Termination by the Employer- Notice Periods; Garden Leave and Pay in Lieu

Site updated on August 5, 2016

If you are dismissed, or made redundant, your employer should give you notice of the effective date of your dismissal. The law requires that you receive at least the following notice periods:

For less than one month’s service, there is no statutory notice entitlement for the employee, but check your contract.

  • After one month’s service and up to two years’ service, one week’s statutory notice is required, if your employment is terminated.
  • From two years’ service and above, the notice requirement is one week’s notice for each year of completed service up to a maximum of 12 years – a maximum of 12 weeks notice, to you from your employer.

Therefore after 6 years of completed service you would be entitled to receive 6 weeks’ statutory notice. 12 weeks’ notice is the most required by law, however, some contracts may provide for longer than 12 weeks and in this situation the contractual term is the effective one. Check your contract to see what your rights are.

These notice periods only apply when your Employer is terminating the contract. If you resign and wish to give notice to leave, this is down to your contract of employment.

The notice you have to give your Employer does not increase with your length of service.

You can be asked to work your notice; this is more likely in redundancy situations.

If your contract allows, you may be placed on “garden leave” for some or all of your notice – whether you are dismissed or if you have resigned. This means that you are still working under your contract for your employer, but you are not actually required to carry out any work.

If you are not required to work your notice your Employer should talk to you about a Payment in Lieu of your notice. This should be allowed for in your contract. If you have any concerns about this, or you wish to know more, contact our advice line.

If you are given statutory notice – you must be paid during this notice period even if you are unable to work, or if sick pay has expired. You may well be entitled to certain benefits during your notice period, for example a company car.

If you are dismissed for gross misconduct , your employer may decide not to make a payment for the period of notice – but you should still get outstanding holiday pay.

If your employer terminates the contract without giving proper notice, this is also classed as a breach of contract and can amount to what is called a “wrongful dismissal”. An employee who is wrongfully dismissed may make a claim to an Employment Tribunal. There is no service requirement for this claim, unlike unfair dismissal which requires two year’s service. – If this applies to you go to the Tribunal Section now.

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