Joanna Marklove
Joanna Marklove
Associate Director: Private Practice

Articles From the Team

Why being honest about your notice period is important

Have you ever had a bad day at work and thought about walking out the door and never coming back? Or, you might have had a more considered approach and contacted a recruiter to help you with your job search. Whichever action you have decided to take, you have likely thought about handing in your notice and dreaded the thought of working for another month or three at a job that you want to leave.

Here are some things to consider when speaking to recruiters or potential employers about your notice period:

What does your contract say?

The first thing to do when job searching is to dig out your contract and find out what you agreed with your current employer when you first started. If it isn’t stated within your contract and you have been continuously employed for 1 month to 2 years, the statutory notice period is 1 week. However, if it is stipulated within your contract you would be contractually obliged to work your full notice.

My colleague negotiated their notice period, can I?

Yes, you can always try to negotiate but you should not base your negotiation on your colleague having a short notice period. There may be reasons that are not applicable to you as to why they were able to negotiate a shorter notice period.

Another good reason to negotiate would be if the company is going through a bit of a bad patch and workflow is a little slower than usual. This is usually a reason for searching for a new role anyway so your employer might be more flexible with you if it would help the business.

Should I tell a potential employer or recruiter that my notice period is negotiable?

No! You may be super eager to start your new role and really believe and hope that you can leave early. However, everything is hypothetically negotiable but can never be guaranteed. If you tell a potential employer, either directly or via a recruiter that your notice period is negotiable this will likely be factored in when a decision is being made regarding offers.

If your notice period is 3 months and you indicate that it could be reduced to 1 month, an offer could be made on the basis that you can negotiate. You may find yourself in a sticky situation if you hand your notice in and can’t negotiate as the offer may be withdrawn. This could leave you without a job to go too once you have worked your notice period!

Final Thoughts

In the legal industry it is pretty normal for a non-qualified Paralegal to have a 1 month notice period and a Qualified Solicitor to have a 3 month notice period. When recruiting for new roles, employers should be factoring this in and be prepared to factor in the length of the recruitment process to include advertising, the interview process and notice periods. So hopefully, your lengthy notice period shouldn’t matter too much!

For more information please contact Joanna Marklove at BCL Legal.

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