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I resigned at the start of this month and wanted to have my notice period of 2 months reduced to 2 weeks.

The company (my manager and HOD) tried to retain me by making promises of better work and a payrise, but I refused, after taking time to think.

After that my manager (Assistant Vice President) approved my resignation but the HOD (Vice President) stepped in and asked me to get it approved by HR and then only he will sign it.

I talked to HR and they said that they will take action (like recovering salary for reduced notice period) only when the HOD approves it. I went back to HOD with this info but he became adamant that it doesn't matter how fast I can do a hand over/knowledge transfer or how less critical my work is, he will not sign on a reduced notice period as it will set a wrong precedent.

In my tenure of 2 years here many people have left on reduced notice periods albeit under a different HOD. I offered to increase the period to 1 month but he says that this is no negotiation and why is he even having this discussion with me, as I can talk to my manager (who had already approved period of 2 weeks).

Now I fail to see any point in talking to my manager. One additional problem is that I share a great rapport with my manager but my manager is on the wrong side of our HOD as the HOD is trying to replace him by a newly hired friend of his. So I am apprehensive that this whole situation is being cooked to incite me and/or my manager for some hasty action which will reflect badly on my manager.

I have the option to talk to MD but he has just recently hired this HOD so right now I don't think he will take my side. What do I do?

I have to join the new job asap as its a new product being developed by an acquired startup team and they want to get moving asap and I am supposed to be the product architect. The whole team has been almost assembled and will join by the end of this month.

Who should I to talk to, to resolve this situation (by talking in current job or the prospective employers) and how?

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    Would your new job not wait for you for the extra six weeks? It sounds like you don't have a lot of options with regards your current position. Some good advice can be found here: Reducing Notice Period – Duncan Jones Nov 11 '14 at 12:35
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    What country are you in? Notice periods are very rarely enforecable (that is slavery), so you can just leave. You will burn some bridges rubicon-style with your old company, but that is yesterday's news. Bear that in mind. – bharal Nov 11 '14 at 19:02
  • @bharal: How is enforcing a notice period slavery? The notice period is a part of the work contract you signed, and its very purpose is that the employer has a guarantee you do not leave before the end of the notice period (or, if you do, that you are liable for any damage the company suffers due to your breach of contract). A notice period that cannot be enforced sounds utterly useless to me. – O. R. Mapper Nov 12 '14 at 9:55
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If the head of your department and HR won't approve a shorter notice then you have two choices. You could either talk to your new job and see if they can wait an additional six weeks for you to be available, or you could talk to your direct manager and see if something else could be worked out, for example taking a few weeks of paid time off, or unpaid time off to be able to start at the new company sooner during that vacation time.

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    Or to complete the resignation period that they agreed to (or possibly are required to by law, depending upon location) – atk Nov 11 '14 at 19:15

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