legal advice asap?

Where im working at the moment, it supposed to be two months notice period…

its been a major problem trying to find new job.

Basically, when i started here in September, i was given the contracts to take home etc, but never actually signed them…

Now people have told me, i aint signed the contract, so i have no obligations, however others have told me the fact im working here, proves ive accepted the contract in itself.

Others yet again, have told me if i get paid monthly, i have to give a mths notice.

I need to know where i stand legally

I’m not a legal expert, but here are my 2 cents.

The fact that you are working there could be deemed to be a contract, however the details of that contract (in the absence of signed documentation) only extend as far as you providing your services in exchange for their remuneration. Because there is no signed document that states the two month notice period, the default period I think is equal to the period between remuneration payments i.e. a month if you are salaried, a week if you are on wages, etc.
That said, unless you are performing a critical function, most companies will not want to keep you against your will because a disgruntled employee can cause havoc if they put their mind to it. Also, if you have access to sensitive info/systems, they will probably put you on gardening leave for the notice period.

Have you spoken to them?

cant mention to boss until day im telling him right, this is my notice

hes very ignorant, and will do his damdest to make me work right up until last day

unless theres a legal loophole i can get out of it

Employment legislation is a bit of a mine field. My advice would be to try and negotiate a leaving date with your boss that is acceptable to you both. Fridayman is right why would they want you to stay against your will (you might potentially cause serious problems, particularly if you are an IT guy and not like me completely computer illiterate).

Whether the contract was signed or not doesn’t really matter, in my experience through working there, you have accepted the terms and conditions, however, if you left without giving 2 months notice the worst they can do is not pay you for those 2 months (as you wouldn’t work you wouldn’t expect payment anyway) and potentially mention this in a future reference. Keep in mind you have a right to see any reference provided for you by an ex-employer. So if ever a job is withdrawn because of an unsatisfactory reference you could take this further. Perhaps, they have already provided one though? Often a manager feels personally insulted when staff leave, don’t ask why, it’s just one of the universes mysteries. If you talk to him/her it will probably help.

They could potentially take you to court for breach of contract but as far as I am aware that has never happened as the costs to your employer would be astronomical.

A dangerous thing for any boss to do. They can make you show up, but they have no control over what you do while you are there! You have a new job already.

I once had a disagreement with a former employer over accrued overtime pay, when I was about to leave the company - they offered me the equivalent of £30 for more than 90 hours of overtime. So I put passwords on the files that I had been working on (during the overtime naturally…). A few weeks later, after I had left, I got a call asking for the password. Needless to say, they didn’t think it was very funny that I saw this as an opportunity to re-open the overtime discussion.

“So if ever a job is withdrawn because of an unsatisfactory reference you could take this further”

The problem is that all references now are positive, the truth is that some are more positive than others. Legally you are in a minefield for dissing complete and utter t055er5, so you just say “x was a satisfactory employee” and any HR now knows this as legally cool code for Do NOT Employ this **************** - its just the way it is now done to shake off the lawyers.

They haven’t got a leg to stand on check out this link:-

IMHO Provided you have not raised objection within the contractual notice perion you are deemed to have accpted the terms and conditions that were supplied to you in writing withn the required 8 weeks of commencement. Just as you will have been provided/have access to a staff handbook and are bound by this. In teh absenece of written statement the normal notice will be one year for each year of completed service to a maximum of 12 weeks. However your contractual notice period requires you to give 2 months notice. Though you have not completed one years service you are still covered by the contractual terms as you are from the first day and breach of contract in this case would normally be dealt with in the High Court not Employment Tribunal.

Should you leave without giving the requisite notice you are voluntarily breaching your contract and as such the employer is no longer required to also abide by its terms ie pay you allow you access to the building etc. You would also lose any holiday you would have accrued during the notice period along with any benefits such as pension and private healthcare. The worst case scenario is the employer sues you for breach of contract and the cost of your replacment or the possible losses that may result but since suing individuals is rarely profitable they might take an action against the new employer for encouraging you to breach your contract.

Reality is that in 14 years in HR I have never seen anyone sued like this but that is a risk if you are that special and it does happen in the City, particularly with teams and they also have restrictive covenants that woudl apply (check that document you never signed to see if there are any such as disclosure of client lists etc).

Final point regarding refernces is that it is perfectly acceptable to give an unsatisfactory reference (and I have) but is MUST be factually correct so yours might refelect that you left without working your notice.

Hope this helps, any other questions PM me and I’ll try to help, not a lawyer but did study employment law.