Legal Article - Employment Law

Notice of Termination of Employment

Both the employer and the employee are entitled to a statutory minimum period of notice of termination of employment. After one month’s employment, an employee must give at least one week’s notice irrespective of length of service. Within the first month of employment, no notice need be given. The contract of employment can require a longer notice period to be given by the employee, which can vary with length of service.

An employer must give an employee at least one week’s notice after one month’s employment, two weeks’ notice after two years, three weeks’ after three years, and so on, up to 12 weeks after employment lasting 12 years or more. If the contract of employment requires the employer to give longer notice, this takes precedence over the statutory requirements.

Either employers or employees can waive their rights to notice or give and accept payment in lieu of notice (see Wrongful Dismissal below). Also, either party can terminate the contract without notice if the conduct of the other justifies it (known as Constructive Dismissal if the employee does so, and Dismissal for Gross Misconduct if the employer terminates the contract).

Employees are normally entitled to receive payment during the statutory notice period. This is particularly true if they are given notice whilst being incapable of work because of sickness or injury, or absent wholly or partly because of pregnancy or childbirth, or laid-off i.e. if an employee is ill when given statutory notice of termination the employer must pay normal earnings, even if the employee has exhausted all sick pay entitlement or has not been receiving any other payments.

Published: 03 Jun 2011

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