I have a 3 month notice period in my contract. This means if I resign on the 18th October my last day at my current company should be the 18th January. I however would like my last day to be the 19th January (In this case it's a Friday so it is all cleaner).

I could wait until the the 19th October to resign and all would be good. We have a team meeting on the 18th and if I resign before it then it can be announced at the meeting and handover etc can be discussed in it.

So can I specify a last day in resignation letter greater than notice period?

HR and my Boss all ready know I am planning on leaving. It will not come as a surprise to them.

  • 11
    Somewhat amused by your notion that ending on a Friday is somehow cleaner.
    – Oded
    Commented Oct 15, 2012 at 10:21
  • 21
    Or leave on the Thursday and spend the Friday with your loved ones. Commented Oct 15, 2012 at 12:49
  • 3
    Are you concerned with starting the new job the very next work day to avoid a loss of pay?
    – user8365
    Commented Oct 15, 2012 at 13:18
  • 4
    If you're still on speaking terms with your boss/employer, this is typically something you'd discuss with him/her. Why not approach him/her immediately and negotiate the final date rather than trying to time your notice to fit your weekly schedule 3 months from now. That seems like an unnecessarily underhanded way of going about it.
    – pap
    Commented Oct 15, 2012 at 13:32
  • The easiest way to handle this is probably to tell HR and/or your boss (verbally) of your desire to finish up on January 19th, and then put it in writing once you've agreed on the date. Commented Oct 16, 2012 at 3:25

5 Answers 5


It's all a matter of wording. Don't say "I hereby give 3 months' notice of my intention to terminate my employment", say "I hereby give notice of my intention to terminate my employment after Friday, January 19 2013." Then you have given them 3 months and a day notice. Given that your contract says 3 months, you are within that requirement. No one is going to worry that you've given one day more notice than you are obliged to.

I guess they could arguably come back with, "Actually, we hereby give notice of our intention to terminate your employment on January 18," but they could arguably do that on October 18th anyway. What would be in it for them? They're creating a lot of paperwork and potentially opening themselves up for a legal battle (at least in the UK/Europe). Plus they'd burning a bridge that I assume they don't want to burn.

I think you're overthinking it. If everyone knows you're leaving anyway, your giving notice of an exact date, as soon as possible, can only be a good thing for all concerned. I would do it today.


Based on past experience, resignation letters should be 3 and only 3 sentences.

  1. I will be resigning my position at $company.
  2. My last date of work will be $date.
  3. My address is $address.
    3.14 Sign and date the letter.

Reason for sentence 1: it is a resignation letter, there needs to be no possible misunderstanding about what is going on. It needs to be in writing as I've worked for bosses who deny that the person quitting was quitting so as to screw with them starting elsewhere.

Reason for sentence 2: I've worked for places that have "backdated" resignation letters and claimed you quit today - not in 2 weeks. Consequently, you may be expecting a paycheck that you'll never recieve. This is also why you date it with $today when you sign it.

Reason for sentence 3: Many people move, and if you need paperwork sent to you (such as retirement, health benefits, or your P45), there have been places I've worked at where they would deliberately and maliciously send your paperwork to an old address so that you cannot reply in the mandated 30 day period (because either it was still tied up in the post office's change of address system, or if that expired, returned to sender).

Never ever add stuff about why you are leaving. It is none of their business. If they ask, answer verbally, but never in any sort of writing.

  • 5
    Never attribute to malice that which is more easily explained by pure incompetence. After all those who can do, those who cant, teach, those that cant even do that get put in HR. Commented Oct 15, 2012 at 19:12

Assuming that the company doesn't mind keeping you around (and paying you) for another day, the notice period is simply a minimum. Generally, no one will object if you specify that your last day will be later than the minimum required date so just specify what day you'd like to be your last. Of course, it is possible that the company may ask you to leave earlier. However, if your boss and HR are already aware that you're leaving, it is exceptionally unlikely that there will be any objections to you staying an extra day.

  • I would argue a company would mind having to pay this indivual for another day's work. The solution is simple. During the meeting he says that my last day will be 3 months from "tommorow". By doing it this way he achieves what he wants to achieve although I think its silly to do so.
    – Donald
    Commented Oct 15, 2012 at 11:06
  • @Ramhound - What makes you believe the company would mind? Most of the time, companies are happy to get a few extra days of transition time. Since the original poster has already informed his boss and HR of his intention to leave, it seems unlikely that the company is eager to show him the door. Commented Oct 15, 2012 at 11:11
  • 3
    @Ramhound - a company that puts such a lengthy notice period in a contract is hedging towards getting more work and not less.
    – user8365
    Commented Oct 15, 2012 at 13:19
  • @JeffO - not necessarily - it could be there to stop you working elsewhere using your current knowledge, then HR get you out of the door ASAP. It depends on the business and your relationship with the company manager etc.
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Oct 15, 2012 at 15:25

I think this is a good gesture and you should do it. On my last resignation, I actually gave out a 6-week notice instead of the required 4. Because I had a lot of responsibility and in my opinion, 4 weeks was not enough time to smoothly transition everything to other people. The difference between my situation and yours is that my resignation came out of the blue (or so I think), so I thought it was only ethical to give a longer notice.


In the US, providing a final day in distant future is acceptable. Most companies will not terminate you early unless there is a blatant problem with your performance. The reason is if you quit then they have no liability as far as unemployment. Where if they were to force you to leave early then you could potentially receive unemployment for the period between jobs, or if that job ends up falling through continuing until you find a new position. This is quite common for people leaving for things like when a spouse gets transferred, returning/going to college, joining the military, and religious missions.

In some cases you may have a contract that specifies that the final day will be exactly X number of days following receipt of notice. In this case the way to protect yourself is to give notice on the day that works best for your plans. Some companies with this clause will allow for notices that take effect on a specific day. So you could put in the notice a month earlier than you needed with an effective date of the day that you would have turned it in to schedule your final day of work.

Many companies do not allow for the use of vacation/personal days after notice is received. So makes sure if have this policy that tendering your notice early is not going to disrupt any time you will need off that would have been fine if you had waited to tender your notice.

  • 1
    There are also many companies which will escort an individual to the door as soon as they tender their resignation. This happens most often when it's considered risky that a person the company knows is leaving still has access to systems and/or data which could present a threat - the thinking being that if this person knows they're leaving, they may sabotage systems or steal proprietary data (client lists, customer data, contracts, source code, etc.).
    – alroc
    Commented Oct 15, 2012 at 21:03
  • 1
    @Alroc - I know there are companies that do that but most do not. If you wanted to do damage to the company you do it before you tell them you are leaving. The point of the notice period is to provide the company time to fill your position and to provide a smooth transition or responsibilities Commented Oct 16, 2012 at 13:25
  • 2
    @alroc indeed there are companies that do that; those companies don't tend to put people on contracts with three month notice periods, though! Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 12:06
  • For the most part escorting people out of the door happens to people who are fired, not people who resign. (Although I'm sure it does happen both ways). If someone were going to steal company secrets and the company always escorted people who resign out the door ... then you would just steal them before handing in your notice.
    – Tim B
    Commented Nov 21, 2014 at 16:16
  • @TimB - You are not wrong... that fact is often lost on the brainiacs in charge of these companies. i.e: workplace.stackexchange.com/q/20769/16 Commented Nov 21, 2014 at 18:03

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