Negotiate to get out of a job contract

XOLA Sobuza of Swartkops Valley wrote:
I RECENTLY signed a contract of employment, but two weeks into the job, I got a better job offer from another company. They gave me a week to accept the offer. Is there any way I can get out of my current contract without being sued, since I have been at my current job for less than a month?
Eastern Cape, Legal Aid Regional Communications Practitioner, Dave McGlew replies:
This falls under labour legislation which can be complex, making a definitive answer virtually impossible without full details of the contract.
In broad general terms, however, the simple answer is no. An employment contract is binding and details of the contract signed would apply.
Hypothetically, for instance, if there was a clause saying that during a probation period one week’s notice could be given by either party then it would be no problem in giving a week’s notice.
Negotiating with the employer could be an alternative since the employer might agree to allowing a person to leave for a number of reasons.
The employer might also offer an avenue where the person under contract can buy their way out by, for instance, repaying their salary.
I suggest that you chat to the employer, explain your predicament and if you are still concerned, request them to waiver the notice period in writing. Perhaps you can assist after hours if you still have outstanding duties.
In most instances, employers are not that upset when employees leave so soon after commencing with employment.

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