Termination of Employment- Notice Periods and Pay

When either an employer or employee decides to terminate their contract of employment it will either be a resignation or a dismissal. When employment is terminated there will usually be a notice period, depending on the terms of employment, and the reason for termination. For example, a worker guilty of gross misconduct will often be dismissed without notice.

Useful information

  • Statutory and Contractual notice does not have to be given in writing. However, it is advisable to give notice in writing so that your intentions are clear and not misconstrued.
  • When you or your employer has issued notice it can only be withdrawn if both parties agree.
  • Notice periods will start the day after the notice has been issued, so if the employee issues their notice on a Monday the notice period will begin on the Tuesday.
  • Notice periods should be part of the main terms and conditions of employment and included in the employee’s written statement.
  • If an employer wants the employee to leave before their notice expires then the employee should be entitled to their wages in lieu of the balance of the notice period.


Statutory Notice

Both employer and employee are usually entitled to a minimum period of notice following the termination of employment. ‘Statutory notice’ is the notice set down by law, after one month’s employment employers and employees must give each other at least one week’s notice.

If you have two years service then you are entitled to two weeks notice. For each additional year’s service you are entitled to an added week of notice, up to a maximum of 12 weeks for 12 years service. However, the employee could be entitled to longer depending on the terms of their contract of employment, although in practice most workers are entitled to statutory notice. Normally employees will receive their normal pay during their notice period.

Fixed term contracts

An employer who ends a fixed term contract prematurely must pay the employee the sum equivalent to the remainder of the unexpired term of the contract. If the contract has expired there is usually no requirement to give notice.

However, employers usually add a break clause into your contract. This clause allows both the employer and the employee to end the contract before its expiry, usually on the service of particular period of notice (eg. 1 month).

If you terminate your contract by resigning you may be entitled to pursue various claims, such as notice pay, outstanding pay or benefits, accrued holiday pay and in some cases constrictive and unfair dismissal.

If you are dismissed you may have claims available to you, including unfair dismissal, as well as over matters such as notice and holiday pay. In all cases strict time limits apply and it is usually necessary to commence a claim within three months of employment ending.

At a time were a job is becoming increasingly more valuable because of the current economic climate it is important to ensure that your employment rights are protected. If you have been handed your notice or if you are considering handing in your notice and want to know what is required of both you and your employer then speak to our employment department.

EAD Solicitors employment law solicitors can provide you with the advice that is best suited to your situation. Call us today on 0151 735 1000, or use our ask a solicitor service- Ask EAD



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