Noticing Notice Periods

Posted by: Jena McGregor on February 4, 2008

I became fascinated with global workplace differences when working on “The Right Perks” for our special Davos report on managing the global workforce. Attractive perks in Rio are hardly the same as those in Russia. Today, Mercer issued a news release on “statutory” employee notice periods around the world. In the U.K., for instance, just one week is required, according to Mercer. Meanwhile, Switzerland requires employees to provide at least two months’ notice, Vietnam demands 45 days, and employees in Slovakia have to give “at least” two months.

While there may be no “statutory” requirement in the U.S., two weeks, if not longer, is customary. In fact, this reminds me of a trend a couple of employment lawyers have suggested to me, which is that more employers, especially in financial services, are asking for longer notice periods as they try and keep employees from jumping ship to other firms and taking high-value clients with them. Steven Manchel, an employment lawyer based in Newtown, Mass., says he’s seen these longer notice periods, which might be 30 or 60 days, pop up among senior consulting partners or other senior salespeople. “These contracts are used to protect revenue and to protect information,” he says. Has anyone out there been asked to sign something that requires them to give a longer notice period?

Reader Comments

Stephen Green

February 4, 2008 6:45 PM

I have not noticed increasing notice periods but I have noticed a decrease is 'escorts to the door' when going to work for the competition. I've heard a number of stories where employees had almost planned on an escort to the door and instead had to work the full two weeks of their notice.

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