A while back I joined Company A. I gave them an email containing a scan of the last page of the contract with my signature before I joined on-site. On there it specifically say's a 3 months notice period.

I've now found a new job and informed Company B that I've got a 3 months notice period. I went through an exit interview with Company A however and I've been now informed that my notice is in fact 1 month by HR (through word of mouth).

Essentially what I think has happened is the first day when I joined the company on-site they asked me to sign the contract for their records. The contract I signed for their records on site actually had a 1 month notice period (instead of 3 the for the one I had given them over email before starting on-site).

Company B want me to join ASAP and they're aware of the 3 months notice period.

I think Company A has now realised their mistake and are not replying to my emails to confirm my official end date.

I obviously would prefer to leave ASAP so the 1 month notice works fine for me.

I understand this isn't a website discussing contractual law matters but I really don't know how to approach this. How should I go about this to try and get the 1 months notice in writing? I'm in the UK.


I now have it in writing (email) that my notice period is 1 month. Thanks guys!

  • 3
    "I've been now informed that my notice is in fact 1 month by HR." How? By email? I mean do you have it black on white or just orally?
    – Fildor
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 10:47
  • 9
    not replying to my emails Pick up the phone.
    – user8036
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 10:49
  • 3
    The advantage of still working for A is that you can just go talk to HR. They can't freeze you out. So with that in mind please edit your question to clarify what your main goal with asking this question is, whether that's how you should approach HR, what your next step should be to get that one month notice confirmed, ...
    – Lilienthal
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 11:01
  • 3
    "how to approach this" how to approach what? A wants you to leave ealry, B wants you to join early and you are okay with leaving A and joining B as per the situation. So where exactly is the problem?
    – PagMax
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 11:21
  • 4
    And take this as a lesson to read the physical document you are actually signing (and each copy you've been asked to sign).
    – HorusKol
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 13:23

3 Answers 3


Fildor's comment seems like the most important point. If you want to leave with a 1-month notice without any problems, you are going to need written proof from a reliable source that you may indeed leave with a 1-month notice.

You can go see HR for current company policies or a copy of your contract in their records, but as long as you don't have a legal document, you're going to have to stick with the 3 months period.

I would seriously advise you not to start working for another company as long as you are not guaranteed that your first contract has ended. If a problem arouses, having two overlapping full time work employements could be horrible.


First make sure the new company definitely allows you to start earlier. You don't want to give one month notice and be unemployed for two months.

Then if contacting your old HR doesn't help, ask an employment lawyer. It may be that you can give one month notice, and the company is required to either accept it or reject it, so that the situation was clear either way. If it is accepted, fine. (They can accept a shorter notice than your contract requires). If it is not accepted, you have one month time to change their mind.


I'm also not sure what the problem is, if everyone agrees to the one month notice period it seems a non-issue.

However, I want to point out that how notice periods are handled is VERY dependent on your location and what your current contract actually says.

For example, if you work in Germany your working contract is the final word (provided it does not flout the law). Your employer can never unilaterally change your notice period. They just can't. And neither can you. You have to have a signed agreement from both sides to change anything in the contract. If it says three months and you both agree to 1 month, cool - in that case you sign an agreement to that effect.

Knowing what exactly you signed with your employer is pretty darned important as that would be the final word. The fact that there might be two different contracts in play (the one you signed but didn't read? when joining, and the one you returned one page of via email) gah! I can't fathom this.

Since they won't respond to your email, just walk over to HR and ask them for a copy of your contract, and let that be your starting point. While there, ensure they have a hard copy of your resignation letter, which presumably specified your last day of employment (you did that, right?), and just get this straightened out.

  • regardless of where you are, you really do need a copy of your contract, so that's your first task. Since you edited your question to specify you want confirmation in writing of your end date, just ask them for that when you go to get a copy of the contract. But really, go to HR to take care of these things. It's much harder to blow someone off when they are standing right in front of you.
    – user79430
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 12:12
  • I have made a requests face to face for a copy of my contract. Thanks.
    – Andy_Jones
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 12:30
  • Still, in Germany you can. leave if employee and employer agree by taking some simple steps, unless HR is grossly incompetent.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Nov 8, 2022 at 9:32

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