Notice Period

What Is a Notice Period?

Notice period is the amount of time between when an employee notifies their organization that they will be leaving their job and when they actually leave.

On the flip side, it’s the amount of time that an employer has to give their employee if they are terminating the contract – whatever the reason that might be.

There are a couple of different types of notice period that you might need to understand:

Pay In Lieu – as soon as notice has been given, you might find that an employer asks you to stop working immediately and gives you a lump sum of cash instead of having you work throughout the notice period. That’s pay in lieu.

Garden Leave – an employer can ask you not to come into the office during your notice period. Garden leave doesn’t mean you can jet off on a vacation between jobs – you’ll need to be on standby if your employer does require you to work.

How Long of a Notice Period Should You Give?

How long a notice period you have to work should be outlined in your contract, so always check there first.

That said, there is a legal minimum.

  • If you’ve been employed for between one month and two years, the notice period is one week.
  • If you have been employed for over two years, the notice period is two weeks.

Don’t forget that this is only the legal minimum – your contract may stipulate other terms, so consult it before planning your notice.

What Do Employers Need to Know about Notice Period?

There are many nuances to the law when it comes to notice period. If you’re an employer, here are the most important things you need to know:

  • If your employee fails to give notice, they could be in breach of contract.
  • Similarly, if an employer fails to give notice, they too could be in breach of contract.
  • In the case of gross misconduct by an employee, as an employer, you have a right to terminate a contract with no notice.


See our full list of over 50 Small Business Terms here


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