Weekly paid but 4 weeks notice on contract

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I've been employed by a company for 2½ years, so I believe my statutory notice period is 2 weeks but if I don't give them 4 weeks and I'm in breach of contract what could they do? I'm only a semi-skilled worker so not in any critical role.
In addition, can anybody direct me to the relevant employment law about notice periods. I've lost a link I had to it.

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  • General_Grant
    General_Grant Posts: 4,866 Forumite
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    edited 23 November 2022 at 12:12PM
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    A couple of places to look:

    What a notice period is: Notice periods - Acas 

    Handing in your notice: Your employment contract - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

    You are correct that the statutory notice to which you would be entitled to receive is two weeks.
    However, statutory notice is the least to which you are entitled and if your contract says longer then it is the longer period.

    Statutory notice period for an employee to give is never longer than one week.  Again your contract can say longer and that is the notice which you would have to give.

    Though you may be "a semi-skilled worker", presumably someone needs to do the work you do.  In that case, if you left before serving your notice (unless agreed by the employer), they could deduct from your pay any extra costs they have because you left.  That could be the extra (over that which they would have paid you) they would pay in overtime to another employee or cost of a temp or penalty received by a deduction made by a client.

  • Undervalued
    Undervalued Posts: 8,886 Forumite
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    Tank40 said:
    I've been employed by a company for 2½ years, so I believe my statutory notice period is 2 weeks but if I don't give them 4 weeks and I'm in breach of contract what could they do? I'm only a semi-skilled worker so not in any critical role.
    In addition, can anybody direct me to the relevant employment law about notice periods. I've lost a link I had to it.
    As General_Grant says, plus they could mention that you failed to honour your contact in any reference they provide!




  • TELLIT01
    TELLIT01 Posts: 16,578 Forumite
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    How often you are paid - weekly, 4 weekly, monthly - has no direct bearing on the period of notice the employee may be required to give.  I was in a job where I was paid monthly but was required to give 6 weeks notice.
  • Marcon
    Marcon Posts: 10,904 Forumite
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    Tank40 said:
    I've been employed by a company for 2½ years, so I believe my statutory notice period is 2 weeks but if I don't give them 4 weeks and I'm in breach of contract what could they do? I'm only a semi-skilled worker so not in any critical role.

    Would you be happy if your employer unilaterally decided to terminate your employment but only give you notice of two weeks? If you want to leave at shorter notice, ask if they'd be happy with that. If you are so 'unimportant' to the business they may agree - but you might be more valued than you believe.
    Googling on your question might have been both quicker and easier, if you're only after simple facts rather than opinions!  
  • Tank40
    Tank40 Posts: 56 Forumite
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    edited 24 November 2022 at 12:52AM
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    ...they could deduct from your pay any extra costs...that could be the extra they would pay in overtime to another employee.

    There's no overtime rate (only flat rate) or temps brought in so in theory no extra costs, except maybe a tiny extra holiday entitlement for covering my shifts.
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 11,000 Forumite
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    Tank40 said:
    I've been employed by a company for 2½ years, so I believe my statutory notice period is 2 weeks but if I don't give them 4 weeks and I'm in breach of contract what could they do? I'm only a semi-skilled worker so not in any critical role.
    In addition, can anybody direct me to the relevant employment law about notice periods. I've lost a link I had to it.
    You have to remember that as far as the law is concerned a long notice period is a good thing, thats why the statutory notice period keeps increasing and is a minimum notice period.

    A contract cannot breach your statutory rights however it can exceed them and so by giving you a 4 weeks notice period you are on paper in a better position than if you had 2 weeks.  Whilst contracts cannot breach them etc two parties are free to agree whatever they like so if oyu want to leave earlier you can have a conversation with the relevant manager but both sides have to agree.

    If they refuse to release you early and you just decide not to turn up then you will be absent without leave which is normally gross misconduct and may result in you being fired. This obviously wont look good to future employers when the reference comes in if they choose to disclose it.

    In theory a breach of contract entitles them to claim from you the costs they have incurred due to the breach. This most often would be the cost of paying overtime or getting temps in to fill your role. If you are in sales they may claim a temp is poorer at sales than an experienced hand and so claim the difference between their cost and yours but also the lost sales. In practice making a cash claim rather than just firing you is rarer but not unheard of. 
  • Ath_Wat
    Ath_Wat Posts: 1,504 Forumite
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    Tank40 said:
    I've been employed by a company for 2½ years, so I believe my statutory notice period is 2 weeks but if I don't give them 4 weeks and I'm in breach of contract what could they do? I'm only a semi-skilled worker so not in any critical role.
    In addition, can anybody direct me to the relevant employment law about notice periods. I've lost a link I had to it.
    You have to remember that as far as the law is concerned a long notice period is a good thing, thats why the statutory notice period keeps increasing and is a minimum notice period.

    A long notice period from the employer to an employee is a good thing.

    Notice from the employee to the employer need not be the same, and is not controlled int he same way by legislation.  It need never be more than a week if not contractually stated.
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