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I've been working in a firm for the last 3 years. Two weeks ago, I interviewed for a position in a new company and was selected.

My current employers notice period policy is either 2 months notice or 1 month notice plus the loss of a months pay.

I had clearly mentioned the 2 month notice period to my new employer. They were okay with the 2 month notice period and asked me to confirm the offer letter. Now I have resigned, and the new employer's HR is asking for me to join within a month. However, this is not possible for me at all due to my responsibilities at my current workplace.

How can I communicate to my new employer that I am not able to join within a month for the agreed upon reasons?

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Can you go back to the new employer and clarify why they would like you to start in one month? It could be that they have not edited a standard acceptance letter rather than that they desperately require you to start for a new project –  Mike Mar 27 at 9:40
    
She said, a new project is going to start, so please try to come with in a month. But it is not possible to me. –  S. K. Mar 27 at 9:55
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If your new employer was aware you needed two months, then it's fair to everyone involved to remain at the old position for two months. The world is full of high priority projects that aren't going to get done on schedule. Better to honor the spirit of your agreement, letting the new employer know you're in the habit of keeping your promises. –  Meredith Poor Mar 27 at 10:21
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Hi @S.K I edited your post to try to focus it on the issue a bit more and to make it a little easier to read. Hopefully the question still resembles what you wanted to ask. Welcome to the site and good luck! –  RWY Mar 27 at 10:34
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... If that is the case, you didn't mention if you are a "Contractor" or an "Employee", or what country you live in. In the US, it would almost certainly not be allowed for an employer to require an employee to work a month without pay, regardless of any employment-contract provisions. In fact it may not be legal for an employer to suggest/threaten to an employee such an arragnment. This would probably not apply for Non-employee worker (contractor). –  Kevin Fegan Mar 27 at 16:15

3 Answers 3

up vote 29 down vote accepted

How can I communicate to my new employer that I am not able to join within a month for the agreed upon reasons?

This is easy.

You explain to them that you are very eager to join your new company, and start working on the new project as soon as possible.

You explain to them that, as they agreed to before their job offer was accepted, you are committed to a 2 month notice period with your former employer. You know that your new company wouldn't want departing employees to renege on their commitments, so you know that they will understand your situation.

You further explain that you would be happy to join in 1 month, if they would agree to pay for the "loss of a months pay" you would have to forfeit back to your old company.

Then you ask which way they would like to proceed.

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This is basically the "buy out your contract" option. You basically make both the employee and their employeer "whole" as the new employeer. –  Ramhound Mar 27 at 12:36
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Good advice, but maybe I misreading the question. Two months notice or one month with loss of a month's pay. Yeah your only working one month so of course your losing one month's pay. But you start a month earlier at new job which hopefully is better paid? Is there an issue? –  Mark Chapman Mar 27 at 13:37
    
@MarkChapman I think he means you have to work the 1 month for free to make up for cutting the notice short. –  Vality Mar 27 at 15:29
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@Ben Well that was what I was talking about as work 1 month, lose 2. I think if I was making a move from an employer like this the holiday would be all used at time of resignation. I would dread to live in any country where the employer could ctrl-z paid salary or pension plans, just about impossible in UK and likely Europe. Legal action also, too expensive to be worth it here, but again YMMV. –  Mark Chapman Mar 27 at 18:42
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@BenVoigt I'm not saying that it's technically impossible, I'm saying that it's illegal. Unless you're a real independent contractor, wages are inviolate. No matter how bad you mess up, you always, always get paid through the end of your last day or you will have a field day in court. –  Brian Gordon Mar 27 at 20:59

It's not complicated: You should reply to your new employer and give your new employer the reasons you stated in your post.

If I were you, I would add that I am quite eager to join but that I need to live to my responsibility to ensure a smooth transition on behalf of my current employer and unfortunately, the process is still going on, however much I'd like to speed it up and despite the steps I have taken to speed it up. I'd tell the new employer that I am playing it by ear on a day to day basis and if it turns out that yes, I can actually quit before my official date, I'll be glad to make immediate arrangements to do just that. In the meantime, I would provide any other assistance that is within my power. I would add as a final thought that I am stuck and stuck good, as I am in the midst of training others to take over my responsibilities even as we speak.

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You have a responsibility to your current employer that is clearly given in their notice policy. You are now fulfilling that responsibility. –  Ollie Jones Mar 27 at 21:32
    
Ollie Jones: Thanks for the conciseness of your comment :) –  Vietnhi Phuvan Mar 28 at 5:13

I think the hinging piece on this is the phrase "confirm the offer later". Now, I'm not sure if contract law works the same in India as it does in the United States, but here (I'll just presume that it does) an employer can get in hot water for trying to change the terms of an employment offer after the employee has accepted the offer, IF the employee then takes actions that would not have occurred if there was no offer. "Actions" might include resigning from the old position, relocating, and so forth.

If the employee makes an offer, and it's accepted, and then the employer decides to withdraw the offer, the applicant-employee may be able to recover damages in court.

S.K., have you OFFICIALLY accepted (confirmed, as you put it) the offer?

Friend S.K, it's sounding like you are afraid that the new employer will withdraw the offer - which is reasonable, if you don't comply with the request to start a month earlier. I don't know what recourse specifically is available in India - you'd have to contact an attorney for that. My own take on the situation is that if you agreed to one situation, but now the new employer is pressuring you to accept another situation, that's a bad precedent right from the outset. You might consider finding another place to work that will treat you better.

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