A Notice Period is the way a business protects itself from any negative impact from you leaving… For some people it means 1 month or more of gardening leave (being paid to not be in the office but prevented from starting work for any other companies), for others it means being physically in the office, handing over your work whilst being mentally checked out! A frustrating time for all.
What to do if you have to work your notice period
If like me, you are asked to work some or all of your notice period, the first instinct is to either refuse or be very annoyed! The truth is, having spoken to a number of contractual lawyers and HR directors on this, if they are entitled to having you work and they decide to do so, then you have to play ball. It’s only for a short period in the grand scheme of things.
What are the best things to do?
- Stay professional, that is key
- Do what you did before, no more
- Gradually ease off and make people aware you are leaving, they will not give you major tasks.
Your rights during your notice period
Holidays, fair treatment and whatever you did before. If anything changes, make sure you start a conversation with your HR department. They have to remain impartial throughout the process so if you feel you are being unfairly treated, make sure you start building up a file on the matter. Sometimes your line manager may want to make you life more difficult… well you speaking with HR will put a stop to that and make sure they are aware of the kind of person he is!
During my conversations with HR directors, one thing that was quite clear when it comes working during your notice period, is that games are often played. Technically companies can ask you to work your notice if they want and often they will do if they need you. Truth is, by being difficult, you can force their hands a bit. there are many ways of being difficult:
- Arriving late
- Leaving early
- Long lunches
- Being difficult with colleagues
- Loud and obnoxious…
Though they may want to keep you, if you start being a disruptive team member they may feel it causes less harm to send you home than to keep you there! Careful though, going back to the reputation point, HR departments speak to one another so people will learn about your behaviour… but not too much of a problem if you’re quitting the industry.