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My probation period at my place of work is six months, and I am still under probation. My contract states that during probation, the company has the option of terminating my contract with one week's notice, but that my notice period is one full month.

After coming to the conclusion that the job wasn't for me, I handed in my resignation in-person to the director a week ago. I requested that my notice period be reduced to one week or whatever time period is convenient for them because I don't want them to feel like they have to keep paying a barely-trained, unproductive staff member for any longer than they had to. This suggestion seems to have been greeted with incredulity and offence. They want to insist on a full month's notice.

As I said, I am under legal obligation to work a full month's notice, but am I being unreasonable here? I would have assumed that they would have jumped at the chance to have a legal way of getting rid of someone ASAP.

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    is there question here ?? – MelBurslan Aug 2 '16 at 16:15
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    "I would have assumed that they would have jumped at the chance to have a legal way of getting rid of someone ASAP." - sounds like a bad assumption. – WorkerDrone Aug 2 '16 at 16:30
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    @melburslan "am I being unreasonable here?" – anon Aug 2 '16 at 16:33
  • @WorkerDrone you're telling me! – anon Aug 2 '16 at 16:33
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    @sim anything that you expect outside of a signed contract is unreasonable according to your employer. I am pretty sure your employer is not a small outfit and getting rid of someone ahead of his or her scheduled notice period end will cause them more headache than paying you for an extra few weeks of unproductive time. If you think of it that way, it is completely reasonable for the employer to hold you up to your 4 week notice period. – MelBurslan Aug 2 '16 at 16:37
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You gave them an offer, they refused. This defaults back to what you contractually agreed on.

It is not unreasonable to give them the opportunity, but don't expect them to take it. I would consider it rude to push on it if they aren't giving you the shorter notice period. Frankly, it is up to them to weigh on the decision whether to keep paying you for 3 weeks or not.

Do keep in mind that there are sometimes legal differences between letting someone go, firing someone, and someone quitting the company. It could be less of a burden on them for you to quit than to fire you.

  • While I don't disagree with anything else here, it is somewhat wrong to suggest an agreed alteration to the terms can be construed as "firing". The OP is definitely quitting - the only change would be that they're allowed to finish earlier than the contract would otherwise require. So, discussion of firing is fairly irrelevant to this case. – user53718 Aug 3 '16 at 19:37
  • @Nij, I mainly put that in for the reason that the company may see it as such. There is simply not enough for us to be able to tell what conclusion they may have come to related to OP's request, so I was just covering bases. – Thebluefish Aug 3 '16 at 20:46
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I'm not an attorney, and this is sounding like a matter for one. I'd be inclined to think it unwise that an employer would try to sue you over three weeks' time, AND if you were unavailable due to death or illness, they'd be in the same position. The one "out" would be the fact that the notice periods aren't the same for both you and the employer, and since the employer probably wrote the contract and didn't give you much room to balk at that condition, it could be looked at as an unfair bargain (and thrown out).

Make sure you get paid for the week.

  • -1. Death and illness are legitimate reasons to not be working. Simply not liking the job is not. Regardless of whether the company would sue for damages, there are plenty of other negative effects that simply walking away would have, and it's irresponsible to suggest doing so. Moreover the OP was under no obligation to take the job: They responded to the advert, not the other way around, and would have had ample opportunity to get the contract reviewed (it may even state so, and an offer will likely have suggested it). Thebluefish has already explained better. – user53718 Aug 3 '16 at 19:43

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