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3 month notice period

  • 20-09-2021 10:35am
    Registered Users Posts: 26

    Hi all,

    I work in the pharma/ Medical device industry as a snr qa officer. My contract states I have to give 3 months notice. However another senior QA officer position was filled a few months ago & that contract only stated 4 weeks notice period. Do I have any comeback with HR to get my notice period reduced. (We are non unionised). Or am I just stuck with it as I signed the contract?


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,582 ✭✭✭Princess Calla

    Short answer I'd imagine is your contract is what you signed.

    However contracts can be amended if both parties are in agreement.

    If you want to leave and have something lined up talk to your line manager/hr they can often be very facilitating and release you from contract early.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Some info for you

    Looks like what is in your contract is the required amount.

    I would imagine this is the case you are at a higher level and therefore it may take longer to fill your position.

    There may be some other options open to you, but you might be best of speaking to an employment law expert

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,099 ✭✭✭Explosive_Cornflake

    Your colleague might have negotiated the shorter notice period when they joined.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,178 ✭✭✭kennethsmyth

    Three months is too long, if you have a job lined up give 6 weeks to 2 months. This idea of 3 months is silly unless they are willing to pay gardening leave. Additionally yes your contract can state a period of time but the statutory amount of notice depends on years service. Its not in the businesses interest to keep someone in their business if they are being forced to stay longer than they wish to stay - things get messy.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 9,815 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jim2007

    We expect adults to be able to act in their own interests, if a person signs contract with a three month notice period that is their choice, nobody forced them to do so.

    Three months is not unusual and there is no reason to offer them gardening leave, unless you don't want them to turn up each day and do their work. Depending on the market and the position, three months to advertise, recruit and train up a replacement is not so long.

    The labour laws are termed 'Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts 1973–2005' for a reason and the hint is in the name.

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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 21,631 Mod ✭✭✭✭helimachoptor

    Not sure what its like in Pharma, but in general 3 months you can always negotiate down.

  • Registered Users Posts: 68,317 ✭✭✭✭seamus

    Generally I wouldn't worry too much about it. If you leave without giving 3 months' notice, the company's only comeback is to sue you for breach of contract, and any costs associated with the reduction in notice. Which is probably next to nothing. They can't withhold your pay or anything like that.

    The general principle is that the length of notice must be relevant to the seniority of the role, the difficulty in acquiring new people for that role, and the ability of you to seek another job.

    If a company is hiring a junior level person but they're told they'll have to wait 3 months, they'll probably just move onto the next candidate. Thus a 3 month notice period is restrictive and unreasonable. If you're hiring a CEO and he has a 12 month waiting period, you will wait a year for the right person.

    So if for your role you think that a 3 month notice period would hinder your ability to move jobs, then just ignore it. When you do get a new job offer, the other company always want to get you in next week, so tell them you have two months' notice and see what they say. If they say they can't wait that long, make it a month and tell your current employer to go shove it. There's little they can actually do about it.

    In the meantime, if there's an opportunity to renegotiate your contract (raise, change of hours, change of title, etc), throw in a request to change your notice period to 4 weeks, "in line with my colleagues". HR don't really care, so I can't see why there'd be much resistance unless you have a very specific and hard to hire skillset.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,733 ✭✭✭OMM 0000

    I had a three months notice period in my previous job. It makes looking for a new job almost impossible.

    I would definitely try to negotiate down if I were you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 33,137 ✭✭✭✭listermint

    It's actually pretty unusual tbh. Only few industries have the absolute balls on them to stick this sort of nonsense into contracts .

    On metric is 3 months fair on a normal employees and equally the notion someone is going to get an opportunity to negotiate this down at interview stage is an interesting take on how interview processes go ... Red flag red flag no job.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,598 ✭✭✭Saint_Mel

    As was said by others, you go by whatever you signed up to, but in my experience these things are never set in stone.

    Depending on your role, handover and potential for replacement, you could probably negotiate something else.

    Having recently left that industry I had a 2 month notice period but agreed a 6 week instead ... 2 of which were annual leave I had booked previously.

    A lot of bosses with recognise that as you are leaving you might not be firing on all cylinders for the duration of notice, so if there's a chance to move you out and get someone else in then it can work out better than having someone sit back for a while

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,178 ✭✭✭kennethsmyth

    Nope, depending on the seniority of the job 3 months can be considered too restrictive and I have yet to see any issues with giving less more reasonable notice for any normal mid level position - 2 months max. Terms in employment contracts can be deemed too restrictive by wrc such as non compete clauses which give too long or too long distance covered.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,744 ✭✭✭✭Dav010

    Has the WRC ruled three months notice is too restrictive?

    Last sentence of second paragraph/“Employees” seems to be at odds with your post.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 9,815 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jim2007

    Well if you can point us to the specific legislation you are referring to or the judgement of a case please do.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,178 ✭✭✭kennethsmyth

    You're skipping over the mention of seniority level, if you worked in McDonalds as a server obviously 3 months notice would be seen as too restrictive (I'm obviously being overly simplistic here).

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,744 ✭✭✭✭Dav010

    This is something that comes up regularly, for clarity, though there is a statutory minimum notice period depending on length of service, there is No legal impediment to a 3 month notice period, it depends on the terms of your employment contract. If you have a WRC ruling that links notice period to seniority, please link it. The WRC literally says (see earlier link) that notice period is agreed in employment contract.

    Post edited by Dav010 on

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,178 ✭✭✭kennethsmyth

    Hi Dad, there will be no ruling by WRC because if an employee does not work their notice period stated in their contract the WRC would not be involved, the employer would have to take court action against the employee for breach of contract and losses incurred by this. They would have to prove these loses and this would be extremely difficult. I have yet to see an employer sue for the notice period.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,744 ✭✭✭✭Dav010

    Hi Squirt, why are you then saying that the WRC would find a three month notice period “too restrictive” when their site clearly and unambiguously states that notice periods are agreed in contracts of employment? Effectively you are stating the WRC would rule against their own position on notice periods, have you any reason to believe this is likely or has happened before? You are rehashing the same viewpoint with nothing to support it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,178 ✭✭✭kennethsmyth

    I was trying to say “Hi Dav” but autocorrect chose “Dad”, it was not meant to be a sarcastic dig or anything.

    I did state what you’ve said above and I need to correct it on reflection. Essentially the WRC would not rule on notice periods as it would never be in front of them. An employer would have to sue for breach of contract and losses proved. This would not occur in WRC.