Her contract states four weeks. I have read up and found that unless I can prove that I need to pay someone to take over from her, I can't really stop her from leaving. My question is, what is the point of the notice period if people can leave anyway without suffering any consequences?
     
    Posted: Mar 3, 2018 By: solidsilver Member since: Jan 28, 2009
    #1
  2. Newchodge

    Newchodge UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    8,978 2,277
    Do you really want someone working in your organisation who absolutely does not want to be there?
     
    Posted: Mar 3, 2018 By: Newchodge Member since: Nov 8, 2012
    #2
  3. solidsilver

    solidsilver UKBF Contributor Free Member

    75 3
    No I don't, but what is the point of the notice period if people ignore it.
     
    Posted: Mar 3, 2018 By: solidsilver Member since: Jan 28, 2009
    #3
  4. Employment Law Clinic

    Employment Law Clinic UKBF Big Shot Full Member - Verified Business

    3,137 1,464
    You could get a High Court order that restricts her from leaving; very expensive, but an option.


    Apart from that, if you have no consequences in your employment contracts, why did you include the notice period?


    It’s normally difficult to prevent someone respecting their notice period if they decide not to, but you could discourage this in future if it’s a problem, by amending the employment terms.



    Karl Limpert
     
    Posted: Mar 3, 2018 By: Employment Law Clinic Member since: Aug 10, 2009
    #4
  5. solidsilver

    solidsilver UKBF Contributor Free Member

    75 3
    Thanks Karl

    I didn't realise at the time that you could include any consequences in the contract, which would make an employee think twice about leaving with a short notice period. Perhaps I should have come to you, and may still do, to look at our contracts.
     
    Posted: Mar 3, 2018 By: solidsilver Member since: Jan 28, 2009
    #5
  6. Bushman

    Bushman UKBF Contributor Free Member

    94 23
    Out of curiosity what sort of consequences can be included in a contract
     
    Posted: Mar 4, 2018 By: Bushman Member since: Nov 17, 2015
    #6
  7. Talay

    Talay UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    3,742 782
    Your contract of employment needs to specifically state that you can retain outstanding salary in lieu of notice not given by a departing employee. You cannot add this later !

    I have it in my letter of engagement which requires they sign and attest to it and in the contract of employment itself.
     
    Posted: Mar 4, 2018 By: Talay Member since: Mar 12, 2012
    #7
  8. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    7,393 773
    And is that legal?
     
    Posted: Mar 4, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #8
  9. Talay

    Talay UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    3,742 782
    Of course not - I just made it up :)

    Chat to ACAS if you want, then get some legal or HR advice.

    Legality is about how you contract, not just the terms of the contract.
     
    Posted: Mar 5, 2018 By: Talay Member since: Mar 12, 2012
    #9
  10. GraemeL

    GraemeL Pain in the neck? Full Member - Verified Business

    4,899 1,046
    It is legal only if you incur additional cost as a consequence and have included that in the T&C. See Acas:-

    Do I have to pay an employee their wages when they resigned without working their notice period?

    If your employee leaves without working their notice or getting your agreement to not work their notice, they may be in breach of their contract. As a first step, you should try to contact the employee to find out why they are refusing to work their notice and to see if they are willing to reconsider their decision. This may mean that you resolve a potential problem informally and quickly before it escalates and leads to legal action.

    If they still refuse to work their notice and you incur additional costs, such as agency costs to find a temporary replacement, you could try to reclaim the money from them by making a civil court claim against them. This can often be more costly to you than the value of the losses you incur.

    Your employee is not entitled to be paid for their notice period if they refuse to work it. However, they are usually still entitled to any outstanding pay for work already done and any outstanding holiday pay.

    You can only withhold all or part of their final wage if there is a clear contractual right to do so. Some employers include a clause in their employees' contracts which permits deductions to be made from an employee's final wage if they refuse to work their notice and the employer incurs losses or additional costs as a result.

    This is only relevant if your employee simply refuses to work their notice period. If they are absent because of a legitimate reason, such as sickness (and your notice periods are the same as the statutory notice period), they will still be entitled to their normal pay during their notice, and deductions for any costs you incur must not be made.
     
    Posted: Mar 5, 2018 By: GraemeL Member since: Sep 7, 2011
    #10
  11. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    7,393 773
    And it can bring them below minimum wage?
     
    Posted: Mar 5, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #11