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Can I Quit My Job Without Notice?

01 Jun 2021

When someone chooses to hand their notice in, in a perfect world they’ve usually  got another role lined up.

However, there are several reasons as to why someone immediately resigns - from health issues to family emergencies or even a toxic work environment.

What will happen if I don't work my notice?

Quitting your job without notice won’t ruin your life or career, but it isn’t free from consequence.

According to the Employment Rights Act 1996, when an employee decides to leave, both the employer and the employee are legally entitled to a minimum period of notice. The minimum notice period is:

  • One week for employees who have been with your organisation for more than a month, but less than two years
  • Two weeks for employees who have been with your organisation over two years

Your notice period can be increased to a maximum of 12 weeks. Retiring employees or employees older than retirement age aren’t impacted by these rules.

If you are terminated without being given a contractual or legally-required notice period, you can push for a wrongful dismissal claim.

However, there is a risk that you will be breaching your employment contract and you might get sued in return for damages.

For example, if your employer had to hire a temp to cover your workload, they could sue you for those costs. It will also make it difficult to get references from your employer later on down the line.

If you’re employed on a contractual basis and leave before your contract ends, you may have to pay a penalty.

Before you decide to quit, you should review your contract and think about any other ways to leave the business without breaking your contract or relationships with colleagues and managers.

How will my colleagues be impacted?

If you quit your job without notice, your colleagues will have to pick up the slack and cover your workload until the company has hired an appropriate replacement.

If you don’t want to leave your former colleagues in a tricky situation,  have a chat with them and explain the situation. In doing this, you’ll be giving them a little bit of context and can be more understanding. After all, you never know if you may be working with some of these people again, so you don’t want to leave a bad impression!

Do I have to work my notice whilst on furlough?

You are allowed to walk away from your job whilst on furlough - you can also be made redundant during furlough. You will be expected to give notice to the standard of your employer’s notice period requirement.

Signs it's time to quit your job

  • You’ve developed your skills as much as you can
  • You’re no longer passionate about your role
  • The work environment is toxic
  • There are no growth opportunities
  • The company's future is dubious
  • You feel like your ethics are being compromised
  • You’re not being compensated for your efforts
  • You need a better work/life balance

How to quit your job

Before you hand your notice in, have a chat with your human resources department about your grievances. In doing this, you’ll be giving the company a chance to resolve any issues you have with the business.

You should also speak to HR if you’ve been offered another job. Especially if you are unable to work or aren’t able to honour your full notice period - they may be able to accommodate this.

When it comes to giving your notice, you should be as professional as possible and try to speak to your manager over the phone or in person. If there is no way you can stay for your whole notice period, you should try to leave on a positive note and leave a detailed handover.

If you’re thinking about handing your notice in and looking for your next role, speak to the recruitment specialists at IDEX. We provide independent recruitment in the General Insurance, Financial Services and Legal sectors.

 

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