Employment Contract help

Hey guys,

Hope everyone is ok.

I’m currently in a job where I have to give 2 months notice and if I don’t my contract states that they will chase me for all costs of hiring a replacement including temporary staff to fulfill my job, it also states that they could possibly chase me for the costs of hiring a replacement if they don’t find somebody within those 2 months due to me working for them for less then 6 months.

Now I was basically forced to sign this document infront of them on an induction day and didn’t really read it, if I’m honest. I am happy to serve some of my notice period but my new company wants me to work less if possible and I do as well.

I know I can request a shorter notice period, but my question is can they legally chase me for costs of hiring a replacement? Would it be a good idea to just leave after the one month is up and I’ve had my paycheque so they can’t take anything out of it?

If they do come after me for money, do you think it would just be them sending me letters or would they possibly try and take me to court?

Any help is greatly appreciated.



Would it be difficult to just do your two months notice, as per your contract?

my view exactly, you signed the contract, barring bereavement or an emergency take your responsibility seriously and see two months out…

Means you’ll also be able to ask for a reference, which you won’t if you mess them about

I personally have no issue myself doing the 2 months notice period, but the company that has offered me my next job doesn’t want me to do it. Also this company was my attempt at a career change that went wrongly, so I will be leaving them off my CV, so will never need or want a reference off them.

I understand that I signed the agreement, my main worry is about them chasing me for money if I don’t do the full 2 months notice period or even if I do chasing me for money for hiring a replacement…

Best bet is to try and negotiate something. The worse they can do is enforce the contract. If you tell them as soon as you can about you going, and offer to talk to them about the best way to manage the change, you might get a better deal.

burning bridges is sometimes good. sometimes very bad.

Have you tried explaining the situation to your new (future) employer?

If they want you they can either just accept the 2 months wait, or they might just buy you out of your existing contract with your current employer.

Happens quite a lot nowadays, particularly if your new employer has not had to spend a fortune recruiting you to start with.

yeah but punting the blame back to “the new company that wants to hire you” saying they don’t want you to do it, is still shirking the contract “you signed and agreed to”…

Face it, its your call. Jump an run, and take the consequences or take responsibility for what you agreed to (ie 6 months) and talk to those involved like Guiliano suggested and go from there…

Screw people over and they’re likely to enforce contracts. Treat em with respect and you may persuade em otherwise… but don’t hide from the commitments you made…

Given the circumstances of a ‘couple of hundred possible candidates per vacancy’ at the moment, and the wages you would have earned but arn’t, because you’ve left that could be used to pay part of the “potential” Agency replacment. And given the pressure applied to force your hand into signing, but you did sign it regardless. I think it’s an unfair arrangment and you should point it out to your manager, enquire if it’s the same for others that work there. You could also get fired somehow…sometime fun winding up the idiot that thought up your contract.

As has been previously suggested always, always read what you sign !

Saying that, it seems like a bizarre clause to have in an employment contract, possibly showing your current employers have been badly burned by people jumping ship before…do you mind me asking what you do in this current role? It would help to get an idea of why they are insisting on you signing that clause and therefore how likely they are to budge. Usually the first 6 months in any role is a probationary period where either party can get out on short notice, but not always.

As an employer I have some sympathy with your company, we recently had a guy hand in his notice on his 10 week anniversary (coincidentally the same date that our chances of getting a refund from his rec. agency expired) so we lost the £6k recruitment fee plus we had been using one of our best guys to train him up, so 2 people’s salaries completely wasted for those 10 weeks. He’d just decided he wanted to go and work abroad for a year. :crazy:

Again I’d say the best advice has already been given - talk it through with your company. Unless you have some very hard to find skills, or are going to work for a competitor (which it sounds like you are not) then the chances are that they will try to find a logical solution. They won’t want their business to suffer but equally they probably won’t want you kicking about the office in a grump for 2 months, bringing everyone else down.

Failing that, there are lots of amusing ways to get yourself fired!! :hehe:

Where’s Kaos when you need him…:wink:
Am sure he’ll be along shortly to give advice on the matter:P

I’d think twice about ‘getting yourself fired’ or leaving this position off your CV - might bite you on the proverbial in the future, maybe?

First thing is find out your rights and know exactly where you stand. The contract you signed may be worthless if it contravenes employment law - which I suspect it does.

Contact ACAS before you do anything.

Get informed, then decide.

Good luck.

Have a good read around here

I have had a bit of experience of this happening.

A couple of contracts back a permanent member of staff walked out, he was on 3 months notice.

The company went after him for the cost of the contractor to replace him through the courts and got a judgement against the guy for about £20,000.

As others have said, seek advice, preferably legal, first before you make any decisions.

Thanks for all the tips guys, they are greatly appreciated.

At the moment I currently work as an animal nursing assistant on minimum wage for a large veterinary group, I originally worked with computers and am going back to them. With regards to leaving them off my CV, my old boss is prepared to say that I still work for him up to this point (I technically do on a part time basis at the moment) so leaving it off my CV should be quite easy, as there won’t be any blank periods of time.

I am well aware that I should have read the contract when I signed it, and feel quite stupid right now for not reading it :frowning:

Once again, thanks for all the advise!

Hope you manage to get some sort of satisfactory result, mate.

+1 for ACAS - they are very friendly and helpful (if you can try to ring them during office hours to chat to them rather than sending an online enquiry)