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I am on a fixed-term (3 years total, 2 years left) contract currently, and I have been offered a really good job elsewhere (closer to home, better workplace, job tasks more interesting to me, equal or better pay than here)

I would accept the new contract very easily (I would have already decided) if it wasn't for the fact that in Italy, when you are on a fixed-term contract you shouldn't resign without just cause (health problems, being mistreated at work, etc.) before the end of the contract, unless you're still on probation period (which has ended months ago for me)

If you do so, the company has the right to be compensated for the "non-compliance", which amounts to the total you would have earned in the months you had left to work with the company (in my case, it would be a sum above 20,000€, which I definitely can't pay) a sum not well defined by law.

To add to this, I am the only IT guy in a company of 50+ people, so the company also faces the problem of having to find a replacement.

As far as my relationship with my employers goes, it's on pretty good terms, but the company isn't in a good financial situation so I don't really know.

What is the best way of resigning without causing resentment (which could lead to the unpleasant consequences explained above)?

What I currently plan to do is:

  • be completely honest why I'm resigning (new offer being a lot better)
  • give a pretty long notice period (about five weeks)
  • offer a little help in evaluating potential candidates for replacement
  • write as much documentation as I can for the software I use and the tasks I do

What more could I do? (of course, general feedback not specifically related to Italy is well more than welcome)

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    You are saying that you cannot resign and then ask us for the best way to resign - I'm not sure how this is supposed to work? It seems like what you need to do is ask if you can be let go. – Erik Jan 24 '18 at 11:21
  • @Erik I phrased it wrong. What I meant is that if I resign, I risk those consequences. – Hankrecords Jan 24 '18 at 11:22
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    @Dukeling I don't feel like it is a duplicate. Not burning bridges is a secondary concern in my case, not the main one. – Hankrecords Jan 24 '18 at 11:23
  • If your main concern is the financial consequences of this decision, we can't really help you there (beyond helping you not burn bridges, which should reduce the likelihood of said consequences). You could possibly speak to a lawyer to see if there's another way out, but it sounds like you already know there isn't. – Dukeling Jan 24 '18 at 11:29
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The best way I can see is to go up to your employer and tell them

I received a really good offer from another company; what do I need to do for you to let me resign gracefully with a 5 week notice period?

If there is a way, they'll work with you and they'll let you know what they need.

And then if they say "That is not an option", accept that and don't take the offer, or suffer the consequences. You did sign the contract that stated you'd work for them for 3 years.

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What more could I do?

I think that one option that has been overlooked is to inform about this fixed-term contract to the company offering you the new job.

If they really want you then perhaps they are willing to help you or cover that compensation penalty for terminating the contract. In which case you could well resign while abiding to your contract.

Now if they are not willing to do so then you will have to think through this situation and decide to accept this and finish your agreed time (you did signed that contract) or deal with the non-compliance in a different way.

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Resentment is the wrong term and wrong objective. They could be happy for you and still sue you for the total you would have been paid. Or they could be very mad and not sue you.

Explain the opportunity and ask them if there are any terms that you can resign and they will release you from compensated for the "non-compliance".

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