Dismissal or redundancy - Notice periods

Dismissal or redundancy

An employee must get at least the 'statutory notice period'. This is the legal minimum notice period if they:

If they have worked for the employer for:

  • 1 month to 2 years – statutory notice is 1 week
  • 2 to 12 years – statutory notice is 1 week for each full year they have worked
  • 12 years or more – statutory notice is 12 weeks
For example, if an employee has worked for their employer for 4 years and 9 months, they're entitled to a statutory notice period of 4 weeks.

The employee's contract, written statement of employment particulars or a staff policy might say a different amount of notice. This is called 'contractual' notice. The employer may give more notice than the statutory minimum, but they cannot give the employee less.

You should talk to your employer if you're not sure how much notice you’ll get.

Find out more about employees' rights during redundancy

Possible exceptions to the statutory notice period

There are exceptions to the rules on notice period and pay.

Gross misconduct

If the employer believes the employee has done something serious enough to justify dismissing them for 'gross misconduct', the employee would not be entitled to the statutory notice period or any payment for it.

An agreement between the employer and employee

The employer and employee can agree to reduce the notice period, if it works for both of them.

For example, an employee might prefer to give up some of their notice period and pay, so they can start a job earlier somewhere else. If an employer and employee have an agreement like this, it should be put into writing, like in an email.

Both these situations can be complicated. Find out more about:

Resigning in response to a serious breach of contract

If you intend to resign because you believe your employer has seriously breached your employment contract, you might be considering a claim of 'constructive dismissal'. This can also affect the notice period.

Read more about constructive dismissal

For more advice on exceptions to the statutory notice period, you can contact the Acas helpline.

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