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Employment law

How to negotiate out of your notice period

Read our expert top tips on how to negotiate your job's notice period down and leave work early when you have a long contractual notice period.

08 June 2015

Be aware of your notice period

So you have just been offered your dream job and you can’t wait to start.

You might be thinking “Do I have to work all of my contractual notice period?”

If you have a lengthy notice period, you might even have concerns that your new employer may not be prepared to wait for you to join and will hire someone else instead.

You should not simply ignore your contractual notice period as doing so could, in some circumstances, could result in you being sued by the employer you're leaving.

However working out a three, six or twelve-month notice period could slow your career progression and in some cases might even harm your future career prospects.

You can be proactive if you want to start your new job sooner.

You can negotiate.

If you are going for a career change your current employer might support your decision and allow you to leave early.

Sometimes employers are happy to release employees they see as no longer committed to their organisation – it could save them money.

Similarly, if there is a ready replacement for someone in your role your current employer might be happy for you to leave without working your full notice period.

If you are leaving to go and work for a competitor then negotiating leaving work before the end of your contractual notice period might be more difficult.

One tip is to always give your notice in writing. This is the stage at which senior executives should start negotiating their leaving date.


You could suggest leaving after a replacement has been hired and prepare a proper handover ready for as soon as they are in place.

You may also be able to assist with recruiting them. You should check the post-termination restrictions in your contract, as you don’t want to be left without income when you’re between jobs.

For more information, call us on freephone 0330 107 5087 or contact us online.

All the above information was correct at the time of publication.

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