How to quit a job without notice
It’s not always easy to say goodbye…
When you resign from your job, you’re normally expected to work a notice period that’s set out in your contract. However, there may be a time when it’s not possible, or it’s best not to give notice.
We’ve already covered our tips on how to resign, but to make sure you’re doing the right thing, here’s everything you need to know on how to quit a job without notice:
What is a notice period?
A notice period is the amount of time you have to give your employer before leaving your job. Alternatively, if your employer provides a letter of dismissal or redundancy they must also give you fair notice before your employment comes to an end.
Notice periods are in place so that the employer has enough time to find someone to replace you and for you to find alternative employment.
How do I find out my notice period?
Your notice period will depend on your job, the company you work for and what’s stated in your contract or employee handbook. If you’re still unsure, speak to your company’s HR department, who will be able to advise you on what your notice period is.
How long your notice period is also depends on your job and the company you work for. For some, the notice period could be one week or one month, but it may be longer for more senior positions. If you wish to do so, you can inform your employer of your intentions to resign earlier than what’s set out in your contract.
Do I have to give notice to leave my job?
It’s expected that you give your employer notice to leave your job. If you’ve worked for them for more than one month, you typically have to give one week’s notice, but the company may have their own notice period, which should be detailed in your contract.
If you want to work less than your notice period you should negotiate this with your employer. Failure to work your notice period could be a breach of contract, and your employer may decide to bring legal action against you, particularly if they feel your leaving will cost them financially.
When can I quit a job without notice?
There may be times when it’s acceptable and even necessary for you to quit a job without notice. For example:
- Medical emergency
- Family emergency
- Unsafe working environment
- Lots of job losses at the company
- Ethical or social differences
- If you’re working on a temporary contract
Tips for quitting a job without notice
If, for whatever reason, you need to leave your job, here are our top tips to help you quit a job without notice:
Is quitting the right decision?
Before you quit is there anything that can help you stay? If you’re having to quit because of medical or family reasons, find out what financial support you may be entitled to.
If the reason for you quitting is related to a situation at work, have you spoken to your manager or HR team about it? If so, and you feel the issue hasn’t been handled correctly, you may be able to raise a grievance against them. If that doesn’t work, the next step could be going to an employment tribunal. However, this should only ever be your last resort.
Explain why you’re leaving
You’ll need to inform your employer, either in writing or verbally, that you’re quitting without notice. It’s up to you if you want to explain your reasons. If you do decide to give a reason, remain calm and be polite.
If it’s for medical or family reasons, you may not have to go into specific details – although your employer may follow up to ask for more information. If it’s a situation at work, raising it with your employer gives them the opportunity to address it and take the necessary steps to resolve the situation.
Understand the consequences
Resigning from your job without working your notice period will have consequences for both your employer and yourself.
Your employer will suddenly find themselves one staff member down, which if they can’t find someone to replace you quickly, may impact other staff members and even the company’s productivity.
Likewise, it’s important to understand how quitting will impact you personally. There’s the potential loss of income to take into account, as quitting your job instead of being dismissed or made redundant may affect what benefits you can apply for. And, there’s the issue of explaining to future employers why you quit your last job without notice.
Have a plan
When quitting a job without notice it’s essential that you think of what you’re going to do next.
Of course, your plan will depend on your reasons for leaving, but it may be helpful to ask yourself questions such as: have you got money saved that can cover outgoings for a while, what financial help (if any) will you be entitled to and can you apply for other jobs straight away?
If you plan on looking for another job, refer back to your contract to see if there’s any limitation on when you can start a new job or the type of jobs you can apply for. Another thing to consider is how you’re going to explain quitting your job without notice to future employers. Why did you leave your last job, is a common interview question, so having a speech prepared will help you to clearly explain your reason instead of bumbling through it.
The most important thing to remember is not to rush your decision. Quitting your job without notice is a big call to make – so making a plan will help to ensure you’ve thought about every possible angle before deciding to go ahead.
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