Unclear Notice Period in Contract! Help Needed!
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    Default Unclear Notice Period in Contract! Help Needed!

    Hi all, I have received a job offer for a role that I really want to take but am confused about my notice period in my existing contract because it seems to be really unclear and poorly worded see below.:


    "1.6 Notice Period


    There will be an initial probationary period of three months, during which time one week’s notice will need to be given by either party to terminate the employment. Thereafter, one month’s notice from either party will be required.


    1.7 Suspension


    The Company may suspend you from working at any time or partly relieve you of your duties or may require you to carry out different duties and may exclude you from the Company’ premises and prevent contact with employees at work provided that throughout such period your salary and all other contractual benefits and your obligations hereunder during such a period of suspension shall continue.


    1.8 Termination


    a) You are to give the Company two months’ notice in writing of your termination of your employment;


    b) The periods of notice to be given by the Company are as follows:


    · During the first six months of employment: four week


    c) In the following events the Company reserves the right to terminate your employment summarily:
    · Your breach or non-observance of these terms and conditions of employment;


    · Your serious misconduct or negligence;


    · Your bankruptcy;


    · Your conduct which may bring the Company into disrepute;


    · Your conviction of an arrestable criminal offence (other than a road traffic offence);


    · In the company’s reasonable opinion you become incapable because of mental disorders of performing your job.


    In a) above, the Company reserves the right to pay compensation in lieu of any notice of termination of employment (subject to your duty to mitigate your loss), which it or you are required to give. For the avoidance of doubt, if you have received payment in lieu of notice, you will not be entitled to any additional compensation in respect of holiday that you would have during the period of the notice."


    In addition, the offer letter that I received had the following wording:

    "The first three months of your employment will be considered probationary. During this time one weeks notice will be in effect by either party. Upon satisfactory completion of this period 3 months notice from either side will take effect"

    (I am fully aware that the offer letter is not a binding contract)

    Can anyone please advise or help to understand what my notice period is from a legal perspective? I am sure my current employer will look to be as awkward as possible!

    Any help offered would be most appreciated!

    Cj

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    I'd go with the contract. That is what you will have signed and returned.

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    Contract states:

    "1.6 Notice Period


    There will be an initial probationary period of three months, during which time one week’s notice will need to be given by either party to terminate the employment. Thereafter, one month’s notice from either party will be required."
    Within the 3 months probationary period = 1 week notice by either party, outside of the probationary period = 1 month's notice by either party.

    Did you sign and agree to an offer letter or to the contract?

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    Quote Originally Posted by theboycj1 View Post
    Hi all, I have received a job offer for a role that I really want to take but am confused about my notice period in my existing contract because it seems to be really unclear and poorly worded see below.:


    "1.6 Notice Period


    There will be an initial probationary period of three months, during which time one week’s notice will need to be given by either party to terminate the employment. Thereafter, one month’s notice from either party will be required.


    1.7 Suspension


    The Company may suspend you from working at any time or partly relieve you of your duties or may require you to carry out different duties and may exclude you from the Company’ premises and prevent contact with employees at work provided that throughout such period your salary and all other contractual benefits and your obligations hereunder during such a period of suspension shall continue.


    1.8 Termination


    a) You are to give the Company two months’ notice in writing of your termination of your employment;


    b) The periods of notice to be given by the Company are as follows:


    · During the first six months of employment: four week


    c) In the following events the Company reserves the right to terminate your employment summarily:
    · Your breach or non-observance of these terms and conditions of employment;


    · Your serious misconduct or negligence;


    · Your bankruptcy;


    · Your conduct which may bring the Company into disrepute;


    · Your conviction of an arrestable criminal offence (other than a road traffic offence);


    · In the company’s reasonable opinion you become incapable because of mental disorders of performing your job.


    In a) above, the Company reserves the right to pay compensation in lieu of any notice of termination of employment (subject to your duty to mitigate your loss), which it or you are required to give. For the avoidance of doubt, if you have received payment in lieu of notice, you will not be entitled to any additional compensation in respect of holiday that you would have during the period of the notice."


    In addition, the offer letter that I received had the following wording:

    "The first three months of your employment will be considered probationary. During this time one weeks notice will be in effect by either party. Upon satisfactory completion of this period 3 months notice from either side will take effect"

    (I am fully aware that the offer letter is not a binding contract)

    Can anyone please advise or help to understand what my notice period is from a legal perspective? I am sure my current employer will look to be as awkward as possible!

    Any help offered would be most appreciated!

    Cj
    Explain to your agent that Clause 1.8a contradicts Clause 1.6 and that you want the client to clarify the exact period of notice to be given by yourself and the client.

    Looks to me like the contract was cobbled together and not checked before being sent out.

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    LOL, two different termination periods would be funny but three!!??!

    I presume you are gunning for the one month? It really shouldn't be a problem. Employers don't want people around that don't want to be there and a month should be enough to get someone on board unless you are niche or something. Whatever the contract says see if you can negotiate what you want. If the client doesn't like the new company you are starting with they may put you on immediate gardening leave so kinda sorting it out for you (unless there is a clause saying you can't work for another company whilst on gardening leave of course)
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    Default Unclear Notice Period

    Hi Guys

    All your advice is really useful, I am thinking if I push for 1 month there is not much my boss can do to enforce 3 months because of all the contradictions etc... what do you all think? Any suggestions on approach! I'm going to be friendly but can see him turning nasty!

    With regards to gardening leave please see the below extract from my contract:


    1.9 Garden Leave

    The Company may relieve you of you duties at any time when you are under notice of termination. During any period the Company shall not be under any obligation to provide you with any work or alternatively may offer you work which is not normally carried out by you and further may exclude you from the Company’s premises and prevent contact with employees at work provided that throughout such period your salary and all other contractual benefits will be paid and your obligations hereunder shall continue during such period of garden leave.

    1.10 Non-Competition

    You shall not during any continuance of your employment with the Company be directly involved in any work with or for any person, firm or company which is engaged in business in competition with the Company, regardless of any relationship in place prior to employment with the Company, with any person, firm or company which is now engaged in business with the Company.

    The non-competition post is quite wide also, I will be working in the same field as my current role but will not be working for a direct competitor...I don't really see a problem with it?!
    Last edited by theboycj1; 19th March 2014 at 22:47.

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    I didn't sign anything on the offer letter and there is another contradiction in the contract outside of the 1 month notice.



    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Potter View Post
    Contract states:



    Within the 3 months probationary period = 1 week notice by either party, outside of the probationary period = 1 month's notice by either party.

    Did you sign and agree to an offer letter or to the contract?

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    Quote Originally Posted by theboycj1 View Post
    Hi Guys

    All your advice is really useful, I am thinking if I push for 1 month there is not much my boss can do to enforce 3 months because of all the contradictions etc... what do you all think? Any suggestions on approach! I'm going to be friendly but can see him turning nasty!
    They are on a sticky wicket having two periods in an if it went legal they would be hard pushed to nail you to the longest one just to suit them. I can't help but think they messed up so you have the benefit of the doubt here and will get the 1 month. Anyway, see how it goes.

    With regards to gardening leave please see the below extract from my contract:


    1.9 Garden Leave

    The Company may relieve you of you duties at any time when you are under notice of termination. During any period the Company shall not be under any obligation to provide you with any work or alternatively may offer you work which is not normally carried out by you and further may exclude you from the Company’s premises and prevent contact with employees at work provided that throughout such period your salary and all other contractual benefits will be paid and your obligations hereunder shall continue during such period of garden leave.
    Am no expert but would say this does preclude you from starting with another firm whilst on GL. Hopefully it won't come to that though.

    1.10 Non-Competition

    You shall not during any continuance of your employment with the Company be directly involved in any work with or for any person, firm or company which is engaged in business in competition with the Company, regardless of any relationship in place prior to employment with the Company, with any person, firm or company which is now engaged in business with the Company.

    The non-competition post is quite wide also, I will be working in the same field as my current role but will not be working for a direct competitor...I don't really see a problem with it?!
    That seems like pretty standard wording to be honest. Clauses like this have to be fair and reasonable and can only stick if you are doing something that would disadvantage your current employer. Just moving to a similar role in another company, even if it is in the same area of work shouldn't be a problem. It's if you will take sensitive knowledge, customers or solutions with you and give them to the new employer etc... This won't be a problem.
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    Fantastic, because they have 3 clauses in there, i.e. offer letter clause = 3 months, contract = 2 months and 1 month, I think they should be okay.

    Thanks for your help. Gives me the confidence to break it to them.

    Cheers



    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    They are on a sticky wicket having two periods in an if it went legal they would be hard pushed to nail you to the longest one just to suit them. I can't help but think they messed up so you have the benefit of the doubt here and will get the 1 month. Anyway, see how it goes.



    Am no expert but would say this does preclude you from starting with another firm whilst on GL. Hopefully it won't come to that though.



    That seems like pretty standard wording to be honest. Clauses like this have to be fair and reasonable and can only stick if you are doing something that would disadvantage your current employer. Just moving to a similar role in another company, even if it is in the same area of work shouldn't be a problem. It's if you will take sensitive knowledge, customers or solutions with you and give them to the new employer etc... This won't be a problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by theboycj1 View Post
    Hi all, I have received a job offer for a role that I really want to take but am confused about my notice period in my existing contract because it seems to be really unclear and poorly worded see below.:


    "1.6 Notice Period


    There will be an initial probationary period of three months, during which time one week’s notice will need to be given by either party to terminate the employment. Thereafter, one month’s notice from either party will be required.


    1.7 Suspension


    The Company may suspend you from working at any time or partly relieve you of your duties or may require you to carry out different duties and may exclude you from the Company’ premises and prevent contact with employees at work provided that throughout such period your salary and all other contractual benefits and your obligations hereunder during such a period of suspension shall continue.


    1.8 Termination


    a) You are to give the Company two months’ notice in writing of your termination of your employment;


    b) The periods of notice to be given by the Company are as follows:


    · During the first six months of employment: four week


    c) In the following events the Company reserves the right to terminate your employment summarily:
    · Your breach or non-observance of these terms and conditions of employment;


    · Your serious misconduct or negligence;


    · Your bankruptcy;


    · Your conduct which may bring the Company into disrepute;


    · Your conviction of an arrestable criminal offence (other than a road traffic offence);


    · In the company’s reasonable opinion you become incapable because of mental disorders of performing your job.


    In a) above, the Company reserves the right to pay compensation in lieu of any notice of termination of employment (subject to your duty to mitigate your loss), which it or you are required to give. For the avoidance of doubt, if you have received payment in lieu of notice, you will not be entitled to any additional compensation in respect of holiday that you would have during the period of the notice."


    In addition, the offer letter that I received had the following wording:

    "The first three months of your employment will be considered probationary. During this time one weeks notice will be in effect by either party. Upon satisfactory completion of this period 3 months notice from either side will take effect"

    (I am fully aware that the offer letter is not a binding contract)

    Can anyone please advise or help to understand what my notice period is from a legal perspective? I am sure my current employer will look to be as awkward as possible!

    Any help offered would be most appreciated!

    Cj
    "Employment"? "Salary"? "Probationary period"? This entire thing reads like an IR35 timebomb.

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