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What are the benefits of issuing a three month notice period?

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I'm in discussion with colleagues about how much notice to include in our contracts. As an IT company we are looking at three-months notice as an incentive for staff to stay without the possibility of 'garden-leave'. In IT companies, does length of notice affect retention? Any idea of the legal implications of the IT company offering less notice if the person wishes to resign?
Verity McVarish

5 Responses

  1. Arian Associates Ltd
    In your working environment I would be wary of notice periods of any kind – certain employees could wreak havoc if they were allowed access to sophisticated IT equipment during a notice period.
    Check out the viability of ‘No Notice’ due to the nature of the environment in which you work, it is a safer option all together.

  2. Take a pragmatic view
    You need to be clear why you are looking to change the notice periods. The comments made about the risk are an important consideration. If you increase the time to three months on either side then you should seriously look at a ‘garden leave’ option. You might find that 3 months by the company and 1 month from the individual a good compromise. It offers better security to the employee yet helps to minimise the risk if someone resigns. Just remember that if someone is willing to work notice and the company tells him/her to go, then the company is legally obligated to pay notice. Jenny

  3. Long contracts can work well for both parties
    A three month contract period can be an aid to recruitment in that it offers a greater sense of security. There can be benefit of both parties being on a three month notice period, if the employee leaves it may give you more time to secure a replacement. However if an employee simply ups and goes there is little you can really do about – in theory you can sue but it is rarely worthwhile. If the employee resigns you can agree to shorten their notice period. You should have the option for garden leave in your contracts – you need not use it.
    If you want help in drafting an appropriate contract please get in touch.

    Quentin Colborn, QC People Management Ltd,
    [email protected]

  4. Three months is going in the wrong direction
    The problem with 3 months from the employee’s point of view is that their next employer would have to wait 3 months for them to start. Most won’t: if you need someone, you need them today.
    The problem from the employer’s point of view is that you’re going to be paying for someone for 3 months who doesn’t have any future with the company and who may demoralize their co-workers.
    The fact is that someone who’s tended their resignation (or has been handed their hat) is dead meat – or worse if they have ill-feelings to the company. Pay them off and let them go.

  5. Notice Periods
    Verity

    With regard to your question, I know of an organisation, who will be able to clarify the consequences of such notice periods with regard to employment law. If you wish to discuss further then please contact me on 0151 647 3388.

    Regards and luck

    Paul Harrington

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