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Charlie Duff

Sift Media


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HR tip: Can we withdraw notice?


We gave a worker his notice, but would now like to continue his employment. Can we take back the notice?

Withdrawing notice

Because our order book has dried up a bit, we recently gave notice to three of our short-serving employees but we now find that we want to keep one of them after all. He is still working his notice with us and as far as we know has not found alternative employment, but he has said quite plainly – and somewhat rudely – that he does not want to continue with us. Can we do anything to keep him?


No. His attitude is immaterial. If you have given formal notice, it stands unless the employee agrees to have it withdrawn. The only way that you may keep him is by making it worth his while in some way. Money may work but so may a friendly discussion rather than aggression.

Previous HR and Payroll tips:

November 2009
HR tip: Dishonest academic claims

October 2009
HR Tip: Using solicitor in Employment Tribunal
Making rules work
Regular Absenteeism

September 2009
Signing contracts of employment
Limiting recruitment – discrimination?
Children at work
Stopping swearing

August 2009
Types of holiday
Is ‘old boy’ discriminatory?
Too hot to work?
Parking on residential roads

July 2009
Length of CV
Wearing shorts at work
Unanswered job offer
Defining redundancy
What is theft?

June 2009
Challenging doctor’s fit note
Personal hygiene problem
Unfair vs wrongful dismissal
Appeal problem

May 2009
Termination arrangement
Reporting sexual harassment
Reducing wages
Recovering relocation expenses

April 2009
Proof of drunkenness
Validity of warnings
Loss of driving licence
Refusal to supply references
Informal warnings

March 2009
Burden of proof
Selection for redundancy
Workplace affairs

February 2009
A problem of discrimination?
Booking holidays
Help for redundant employees
Pin-ups in the machine shop

January 2009
Following disciplinary procedure 
Changing terms of employment after TUPE
Music in office
Time off for redundant employees

2008 tips

2007 tips

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Charlie Duff


Read more from Charlie Duff

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