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How do I find out what my notice period is? I believe it's in my employment contract which I don't have a copy of. How do I ask without raising suspicions?

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    What country are you in?
    – DogBoy37
    Mar 28 at 12:09
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    Why don't you have a copy of your own contract? Is that normal where you live?
    – nvoigt
    Mar 28 at 12:13
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    If you work there for 14 years, you probably can see the notice periods of other people who left the companies before you. Right ? Mar 28 at 12:29
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    @Grover - So you have lost a copy of your contract. Have you asked for a copy of your contract? As an employee you have a right to a copy of to that contract.
    – Donald
    Mar 28 at 13:50
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    @Donald The difficult bit is "How do I ask without raising suspicions?" rather than "Must the company provide me a copy?" Mar 28 at 15:14

5 Answers 5

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How do I ask without raising suspicions?

You probably can't. However, as you need to do this, just ask HR for the contract with no further details. If they ask why, say "just realised I didn't have a copy in my records".

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    I've been overthinking this. Your advice is to the point and allows for no inference or interpretation. Thanks!
    – Grover
    Mar 28 at 17:50
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Ask for a copy of the employee handbook from HR. Also, as been reminded here multiple times - get a written job offer before acting.

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    Why the handbook? Shouldn't the notice period be part of the contract?
    – nvoigt
    Mar 28 at 12:13
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    @nvoigt I suggested the handbook because the OP sounded like they wanted to fly under the radar until they were sure. But with a job offer in hand, the only thing to do is ask HR for a copy of the contract. There is no way around it.
    – DogBoy37
    Mar 28 at 12:23
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    @nvoigt: "handbook" is probably a more US centric term. It refers to "all company policies" and covers all aspects of employee life: notice, termination, leave, vacation, disciplinary policies, work times, etc. It's also typically part of the contract but as a reference, not the actual text.
    – Hilmar
    Mar 28 at 13:52
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    @Hilmar As a UK employee, I have an employee handbook - but that covers the mechanical bits (e.g. exactly how I request PTO), not the legal bits (e.g. how much PTO I have) which are in the contract. The difference in the UK is that the company can freely amend the handbook, but changes to the contract require my agreement. Mar 28 at 15:54
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    I wouldn't trust an employee handbook if I have a contract. In a company, different employees may have different contracts, so the handbook won't tell you what applies to you. For example, newer employees may have different conditions because the law may have changed.
    – wimi
    Mar 29 at 19:30
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How do I ask without raising suspicions?

Why is that important? What are they going to do if they find out you're leaving?

If it was me, I'd ask my manager: "hey what's my notice period?"; "Whatever it is, I am putting it in".

About the worst thing they will do is have you work the full notice period. The best thing is to walk you out then you can start this new chapter sooner.

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    Thats true. I've lacked a lot of confidence at work. I just need to ask without infering the reasons why.
    – Grover
    Mar 28 at 17:52
  • @Grover, But ask an HR person for your contract. Chances are, the HR person won't even tell your manager. There could be many reasons you need your contract. Mar 28 at 21:45
  • They might want to know, not to quit on the spot, but to tell any prospective new employers how soon they would be available.
    – Llewellyn
    Apr 9 at 20:30
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Google tells me that you have to give one week notice by law, and after 14 years employment your employer must give you six weeks notice. Unlike the UK, it’s not the same for employer and employee.

There might be a longer time in your contract. On the other hand, forcing you to stay employed another five weeks and paying you five weeks salary doesn’t seem to make any business sense.

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  • I looked up the info and you're right about the notice period dependent on time served. Thats why I need to cjheck my contract. Keeping me longer doesnt make much sense, I agree.
    – Grover
    Mar 29 at 15:52
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I do not know anything Ireland-specific, but I know how law generally works. You must have a work contract, these are typically strongly regulated in Europe. That has either a notice period or it has not. If it has not, then you still have a right to a notice period, but that is in the law. You can google for it very quickly, it is a very important part of the workplace world.

Another important thing that you can not give up your right to your notice period, thus your work contract might only make it longer, but it can not make it shorter. So, law sees it so that you have this right, what you simply can not give up. If your work contract had some shorter notice period, that part of your work contract is invalid and you still have your right to the legal length. (Only court can say, what exactly has to been done.)

Do not ask anything from them. You will raise suspections. The face what you show for them, is that you are working hardly to prove that you are a good workforce, and you do not think on your firing et al. Anyways, why would you ask them, their interest is absolutely not to help you! Firstly, ask google, second, ask workplace SE and third, you might also ask a lawyer.

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