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Topic: Termination

letter requesting employee work longer notice period
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Letter requesting employee work longer notice period

Letter requesting employee work longer notice period

Use our letter when an employee has resigned and you want to ask them to agree to work a longer notice period than their contractual notice. Make sure it’s made clear that they will be paid their full salary and benefits if they do consent to extend their notice period.

A resignation dilemma

When an employee resigns in amicable circumstances and is working out a notice period of three months or more, you normally have sufficient time to recruit an external replacement. Likewise, if the departing employee’s work is going to be taken over by an existing employee, a notice period of one month or more should ensure you can do a proper handover of work to that other employee. However, what if it transpires that you can’t recruit someone in time (for example, an external replacement is themselves on a long notice period) and you’re faced with a gap of more than a few days between the departing employee leaving and their replacement starting in circumstances where it’s critical that the work is covered? Obviously, one option is to get in an agency temp, but another option is to ask the departing employee if they’d be prepared to extend their notice period and agree to a later termination date. This is where our Letter Requesting Employee Work a Longer Notice Period comes in.

An extended notice period

Our letter confirms the employee’s current termination date and then asks the employee whether they would be willing to agree to work an extended notice period until a later stipulated date. It makes clear that it’s entirely the employee’s choice whether they’re willing to agree or not, as they’re still entitled to leave on their current termination date, but it clarifies that if they do agree, then their salary and benefits will continue to be paid until their revised termination date and they’ll continue to accrue annual leave. Finally, the employee is asked to complete a slip to confirm their position on the matter one way or the other. Obviously, if the employee has another job to go to and has already agreed a start date with their new employer, it’s unlikely they’ll want to stay on with you, but in many other circumstances, they may be more than happy to work a few extra weeks for the extra cash, particularly if the relationship between you is still good.

Legal position

Legally, it’s acceptable to do this. The employee’s resignation isn’t being revoked or withdrawn by either party and it’s not turned a resignation into any form of dismissal - all that there has been is a mutual agreement between you to vary the contractual notice period and the effective termination date. That said, if the employee doesn’t agree to stay on, there’s nothing you can do about it. You can’t force them into staying, so, if it’s really crucial here that the work is covered, you could also offer them a sweetener such as a small bonus or extra pay to persuade them to change their mind.

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