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Can I refuse to work my Notice Period?

Coworkers Jul 9, 2022

You have landed your dream job and are over the moon to begin your new experience! But there are a few steps you have to follow before you embark on this new journey. Yes, you must resign from your old job and serve a notice period.

A notice period is the duration between handing over the resignation to the last working day. It is a grace period that any company needs to recruit a replacement for your position.

However, the notice periods vary between 1–3 months, depending on your job level.

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Types of notice period negotiation

Well, not all resignations are due to a new job. Sometimes, due to a family emergency or relocation, an employee may ask for a reduction in the notice period or not want to serve the notice period at all. This is addressed as short notice resignation.

However, your notice period for resignation is never less than two weeks. Every organization has terms and policies mentioned in the offer letter or a separate hiring document.

However, here are a few ways to negotiate for a shorter or no notice period:

Recommended : 10 essential HR Policies & Procedures

1. Buy out

Notice period buyout is one of the most popular practices when negotiating the notice period for resignation.

Herein, the hiring company buys out the employee before the notice period expires. During the buyout notice, an employee presents his final settlements to the hiring company to relieve himself from the relieving processes.

For instance, you have to switch from an ‘A’ company to a ‘B’ organization. ‘A’ has a policy of 1-month notice period, but ‘B’ wants you to join from the mentioned date before your notice period ends, so the latter will offer to buy out your notice period post the number of days you have served.

Now, you can offer an ‘A’ to adjust the remaining days of the service from your Full and Final payment. Once done, you will have to show the breakup to ‘B’ on joining, and they will reimburse the said amount.

It is always best to communicate well in this case to avoid any misunderstanding. In some instances, organizations may accept a bond agreement where they ask the employee to pay a given amount in exchange for relieving early.

2. Garden leave

Garden Leave is another way of negotiating the notice period for resignation. This practice enables the employer to relieve an employee of responsibilities with immediate effect after submitting the resignation letter without serving the notice period, while still keeping them on the company payroll as an employee.

Depending on the job role, the company may opt to keep their confidentiality and access to critical information restricted, especially if you are joining a peer organization.

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Writing to give intimation for serving notice period before resignation

Here is how one should draft a resignation letter with a notice period:

1. Speak with your Manager

Talking to the HR manager or department manager is one of the first things one should do as an employee. You will have to address your concern to reduce the length of your notice period.

If there is a reason you are already aware of, then you can bring it up that you are planning on resigning and keep them posted with the situation. This will ensure they have the time to take necessary measures and ensure the work is not disrupted. This ensures proper courtesy and leaves on a positive note.

2. Follow the proper Format

Once you arrive at an agreement regarding your notice period for resignation, the next thing to do is to draft the notice period letter appropriately. A request for a shorter notice period falls under the formal letter category as it is considered an official document.

Essentials of a Resignation Letter with Notice Period

One must ensure following the correct template and also divide the points into paragraphs as it makes the document more legible and highlights your professionalism. Here is everything a resignation letter with a notice period must have:

1. Mention the post you are resigning from:

This is the first thing one should mention since it is an important factor to highlight in your notice period for resignation mail/letter. Even if you are submitting a shorter notice period for resignation, it is best to submit your resignation at least two weeks prior.

2. Explain negotiating notice period:

The next important thing to mention is the reason for the demand to reduce the notice period. This allows the organization to be aware of your genuine issues or concerns. It could be moving to a new city for a new job, family emergency, family relocation, etc.

3. Do not forget to show gratitude:

Just like any other formal email, your notice period for resignation must have a statement or two expressing gratitude towards the team and management for providing opportunity and honing your skills. You must also mention that the whole process has been a great learning experience.

4. Finish with a signature:

Irrespective of whether you are writing an email or a letter, you must end your draft with your name and digital signature.

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Can company force you to work during notice period?

There may be situations where the employer wants you to stay, but unless the contract says so, you do not have to work for the notice period.

Your employer can only force you to work during your notice period if they're paying you a salary, and they have an agreement with you that says so. This is different from an hourly employee who has a contract stating that they'll work until their last day.

Resignation Letter with Notice Period

Writing a resignation letter with notice period, involves formally communicating your decision to leave your job while adhering to the contractual notice period.

It's important to clearly state your resignation, specify the effective date of departure, express gratitude for the opportunities provided, and, if possible, offer assistance during the transition period. This approach maintains professionalism and preserves positive relationships with your employer.

Final Takeaway!

Yes, you can refuse to work your notice period.

However, your request for a shorter notice period or refusal altogether must be supported with valid reasons. Sometimes the employers themselves find it better for the person resigning to leave with immediate effect.

As an employee, it is your basic courtesy to provide the organization with details and to end your journey with them on a good note.


George Lambdus

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