Pros and cons with letting employees work their whole period of notice

When someone quits their job or laid off, the company has to decide if the person should work their whole period of notice or if they should be exempt from work earlier. The decision is very important due to the consequences it may have for the company. There are pros, cons of letting employees work their whole period of notice, and here are a couple.   


The pros are often obvious for companies. If the company lets someone be exempt from work they still have to pay their salary, and of course, they do not want to pay salary to anyone who is not in their job. Sometimes it is necessary to keep the employee if they have competences that no one else in the company has and one has to find a replacement before the employee you can let them go.


The cons on the other hand are not as easy to see. From the Company perspective the biggest problem, as I see it, is that a person who quits their job can affect the other employees in a negative way. If someone knows, they are not going to continue working at a company they may not be as productive or motivated because their thoughts are already somewhere else. It does not matter if they quit their job or if they were terminated. In most cases, the employee probably does not want to be there anymore. I even have heard people describing it as “serving time”. This of course can affect surrounding employees. There is also a risk that the leaver will spread gossip about the company or persuade their colleagues to follow them out the door.  

One of my colleagues once told me about her former workplace. At that company, many people were thinking about leaving because of the stressful work environment.  Therefore, when one of them finally made the decision and quit he talked a lot about how nice it felt and how happy he was that he finally did it. How do you think that effects the rest of the company?

I have even heard about people who tried to sabotage business for the company after they had been fired. Then it is more damaging to keep the person than if the person would be at home with pay. In that case, it is extremely clear that that person should not have worked the whole period of notice. 

My advice is to try to be smart with the period of notice. Make the decision according to the level of seniority and the individual where necessary.  There is also a possibility to make an agreement. If the person wants to leave earlier, they can accept doing that without salary.   


Stockholm 2019-10-10

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