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I am currently just 2 weeks into a new job and I don't think it's a good fit. Nothing bad about the company or the work they do, I just don't think it's a good fit.

I have been applying for new jobs and there was a question about when I'll be available to start. I was looking at the employment agreement I signed with my current employer and I quote:

You may terminate your employment, at any time, upon giving at least four (4) weeks written notice to the Company of your resignation date. You agree that the Company may waive the notice period, or a portion of, upon receipt of written notice or during the notice period, in its sole discretion. In other words, the Company reserves the right, at any point during the notice period to have the resignation be effective immediately, and with no further notice or payment in lieu to You.

Since I'm still in probation, I was wondering - do I still need to provide 4 weeks notice? I was hoping I could even get it down to just 2 weeks if I could.

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  • "at any time, upon giving at least four (4) weeks written notice to the Company of your resignation date." Other than this clause, you need to ask the HR.
    – Nobody
    May 15 at 5:26
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    Better check on law.stackexchange. This looks to me like it could be blatantly illegal. Definitely blatantly unfair. You may be able to leave with no notice at all, but ask there.
    – gnasher729
    May 15 at 6:53
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    what does the document say about probation? How long does it last? how does it end? That section might also mention notice period. May 15 at 11:13
  • @mhoran_psprep probation lasts for 3 months.. I don't have time to look at it right now but I'll take a look again later.
    – dokgu
    May 16 at 15:38
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    I would ask your supervisor. Since you just started, chances are they’d consider it a waste of time and money to keep you on for another month. May 16 at 22:07

3 Answers 3

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Have you approached the company? You're still in probation, and they have reserved the right to let you go early. I see little point in them keeping you - you're likely not yet at full capacity, but still learning the ropes to some degree.

Most companies would simply let you go - the value of having a disgruntled employee with little experience at their company vs. not having to pay the wages should make this an easy choice

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As a Canadian who has signed many "probation period" contracts: No, you do not need to give any notice if you would like to quit during probation. Probation is a period where either the employer or the employee can terminate the employment agreement without notice or compensation.

(Caveat: This is how every contract I've ever read/signed has been written; yours may be different, you should read it.)

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After two weeks, you don’t have to give any notice by law. But there is a contract, and companies can add a reasonable notice period to the contract.

Your notice period in the contract is not reasonable. The four weeks are most likely unreasonable because they should be able to replace you much quicker. The fact that they reserve the right to fire you at any time in these four weeks is entirely unreasonable. So this is not a reasonable policy, the law says the policy must be reasonable, therefore it is void.

So you can go to them and say “I called my dad and he has this lawyer friend who told him this is void. So you have two choices: Either I give you a week notice, you give me in writing that you accept it and will not give me any shorter notice, or I give you zero notice, which I can by law”.

If they don’t like it, they can sue you, but they would get zero damages. You can tell them that as well. Better check on law.stackexchange, but if they accept what you say and accept your one week notice then you are fine.

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    "Your notice period in the contract is not reasonable." - I disagree with this conclusion. If it was unreasonable the author shouldn't have agreed to it. However, what is a reasonable notice period, is in the eye of the beholder. There are many countries that have even longer notice periods by default.
    – Donald
    May 15 at 18:25
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    Donald, Uk has zero notice after two weeks, so has Canada. Different terms for both sides is clearly unreasonable. Canadian law explicitly and literally states that any contractual notice period needs to be reasonable.
    – gnasher729
    May 15 at 19:47
  • I think 4 weeks notice is reasonable if I wasn't in probation.. I am just wondering if that applies to while I'm still on probation I guess. I was hoping I don't have to do the full 4 weeks.
    – dokgu
    May 16 at 15:47
  • You are in probation. Four weeks notice in probation may be just about reasonable if it is the same for each side. But combined with the provision that they can let you go at any time it becomes deeply unfair and unreasonable. Canada and UK default is two weeks after a year, and then growing. BUT with the same rules for each side. Otherwise they tell you "four weeks", you tell the new employer "sorry, I can't start with you", and once you lost the job offer, you get fired on the spot.
    – gnasher729
    May 16 at 23:57

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