Notice Period: my employee doesn’t want to work it


When an employee leaves it can create problems for your business, this becomes significantly trickier when they refuse to work their notice period. At this point you’ve probably started to contemplate the effect this is going to have on your business and how you are going to deal with this sudden loss. In this article, the MIA’s Business Support Helpline partner, Croner, provides some tips on handling a refusal to work a notice period.

Have a Conversation

Take the time to speak with your employee and ask why they don’t wish to work their full notice period. If there are legitimate reasons, or the person has been a good employee and their position is easy enough to fill, you may agree to waive their notice.

Waive Notice Period

When someone has already made up their mind about leaving, it may not be the best decision to force them into staying. You should take time to consider the best decision for your business. If you do force them into staying, will they still be productive?

If it’s in your best interest, you may wish to terminate the contract and waive the notice period altogether.

Offer Garden Leave

This option would mean the employee would not come to work but would still be paid for their full notice period. Some employers may opt for this choice in instances when the employee is joining an opposing business and has access to sensitive information or if the employee’s behaviour may affect the operation of the business.

Add Clauses to Contracts

Prevention is always better than cure, which is why you should consider having a clause in your contracts regarding notice periods.

Once an employee has worked for you for more than a month, they are legally required to give at least one week’s notice. However, some employees are contracted to longer minimum notice periods depending on their contract.

Once the contract has been signed, employees are legally obligated to abide by this. As this isn’t always the case, many employers opt to have clauses in their contracts that allow them to deduct pay from staff for not working the full notice period.

Talk to an Expert

If you are dealing with an employee who refuses to work their notice period or require expert advice on matters of a similar nature, please contact the business support helpline included in your MIA membership.

Email or call 01403 800500 for the exclusive Business Support Helpline scheme number.

Don’t forget that Croner are hosting a range of Webinar & E-Learning sessions this month that cover HR and health & safety basics, right through to specialised sessions including relevant legislation and key case law. They will be hosted by some of the most knowledgeable professionals in their respective fields. Click here to find out more