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My contract ends this week and I was waiting for it to end, but today I received a memo stating that I'm gonna be redesignated to another department. I was waiting for my contract to end as I was planning of not working for a month or two since I was getting a bit overwhelmed, because of this I didn't formally tell my supervisors that I am not gonna go to work next week, (I did mention it to them in a drinking session before). I already applied for a different company but expect their response in a month which is good for me to relax and sort myself.

I haven't received nor signed any contract yet but the memo states that I will be reporting to my new supervisor next week and if I accept this I will be forced to withdraw my application to the other company.

I was planning of sending a letter to my supervisors this week but now that I received a memo I'm at a loss at what to do, is it ok if I just leave or should I discuss this with HR/Direct supervisor? I want to leave the company politely or at least leave on neutral terms.

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    "i will be forced to withdraw my application to the other company." - You don't have to withdraw anything, nobody can force you to work for them, the only question is if the contract is extended by you making the move to the new department. You should try and find out the reason you were not notified of the contract extension. Determine what the contract terms is with regards to you breaking it.
    – Donald
    Mar 27 at 10:17

3 Answers 3

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Review Your Contract

If your contract states that your job ends on a specific date, then it ends on that specific date, unless some exception is written into the contract (which is why you need to read it). There might be something in it about extending the contract if both parties consent, and management is assuming that you are going to consent. Just because management assumes you are going to consent does not mean you have to give your consent.

Assuming there is no special clauses in your contract that allows management to extend the contract whenever they want, then send an email to management in as formal and simply as possible that: "My contract is scheduled to end on [date], and I will not be continuing my work beyond that contracted date. As such I am unable to transfer nor start work for a new department after said date."

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  • Yes there can be an auto renew clause or a requirement that acceptance/declining the new contract has to be formal and in writing and should be received by HR before a certain date. Very much READ the contract. If you lost your copy then HR should be willing to send you a new copy.
    – Neil Meyer
    Apr 11 at 17:54
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You need a break. It really does not matter whether after the break you were planning to continue on the same role, or a different role in a different department.

One thing to note: if you wanted to have a break, you should have informed your manager well in advance, because they might be banking on you continuing on the job. Next time you want a break (a longer one, for that matter), please keep your manager informed well ahead in time, so they can plan the activities or assignments accordingly.

As of now, it is a bit late, but nonetheless, try talking to your manager (and if needed, the new manager, too) immediately about your plan to have the break time. Whether they'll agree and hold the contract for a month or so, or they'll withdraw the contract - depends on them. Be prepared to face either of the outcome and decide accordingly.

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    "they might be banking on you continuing on the job" - then they should have made sure a new contract is in place well before the old one ends, shouldn't they?
    – piet.t
    Mar 27 at 6:36
  • @piet.t (1) the contract did not end, yet. (2) they sent a memo to keep OP informed. Mar 27 at 8:37
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    With a contract ending this week management should not be surprised if the other party doesn't show up next week - that's what ending the contract means. If they need x weeks advance notice for planning they should make sure the new contract is in place x weeks before the old one ends. I know that's often not how things go, but that's usually not the contrator's fault.
    – piet.t
    Mar 27 at 8:54
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    @piet.t - exactly - the current contract is ending, both sides know it, it is not on the OP to notify management that the contract is ending and they will not be renewing it at the last minute.
    – Jon Custer
    Mar 27 at 13:36
  • He really does not owe his manager anything. Employees receive zero consideration from employers when they are fired. Discarded like yesterday's Chutney. The sentiment should be mutual when an employee decides to quit.
    – Neil Meyer
    Apr 11 at 17:49
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This is a quasi standard behavior of big corporates who do not want your work in that project any more, but still they do not want to fire you. So they put you in another department. That is mostly fine - probably not now, if you now want to leave.

Very likely they do not know that you leave. You did not say where do you work, but I think it is some big company. Problem with the big companies is that most people has zero to little idea about the case of most others.

They have a HR and this HR has some standard procedures. Possibly HR doing this does not know, or can not know that you leave. It might be a booking trick for them: possibly some budget decisions might happen more favorable if you belong to another department, after you left, on paper. It might be a precaution for a case if you would (or you would want to) remain on some reason. Or it might be also a simple misunderstand, HR counted with you as a guy who left a department, but not leaving the company, while in fact you leave both the department and the company.

As you deal with big corporate processes from which you do not know anything, everything is possible and also its opposite. But, as you have no way to know, what is going among them, you are safe to use what you have. That is the law and your contract with the company.

Being a big company does not mean that they would stay above law, no one stays above law and their processes must follow it. So, if you had a fixed-term contract and it was not elongated (normally requiring signature of both parties), then it is expiring and you do not work there from that moment.

Other answerers say very well, you should check your contract. If you just can not start in your new job, for example your contract automatically extends on some reason, then you are now in a trouble, from which probably you can not get out without loss.

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