Your Rights

Hopefully you leave your company on amicable and ideally positive terms, but how do you know when you have an employment contract that is unreasonable or you risk losing your new job because of fears of bad references?  

The information below serves as a guideline only to your rights once you have resigned.  If you have an irreconcilable dispute, please contact the Citizens Advice Bureau, an HR professional or a Solicitor for further advice.

Notice Period
Statutory notice (legal requirement) is set at one week for every year of employment, to a maximum of 12 weeks for 12 years’ service or more.  You are entitled to renegotiate to a more reasonable length if you are the second scenario and is best approached in the resignation meeting.

Some people prefer to shorten their notice by deducting any outstanding holidays owed.  Don’t work longer than you legally have to.

Temporary roles have no notice period and you can leave immediately.

Bad Reference
No company should give you a bad or non-factual reference even if you leave on bad terms.   Anyone who writes untruths leaves themselves wide open to be sued for ‘defamation of character’.

No Pay
Getting your last month’s wages and entitlements can be difficult.  Whilst most settle without a hitch, there are some companies who raise disputes.   Any wages owed to you are covered under the Wages Act 1986.  As a last resort, and if phoning the company daily hasn’t worked, you can make a very simple claim in the County Court under the Act without the need of a Solicitor.  Simply call your local court for the form and information.


Company “counter offer” tactics

As mentioned in our post ‘Handing in your notice, companies are often left at a loose end when a valued employee resigns and you may experience some of following scenarios and tactics from your current employer:

The “Counter Offer”
Some companies have been known to respond to resignations by matching or exceeding your new salary package.   If you have gone through the recruitment process in the hope that you may get a counter offer (since a colleague did, for example), then you are playing a very dangerous game.  The company is now aware of your unrest and whilst the offer may appear attractive, it may affect any future pay rises, promotional prospects and training opportunities.  Statistics show that 86% of people who accept counter offers still leave within six months of deciding to stay at their present company.

Magic Promotion
Your company does not want to lose you.  Whilst the offer of promotion is no doubt sincere, ensure you explore the real reasons why you want to leave and ask yourself, “has anything really changed?”  If it hasn’t, then graciously turn down the opportunity.

Emotional Blackmail
A great deal of pressure can be placed upon individuals by companies to get employees to stay.  Often, if the resignation meeting hasn’t gone well, we have heard reports of threats not to pay wages or earned bonuses or threats to give a bad reference, among other nastiness.  It is important to remember there are employment laws protecting your rights.  Try to recognise these threats for what they are – just threats and always seek advice.

Peer Group Pressure
Colleagues are often distressed or saddened at a team member leaving and may try many levels of persuasion to get you to stay.  If you have been with a company a long time, it is possible you have made good friends with certain colleagues and this security can often be difficult to leave behind.  However there is nothing to stop you keeping in touch with your colleagues socially when you start a new role elsewhere.

Bad Mouthing

If you hear worrying information about your new company, please call Rubicon Recruitment to dispel the rumour.  We have committed to only work with companies whose core values match our own and we would never place you in a company we did not trust to look after their employee’s well-being.

Shown the Door
Some companies feel that making an employee work their notice can upset or demotivate the rest of the workforce.  Try not to take this too personally, it is probably for the best and you can now join your new company much sooner.

Above All
If you have any worries or doubts during this transition, please talk to us.  Moving to a new company is challenging and exciting, but can still feel daunting.  We will support you as much as professionally possible during this process and beyond.

Handing in your notice

Congratulations on being offered your new position, now comes the often daunting task of handing in your notice.

Sometimes this stage of resigning can be more nerve-racking than the interview itself, especially if you’ve been with your present company for a long time.

Here are some Top Tips to guide you through this process:


Once you’ve received your offer letter from your new company, you need to prepare to hand in your notice. Try not to feel guilty about resigning. Remember the reasons why you decided to leave and take comfort that those reasons are unlikely to change.

Write a ‘Letter of Resignation’

Keep this short and concise. Include the notice period you will serve and any outstanding pay, including: holiday pay, bonuses and expenses or commissions owed.

It is best practice to type this letter, not hand-write, and deliver the letter in person by arranging a meeting. If for any reason you’re going to email this letter save it as a PDF document first.

Don’t leave it on your desk for your boss or another colleague to find and don’t give it to them and go back to your desk without a conversation! This is one letter that will need to be discussed.

The Meeting

Arrange a meeting with your manager as soon as possible. If there is nowhere private at your place of work, suggest having a coffee somewhere or meeting after hours. Prepare what you are going to say and don’t forget to take your letter of resignation.

Keep the meeting professional and show your appreciation for your time spent with the company. Agree your leaving date and the date you will be paid for outstanding wages plus don’t forget to ask for a written reference.

The meeting should be very straightforward, especially if you show from the start that your mind is made up. If you show any doubt about your decision it will be picked up on, remain calm and confident.

Don’t let time drag

Companies are often shocked and upset to lose a good member of staff and they can be caught unaware when you hand in your notice. Try to remember however that your new company will be keen for you to join them and not to let your current employer drag out the leaving process for longer than needs be.

Rubicon’s March Charity Draw – Boo

Congratulations to Boo, our charity draw winner for March. We had the privilege of presenting them with a £200 donation in our Great Chamber.

In attendance to present the cheque to Jeremy, who accepted the cheque on behalf of the Boo charity, was Emma from Norco Holdings and Jo West (Director at Rubicon Recruitment). 

Boo exists to help children of Africa disadvantaged through economic poverty, providing help in a variety of ways, including food, shelter, health, education, life-skills and emotional support. Their entry was submitted by Norco who specialise in GRP mouldings and composite structures, providing composite solutions for end users all over the world

How does our charity draw work?

Since December 2016 we’ve committed to holding a monthly draw to select a charitable cause who will receive a £200 donation from us. We’re inviting local employers and staff to submit the details of their chosen charities who will then be in with a chance of winning.

On the last Thursday of each month we’ll enter all the charity submissions into the prize draw. A winning charity will be drawn at random and a representative from that charity will be invited into our offices in Poole to receive the £200 donation from Rubicon.

Each month we’ll publish on our company blog the details of the draw and the charity benefiting from our donation, as well as the company that submitted the winning charity.

There’s no limit to the amount of applications we can process for each charity, the greater the number of requests you can generate, the higher the chances that your charity will be drawn and receive our monthly donation.

To enter a charity into the draw click here.

Rubicon’s February Charity Draw – Together for Short Lives

For February’s winner of our charity draw, we have decided to sponsor the Hall & Woodhouse Beer Festival which raises money for their chosen charity, Together for Short Lives.

The 2017 Beer Festival, held on Saturday 24th June will generate funds providing support to the families of children who are effected by conditions that are expected to shorten their lives. It also supports the professionals who help take care of them during these difficult times.

Read more

Rubicon Recruitment shares it’s 35th year with the Bournemouth Bay Run

On Sunday 2nd April the Bournemouth Bay Run returned for it’s 35th year; queue the 80’s inspired fancy dress! Rubicon Recruitment were proud sponsors, sharing our 35th birthday with this ever-popular running event.

With approximately 15,000 runners and spectators taking part, the 2017 run was the biggest yet with a 20% increase in participant numbers. Our very own Directors Jessica Jones and Terry Porter were amongst the runners this year, along with Recruitment Consultants Alice Alcock, Joanna Wharton and Harriet Jones

Thank you to the 200 marshals who volunteered their time to ensure the day was a success, and to the event team who walked miles just working the event! Whether you took part in the 1k fun run or committed to the half-marathon we congratulate you and hope to see you again next year.

Questions you could ask during an interview

It is best practice to prepare some questions to ask during your interview. This shows the employer you are keen to find out more about the company and are interested to work with them.

Here are some great examples:


“How would you describe the culture of your company?”

Every company has core values which they believe sets them apart from the rest. It provides them with a perfect opportunity to sell themselves to you and highlight any defining differentiators.  Refer back to things you have researched online.


“Why has this position become available?”

This gives you the chance to find out exactly why they’re interviewing. It may not be a negative i.e. someone has left, but a positive if the company is expanding for any reason.


“What has the staff turnover rate of the department been?”

This gives you a good insight into the culture and operations of a company. Again, it may not be a negative; sales companies often have high-turnover as is the nature of the industry.


“Do you have an appraisal system? How does it work?”

By asking this question you are showing your enthusiasm to receive feedback, constructive criticism and appraisals. Any hands-on business will appreciate an employee who is keen to progress, develop and learn.


“Does the company provide a training programme?”

Similar to the previous, this gives you an opportunity to show you’re proactive towards development. It is also good for you to find out these things before starting at a new company so you know what to expect from your potential employer.


 “Beyond the actual job, what are your expectations?”

Unless the job you’re applying for is a general ‘pushing paper’ type role, you’re probably keen to take on extra responsibilities and prove your commitment to your work. This doesn’t mean working ridiculous hours! It is simply a chance to find out how they recognise a ‘successful’ employee and what they expect from you beyond the basic job specification.


“What would be the next career step?”

Asking this question shows your willingness to progress within the company and your enthusiasm to be there long-term. It also provides you with the perfect opportunity to see how your role might evolve within the company.


These examples are just a handful of questions you could ask at your job interview, your Rubicon Consultant will be able to go through any of these with you and ensure you have one or two questions prepared before the day. Good luck!

For further advice speak to one of our specialist Recruitment Consultants by calling 01202 680 311. Happy job hunting!

Questions you could be asked during an interview

Interviews are an opportunity for the company to find out more about you and for you to find out more about the job.

We recommend you study this list and plan your answers ahead of time, ensuring you’ll be ready to deliver them with confidence.

Candidates can often stumble through interviews, fearing any unexpected questions. Many interview questions however are to be expected, based on their purpose to help the interviewer understand you better.

The answers provided are deliberately specific and unlikely to relate to your exact situation. It’s important you prepare your own responses based on the role you’re interviewing for.


Tell me about yourself

What are your primary selling points for this job? This could be the number of years of experience you have, in a particular industry or area of specialisation, or your specific skill-set. You might also want to highlight special training and technical skills. Focus on the qualifications in the job description and how you meet and exceed the requirements.


Why are you interested in this position right now?

You can wrap up your answer by indicating why you are looking for a new challenge and why you feel this role is the best next step.


What are your weaknesses?

Often the most dreaded question. Handle it by minimising your weakness through emphasising your strengths, or by describing how you are working to mitigate or improve.

Stay away from personal qualities and concentrate on professional traits:
“I’m always working on improving my communication skills to be a more effective presenter. I recently joined Toastmasters, which I find very helpful.”


Why should we hire you?

This is a good opportunity to summarise your experiences and state your relevant and fundamental successes:
“With five years’ experience working in the financial industry, and my proven record of saving the company money, I could make a big difference in your company. I’m confident I’d be a great addition to your team.”


Why do you want to work here?

The interviewer is listening for an answer that indicates you have given this some thought and are not sending out CVs just because there is an opening. Refer to any information you have gathered about the company during your preparation:
“I’ve selected key companies whose mission statements are in line with my values, where I know I could be excited about what the company does, and this company is very high on my list of desirable choices.”


What are your personal goals?

Sometimes it’s best to talk about short-term and intermediate goals rather than locking yourself into the distant future:
“My immediate goal is to get a job in a growth-oriented company. My long-term goal will depend on where the company goes. I hope to eventually grow into a position of greater responsibility.”


Why did you leave (or why are you leaving) your job?

If you’re unemployed, state your reason for leaving in a positive context:
“I managed to survive two rounds of corporate downsizing, but the third round was a 20 percent reduction in the workforce, which included me.”

If you’re employed, focus on what you want in your next job:
“After two years, I made the decision to look for a company that is team-focused and where my experience is valued.”


When were you most satisfied in your job?

The interviewer wants to know what motivates you. If you can relate to an example of a job or project when you were excited, the interviewer will get an idea of your preferences.
“I was very satisfied in my last job where I was working directly with the customers and their problems – that’s an important part of the job for me.”


What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?

What makes you unique? Summarise your experiences, skills and traits:
“I have a unique combination of  technical skills and the ability to build strong customer relationships. This allows me to use my knowledge and break down information to be more user-friendly.”


What are three positive things your last boss would say about you?

This is the chance to use any past performance appraisals:
“My boss has told me that I’m the best designer he’s ever had. He knows he can rely on me and he likes my sense of humour.”


For further advice speak to one of our specialist Recruitment Consultants by calling 01202 680 311. Happy job hunting!