choosing end date when resigning

A reader writes:

I am leaving my job within the next month. I would like to carry over my end date into a new month in order to stay eligible for benefits within the next month. When I give a 2 week notice, is it 10 working days and can I give my notice mid-week?

Typically, two weeks notice means 10 business days, and you can give it any time during the week that you want.

However, be aware that employers can handle this however they want; your boss is free to tell you that they don’t need you to work the full two weeks and your last day will be this Friday — or even today.

Companies vary widely in how they handle this. Personally, I am a big fan of letting people work their entire notice period, even when they give months of notice — because it’s very helpful to me to be able to get a head start on the hiring process before the person is gone. However, there are some circumstances where I’d have a resigning employee leave faster than their notice period, such as a new-ish employee who is still being trained (since there’s no point in continuing to train someone who is about to leave) or a poor performer.

Other companies do things differently. Your best bet is to pay attention to how your employer has handled other employees who resign. Are people shown the door immediately? Pushed out earlier than they would have otherwise planned to leave? Allowed to work their full notice period?

In any case, don’t assume that you control the selection of your last day once you give notice (especially if you’re deliberately manipulating it in order to extend benefits, something your employer might not be thrilled about).

{ 1 comment… read it below }

  1. class-factotum*

    I assume you are talking about health insurance. Don’t you have 60 days to decide whether to take COBRA? As in, if you need to see a doc or go to the ER after you’ve left Job A and before you’ve starte Job B, you could decide to take COBRA after the fact? (A big flaw in COBRA as far as I’m concerned, but they didn’t ask me.)

    If that is still the case with COBRA, then put a couple hundred dollars aside to pay the premium should it be necessary. It will still probably be cheaper than any doc or hospital bill.

    If you are not going to a new job, then you need to be thinking about what you are going to do for health insurance anyhow.You’re not going to go without insurance, are you? I mean, you’re not going to stick the taxpayers with paying for your medical care, right?

    Individual policies are available for less than COBRA, unless you’re sick, but you don’t want any lapse in coverage or else the insurance companies get a little scared.

    “He’s just buying insurance because he’s sick!” Which, often, is the case, which is why you need to buy insurance when you don’t need it and before you have lost the other insurance.

    PS You need to make sure of your company’s policy, regardless. Sometimes insurance terminates on an employee’s term date; sometimes it goes to the end of the month. Find out.

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