This Month: how do you quit your job properly?


A local expert from Citizen’s Advice provides timely tips on consumer issues. This Month: how do you quit your job properly?


Q I have just been offered a new job and now I need to tell my current employer. The new company wants me to start as soon as possible. The problem is, we are short-staffed where I am not and I don’t know how soon I will be allowed to leave. How should I bring this up with my current boss?

A: The time between telling your employer that you’ve found a new position and you actually leaving is known as your notice period.

If you’ve been in your current job for less than a month, you won’t have to give any notice period unless your contact says otherwise. If it’s more than a month, you’ll have to give at least one week’s notice. Your contract should make it clear exactly how long is expected. If you don’t have a written contract and your employer has no written record of you agreeing to a notice period, you should give at least one week’s notice.

It’s worth waiting until your new employer has confirmed your employment, for example by giving you a start date before handing in your resignation.

How to resign

It’s best to resign in writing (email is fine) so that you have a record of the date that you told your employer. On the Citizens Advice website we have a page on handing in your notice.
If you’re keen to move on sooner rather than later, it may be possible to negotiate a shorter notice period than your contact says. If you want to go down this route it can be useful to reassure your current employer that you will tackle any urgent work before finishing. Fixed term contracts are a bit different as you won’t need to give notice if you intend to leave on the last day of contract. Leaving early would usually mean giving at least one week’s notice, unless your contract says otherwise.

Don’t forget about your holiday days during your notice period. If you have unused paid holiday you should speak to your employer about either taking these during or towards the end of the notice period, or being paid for them.

Change your mind

Finally, sometimes people can change their minds about moving jobs or find their circumstances alter. If this happens to you, you should always speak to your current employer to see what the options are, and if you can stay in your current role.

Everyone’s situation is different but if you face any challenges with an existing or potential employer, contact Citizens Advice 0800 144 8848 or visit our website



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