Notice not worked

09 July 2019

Resignations can cause problems for your business. Such as when you face a situation where an individual leaves their role, but the employee did not work their notice period.

If that’s the case, where do you stand on a legal front? And what can your business do about it? Well, as a business it’s essential to get your employment contracts and documentation right.

You can call us on 0800 028 2420 for immediate assistance.

You can also read this guide, which cover all the important points of an employee not working full notice period.

Your notice period policy

Your employee has a certain job to complete for your business. And they’ll likely need replacing if they announce they’re leaving. But it can take a long time to find a suitable replacement.   

As a result, you should always makes employees aware of the consequences of not working a notice period. 

This can include your business making a claim for damages against the staff member at a county court—as part of a breach of contract claim.

Employment law on not working notice periods is clear. Legally, you can expect employees to provide at least one week’s notice if they’ve worked for a company for one month or more.

There’s no statutory minimum notice an employee must provide—for an individual with you for less than one month.

However, provided you don’t set notice period lengths lower than that, you’re free to dictate notice as you choose within a contract of employment.

For example, some companies may ask for a four-week notice period upon resignation after one month’s service. That’s three weeks more than the law dictates as a minimum.

Get expert help from Peninsula Business Services

Since 1983 we’ve assisted tens of thousands of businesses with employment law issues.

Contracts and documentation are one of the most common issues in the modern business world. It’s easy for any business (small, medium, or large) to miss small details—that can have major consequences.

You can contact us for immediate help with any employment contract issue.

Request a call back and we’ll be in touch with you as soon as possible—our service runs 24/7 on an annual basis.

Whether it’s an HR, employment law, or health & safety requirement—we’re here to help.

The steps your business can take

If you ever face the situation of an employee not working out their contractual notice period, there are several options open to you.

Ultimately, whether you try to enforce the contract, or permit an employee to leave early, will depend upon the specific requirements of your company.

For example, you may be happy for the employee to leave early because their replacement is already in post.

The early departure wouldn’t cause any detriment to the company’s performance.

As you don’t mind a scenario where the employee, following their resignation letter, isn’t working their notice period, you can confirm in writing the notice period is shorter.

Then you can indicate when the employee’s termination date is.

If contractually allowed, you can seek to deduct from their wages to cover any losses.  

To give another example, it may be you’ve had to hire someone at a higher rate of pay the individual to cover the gap left.

The result is you may wish to seek the difference in wages from the departing employee. 

If that isn’t possible, you could pursue them for breach of contract in the courts. However, the cost of legal proceedings may outweigh the loss caused by the breach.

Need our help?

If you need any assistance with notice periods at your business, get in touch for expert advice: 0800 028 2420.

Suggested Resources