I am evaluating the first employment contract in the UK for a mid senior position as a software and algorithm developer. They offered me a fixed-term contract for 3 years with a 3 months period notice. It seems to me a bit excessive, since the job is not permanent, but I do not have many terms of reference. Can the notice period be different between fixed term and permanent jobs?

  • Questions like "should I X" aren't really questions that this site is good at answering. Can you rephrase this so it's a question about how to do it, whether or not this is normal, etc. so that answers can be more helpful? – dbeer May 13 '19 at 15:51
  • @dbeer done! Thanks for the suggestion – schrodingercat May 13 '19 at 15:59
  • not directly relevant, but what is your field of work? – aaaaa says reinstate Monica May 13 '19 at 21:53
  • Are you a independent contractor or an employee? – Gregory Currie May 14 '19 at 3:39
  • @aaaaaa engineering. Software and algorithms development – schrodingercat May 14 '19 at 3:39

Notice periods in the UK often reflect the rank of an employee. The idea is that higher ranking employees generally oversee tasks with higher impact and a longer time frame than lower ranking employees. Thus, there is more potential damage to the company if they leave suddenly.

In this case rank is synonymous with pay. 3 months sounds typical for someone earning more than £50k although this will vary by industry.

  • are you talking about GBP 50k/year or month? What another point you've seen, like what is notice period for 100k and 20k? – aaaaa says reinstate Monica May 13 '19 at 21:55
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    £50k is per year. Receiving that much per month would be highly abnormal and likely places you in a position where you shouldn't be seeking advice from random people on the internet. – P. Hopkinson May 13 '19 at 22:22
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    from metropolitan US perspective, where $50k/yr is not that much, 3 month notice is a lot – aaaaa says reinstate Monica May 13 '19 at 22:40
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    @aaaaa 50k GBP is 64.7k USD – Karsten Koop May 14 '19 at 8:40
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    There are quite a few factors which make the US and UK tricky to compare. Job security, sick pay, maternity pay, paternity pay, holiday entitlements, pensions, taxes, cost of living and currency fluctuations all make direct comparison very difficult. – P. Hopkinson May 15 '19 at 2:49

Is it appropriate?

It is perfectly ok for them to ask you for a 3 months period, as it is perfectly ok for you to ask on the reasons for such longer-than-usual period (and perhaps try to shorten it).

You should then decide if this notice period is an issue for you and if you should take this offer. Unless you plan to terminate the contract earlier I don't think this will be an issue though.

This is a contractor work, so it would make sense for the company to ask for a longer-than-usual notice period. This, most likely, due to the fact that there would have to be a transition between you and the next people they hire to finish the project, something that can take quite some time (specially between unrelated parties).

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