Managing staff redundancies: step by step

Step 4: Give employees notice of redundancy

You can only give an employee notice of redundancy once you've finished consulting everyone. Find out more about when to consult.

It's best to tell an employee face to face that you're making them redundant. You should also let them know in writing.

You should include in the letter:

  • their notice period
  • leaving date
  • how much redundancy pay they're due
  • how you calculated the redundancy pay
  • any other pay you owe them (for example holiday pay)
  • when and how you'll pay them
  • how they can appeal

Download redundancy letter templates.

During the coronavirus pandemic, employees still have the same employment rights, including notice of redundancy.

How much notice you should give

The amount of notice you should give employees depends on how long they’ve worked for you.

You must give employees at least the statutory notice period (the legal minimum notice period) if they have the right to it. You should also check your employment contracts – employees will have the right to a longer notice period if it’s stated in their contract.

If they've worked for you for:

  • less than 1 month ⁠–⁠ they do not have the right to statutory notice
  • 1 month to 2 years ⁠–⁠ the minimum notice is 1 week
  • 2 to 12 years ⁠–⁠ the minimum notice is 1 week for each year they've worked
  • 12 years or more ⁠–⁠ the minimum notice is 12 weeks

When the notice period starts

It's a good idea to first check if your contracts say when notice periods take effect.

It might depend on how you give employees notice for redundancy.

For example:

  • if you tell the employee while they're at work, their notice should start from the next day
  • if you send the employee a letter or email, they must have a reasonable amount of time to read it before their notice starts

For example, if you give them notice in a letter sent by registered post, their notice period should start the day after they've received it and had time to read it.

You should make sure you know when the employee has received their notice. For example you could:

  • add a read receipt, if you send it by email
  • post it by delivery that has to be signed for, if you send it in a letter

You should make sure your employee understands how long their notice period is.

Employment can be terminated before the end of the notice period if the employee has agreed to take a payment in lieu of notice.