The usual notice period (granted by law) in my country is one month. My employer wants to increase that to three months. (It's possible with mutual agreement.)

They said that this is fair since both of employees and the employer will have its benefit. If they fire someone he or she will get his salary for three months as well.

On the other hand I think it is more important for the employer. As software developers we could easily find another (probably mediocre) jobs in a few weeks but I guess searching for jobs with three-months notice period will be really hard and would limit my future opportunities to get a job at a really good company.

How can I refuse the request of increasing notice period politely although I'm not planning to change my employer?

  • 1
    How would increasing the notice period limit future opportunities? Couldn't you just wait until 2 months into the period and then start searching so you only have a month left?
    – JB King
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 3:47
  • 12
    @JBKing Because most people start searching for a different job while they're still employed. If you tell a potential company that you can only start in 3 months, your chances drop significantly. They want to hire someone because they need someone now. Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 7:27
  • @RaduMurzea King's point is that if you have 3 months - 12 weeks - notice of being fired, and you're confident that you can find new work in 3 weeks, then you sit on your hands for 9 weeks and do your job hunt in the last 3 weeks of your notice period. I don't see how having more paid time to find a new job could possibly hurt you.
    – Shaz
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 13:56
  • 5
    @Ryan: Consider the case when the employee wants to quit because he has found a new and better open position in another company but the new employer doesn't want to wait 3 months for him.
    – eighh
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 14:01
  • 4
    Even if you believe you can "easily" find work "in a few weeks" (and note the caveat "probably mediocre"), you're recklessly gambling with your future if you quit a job before securing a replacement. Commented Feb 18, 2015 at 6:05

3 Answers 3


You may want to consult legal advice that's familiar with your local labor laws.

I assume the company proposes a change to the existing contracts. In this case you have two choices: you sign or you don't.

If you don't the company can decide what to do: Push back, accept it, fire you, etc. Ultimately what they will do depends on the reasons why the want the new policy and how strongly they feel about. So your first order of business should be to find out what's really going on, ideally through someone in management or HR that you trust.

It may also be useful to figure out, how other people in the company feel about this. If a large number of employees complain or refuse to sign this, there is little the company can do.

Even if you sign it, you should try to find out what the consequences of a violation are. Let's say you walk after 4 weeks. What would they do? Just stop paying you, give a bad reference, hit you with a massive libel lawsuit, etc. ?

Most of this information you need to find out yourself through talking to other people inside your company and consulting local labor law experts. You should do as much research as possible before engaging.

The actual engagement can be straight forward and polite. For example

"I understand that the company wants a significant change to the existing employment contract. That's pretty unusual, so could you please explain to me what the rationale behind this is and why you feel that the existing provisions are insufficient?"


"I understand that the company wants to change my existing employment contract. Personally I feel very happy with my existing contract and I would be more comfortable leaving it the way it is. This would much more in line with the current laws and local customs in this area. How can we achieve this?"

See also What happens if I don't sign an updated "Employee Handbook" agreement/contract?

  • First option will work...
    – Jagz S
    Commented Feb 18, 2015 at 8:49

I think that you should hold your ground and politely refuse. If they insist, you will have to choose whether it's worth working there or not.

  • as will the employer for non trivial professional jobs > 1 month is the norm in many country's the USA at will 2 weeks is unusual
    – Pepone
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 20:24

If it's not against the ethics norms of your country, make your staying conditional on a substantial retention bonus payable in parts each extra month you stay on the job.

Pick up a number enough to incentivize you and still being affordable for the company. This way it would be their decision to go along or not to retain you for the additional period.

  • Statistically, people are unemployed for 6 months between jobs, so I a good number would cover your costs for as long. Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 10:02

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