Notice Period – I do not have one in my contract

A contractors has no notice period in his contract even though the lient has a one month one. He asks our advice

Notice Period in contract
Notice Period in contract

Notice Period

What happens if you don’t have a notice period in your contract?

Dr McLaughlin, I just scanned my contract before I signed it.

I‘ve been here 7 months of a year-long contract and I‘m starting to get itchy feet so I looked out my contract.

I see that there is no notice period at all.

However, there is a month‘s notice for the client to give to me.

That doesn‘t seem fair.

Am I stuck here for the duration of the contract or does any termination notice period need to be mutual?

Dr McLaughlin‘s IT Surgery

There is a law that says that a notice period must be mutual between a company and its employee.

However, that only describes the relationship between you and your company as that is what you are an employee of.

I would doubt very much if that law applied company to company.

IR35 Friendly Contract

I would also say that in the current market that you might be best served by staying on at your current contract with a guaranteed 5 more months of work to go.

There would be quite a few people reading this who would be mighty jealous of you.

One other thing to say would be that not having a notice period would normally mean that you are less likely to be inside IR35.

Speak to Your Client

However, if you really want to get away it is unlikely that they will stop you if you speak to them.

It‘s just like at football clubs.

They don‘t usually want to keep a player at the club who doesn‘t want to play for them even if their contract has a couple more years to go.

If you go to your client manager and say that you‘re not enjoying it or you have family issues or whatever. They are almost certain to be sympathetic and let you go.

Don’t Ask the Agency

Don‘t call your agency first.

The agency will say that you just can‘t do it, that you have a contract to fulfill (and the agency margin to get).

Always go to the client.

They‘re human beings too and will be sympathetic.

Demotivated Contractor

They will also not want a demotivated person working for them for 5 more months even if you don’t have a notice period.

Expect the agency to go ballistic when you call them to let them know.

OK, good luck!

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