Notice period prior to joining the railway

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Purely hypothetical question, but quite possible others on this forum may have experienced this.

These unprecedented times have seen my current employer (non rail) change the staff shift pattern on two occasions, both times failing to give the full 28 days notice and citing occupational requirements. So, let's say you sit (and pass) assessments, MMI, DMI and pass a railway medical. The TOC/FOC calls you to offer a position, but the start date is in two weeks time. You are required to give 28 days notice of your desire to leave, as per your contract of employment, but because of how you have been treated you tell your new employer you will give your current employer two weeks notice and leave regardless. Would your new FOC/FOC see this as a failure to follow procedure? Bearing in mind you have most likely stated in two interviews how you always follow protocol?

As stated, completely hypothetical scenario but interested to see if anyone has experienced this.
 
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Absolutely. But like a lot of people I would love to go out in a blaze of glory, burn all bridges and not shoot myself in the foot in the process should the opportunity present itself.
 

DriverEight

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Absolutely. But like a lot of people I would love to go out in a blaze of glory, burn all bridges and not shoot myself in the foot in the process should the opportunity present itself.
If you're the sort of person that goes out in a blaze of glory and burns bridges, I'm not sure that I would want to employ you. It seems entirely pointless to me. As you said, these are unprecedented times, so I'd be more inclined to leave under the best terms possible.

However, having said that, I would still go...... I'd just do it quietly, apologetically and explaining my reasons why I felt I had to go.

Just remember, burning bridges is the policy of a retreating army. It's a sign of defeat.
 

baz962

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Absolutely. But like a lot of people I would love to go out in a blaze of glory, burn all bridges and not shoot myself in the foot in the process should the opportunity present itself.
Just give them two weeks and cite occupational requirements
 

EvoUK

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Worst scenario I could imagine would be that you might be slightly overpaid or used too many leave days (similar position to what I was in) and they would ask you to repay this. Not really much else they can do other than physically forcing you to stay with them for the additional two weeks.
 

Comfy

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I don't think this is a conversation you would really need to have as you would already have told your new employer how much notice period you need to give in your application form or interview. If they popped up and offered you a course with less than 1 months notice then just accept it and have the discussion you need to with your current employer. I did the same in my last job I left. I was polite and tried to negotiate with them a shorter notice period. They weren't overly happy but they couldn't argue as it would not have caused an impact to them if I left earlier.
 
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D365

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Absolutely. But like a lot of people I would love to go out in a blaze of glory, burn all bridges and not shoot myself in the foot in the process should the opportunity present itself.
Isn’t that sentence a direct contradiction?
 
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I'd just politely ask your employer if you can leave early - they might not be that happy but in reality there is very little they can do. As others have said though don't tell them where to stick their job (however tempting that might be) as you never know what the future holds!
 

C J Snarzell

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Good evening mate.

From my own experience, most prospective employers have to adhere to the 28 day rule unless they stipulate in the job vacancy of when they want the successful candidate to start.

The only issue with burning your bridges with the current employer is that if say you leave without working your notice period you can potentially fall foul of two big issues -

- they do not pay you your final wage & hold back with releasing the P45.

- you will never get a reference from them which can be a massive stumbling block.

I would seriously reconsider doing anything you might later regret. Just try and bite your tongue and when the time comes, just leave in a professional and dignified manner.

CJ
 
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Cheers CJ. We've DM'd previously and you are a guy whose opinion I have a lot of time for.
Element of bravado in stating I'd go out in a blaze of glory. When/if the day comes then I'd like to think I'll exit while showing the professionalism that I've displayed for the previous 9 years of service. There may be an exit-interview where they will expect feedback. I'll be honest for sure.

From what I can gather, based on the replies so far, the scenario I hypothesize should not take place.

Making my question irrelevant.

The guy who wouldn't employ me : I agree with almost everything you said. A gruelling week at work during a frustrating 15 month redeployment, and no sign of my department reopening any time soon. I came on here to blow off a bit of steam and some level headed folk sorted me out.

Have a cracking weekend guys
 

PaulJ

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This scenario did happen to me on October 2020. The TOC wanted me to start within a fortnight but contractually I had to give 30 days notice to my old employer. I explained the predicament to my TOC who were very understanding and they changed my start date to the following month.
 
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This scenario did happen to me on October 2020. The TOC wanted me to start within a fortnight but contractually I had to give 30 days notice to my old employer. I explained the predicament to my TOC who were very understanding and they changed my start date to the following month.
I think it depends on the relationship you have with the powers that be where you work, the industry you work in and how you have conducted yourself while working there.

I've been in my present job for 5 years now and haven't really ever put a foot wrong, I manage a bookies and believe me it is very easy to "f**k up through no fault of your own because of either professional con men targeting trainee's while you're out banking or dealing with issues created by them, or unintentional ambiguous bets that many be interpreted wrongly while under pressure.

I passed everything for Commercial Guard in December 2019 and was told to wait for a start date in mid 2020. This has obviously been put back because of COVID.

Back to the point, because I do a good job, my record is clean and I've waited 18 months to move on to the trains, my Area Manager has said he will waive my notice period as soon as I get a start date with a full reference if needed in order to get me started. Can't say fairer than that.
 

Stigy

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To echo what others have said, it’s never advisable to burn bridges (tempting as it may be). If it means breaking your contract with your current employer, or missing out on a job you really want, I’d 100% break the contract but make sure I leave on the best possible terms.

It all depends on your relationship with your line manager as much as anything. When I gave notice to leave my previous job (still railway, but a different operator), I had a really good relationship with my manager (I was covering his job before he started so we always got on well as I had to hand over to him). I was able to give loads of notice, but needed some leeway to attend the medical etc and he was happy with that as he knew I’d not take the Micky.

I guess that’s the key here, just be open and honest with your line manager. Nobody should stand in someone’s way who wants to progress their career or move to pastures new.
 

Undiscovered

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I'm sure you would have had to put your notice period in your application form, and TOCs usually follow this very closely.

If they do offer you a provisional offer, it may depend on references from your current employer. I didn't give permission for them to be contacted unless I had an offer, and explained at interview that I would be leaving my current employer even more understaffed if I left, so they might not be to happy about me going.
When my offer letter did come through, I had to contact the TOC to give permission to contact referees, so that's when you have to have the conversation about leaving, and the dates/notice accordingly with your boss.

Wait and see what comes in the post, and take it from there. If you are given a shorter notice period than required, then contact the TOC by phone and discuss how this impacts you by either giving short notice or adhering to your full notice. Make a decision from that.

I would say thought that opportunities with the railway are extremely competitive and, if this is something you really want to do, deep down really really want, then you have to consider that this may be your only chance.
 

ninhog

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Purely hypothetical question, but quite possible others on this forum may have experienced this.

These unprecedented times have seen my current employer (non rail) change the staff shift pattern on two occasions, both times failing to give the full 28 days notice and citing occupational requirements. So, let's say you sit (and pass) assessments, MMI, DMI and pass a railway medical. The TOC/FOC calls you to offer a position, but the start date is in two weeks time. You are required to give 28 days notice of your desire to leave, as per your contract of employment, but because of how you have been treated you tell your new employer you will give your current employer two weeks notice and leave regardless. Would your new FOC/FOC see this as a failure to follow procedure? Bearing in mind you have most likely stated in two interviews how you always follow protocol?

As stated, completely hypothetical scenario but interested to see if anyone has experienced this.

I had this scenario but had been honest with my previous employer all along. My TOC were looking to recruit for the next intake so were keen for me to start ASAP. I just spoke to my old manager and told her it’s what I really wanted to do, so it was never a problem.

Worst scenario I could imagine would be that you might be slightly overpaid or used too many leave days (similar position to what I was in) and they would ask you to repay this. Not really much else they can do other than physically forcing you to stay with them for the additional two weeks.

The extra 2 weeks in this scenario are irrelevant as far as accrued annual leave is concerned. It’s entirely possible to use up more holiday than you’ve accrued no matter how much notice you give/are required to give so there’s always a chance you’ll have some of your final pay docked.
 

dzdoris

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I think the point @RailLady was trying to make is a TOC could never push someone through in 2 weeks because of medicals, DBS etc so I don't think you'll ever need to worry about being in this situation :)
 

mmh

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For some jobs, and I wouldn't be surprised if the railway was one, hiring "at risk" while waiting for things like DBS checks, medicals, security clearances and the like is quite common, particularly if they have a fixed date for training / induction they want to fit you into.
 
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