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Contractual Obligations..

#1 Contractual Obligations..
13/09/2013 11:11


So I have handed my notice in, and stated that I am due to emigrate in 2 weeks (wife has been offered and accepted a role within a very short space of time),the wonderful people in HR have pointed to the terms of my contract and that I have work the 4 weeks, unless there is an exceptional circumstance..

My project has begrudgingly accepted that I will be leaving, and it is a bit short notice. Pointed out the fact that there are no key deadlines at least for 6 weeks.

Just wondered what is an exceptional circumstance??

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#2 RE: Contractual Obligations..
13/09/2013 12:06

arthurandersen to CONnedsultant (#1)

Curious to see what others think; I think you are in a tight spot. Normally, if you hand your notice in I think a lot of consulting firms send you off on gardening leave and pay you off for the last four week. I think exceptional circumstances usually refers to when you are joining a competitor and they want you off the premises ASAP. However, in your case your negotiation position is not strong as you are the one who wants to leave pretty swiftly. I'd plead your case, state your situation with your wife etc however contractually they can make you work until that last day...

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#3 RE: Contractual Obligations..
13/09/2013 12:08

Evil Consultant to CONnedsultant (#1)

These are not exceptional circumstances as they were pretty much under your control. Why not just finish off your period and emigrate later than your wife?

Assuming that you're not a "senior executive" they cannot force you to work the time as this would be against anti-slavery laws; however they can sue you for breach of contract for any losses incurred if you don't and you definitely aren't due any money for this time. Generally they probaby won't do this for a couple of weeks as it's a ballache and not worth the hassle (unless, of course, you've really managed to hack someone senior off.)

The bottom line is that you've broken your word and will have burned bridges. Word gets around.


PS - I am not a lawyer, go speak to a good employment solicitor.

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#4 RE: Contractual Obligations..
13/09/2013 12:54

Mr Cool to CONnedsultant (#1)

Exceptional circumstances would normally be limited to things outside your control and of a fairly major impact.

Real life examples I have encountered:

Colleagues wife was killed on a car crash. He was granted immediate compassionate leave and on deciding not to return to work, but to stay home with his two kids, he was not required to return to work for his notice period.

Colleague was informed that his ageing father had months to live due to pancreatic cancer. He resigned to spend quality time back home and was allowed to go straight away.

Kind of puts it in perspective, eh?

As EC says, you're likely to get away with it, but don't pretend that HR or the project are being unreasonable. You are in breach if contract and your word is is no longer your bond.

Whenever someone simply walks out, it is their own colleagues that have to pick up the extra workload.

I also presume your wife's new job is sufficiently senior that you won't need to work again? Or at least not in a job that requires your current employer to provide a positive reference?

The classy answer would be to work your notice.

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#5 RE: Contractual Obligations..
13/09/2013 13:47

CONnedsultant to Mr Cool (#4)

Thanks for the feedback, wow those are some horrific circumstances.

Will try and speak with HR about outstanding leave, and try using that to re-negotiate, but figured that this would be their response.

Would look to follow the classy answer if all else fails

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#6 RE: Contractual Obligations..
13/09/2013 19:52

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to CONnedsultant (#5)

Why not ask them nicely if u can leave sooner. Is there any reason they would say no?

If they do say no then that is unwise of them as surely they would expect u to spend all day downloading templates and stuff, surfing the net and pulling sickies. If u don't wanna be there then it's hardly in their interests to keep u there unless they need u to finish something or do a handover or something.

R u emigrating somewhere sunny? Why r u emigrating? London has so much 2 offer u. There is nowhere on earth that beats being on the northern line, getting off at Southwark on a hot summer day. Except maybe the tip.

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#7 RE: Contractual Obligations..
14/09/2013 02:46

MikeTC to CONnedsultant (#1)

Seems bizarre that you appear to think this is strange.

Why wouldn't your employer expect you to serve your notice? You signed a contract? Would you be happy if they decided to shorten your notice if they decided to terminate your employment?

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#8 RE: Contractual Obligations..
14/09/2013 11:05

Camster to MikeTC (#7)

Ask if you are able to leave early. If not possible, just serve your notice.

Mine's 6 months!!!!!

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