Dismissal or redundancy
An employee must get at least the 'statutory notice period'. This is the legal minimum notice period if they:
- are legally classed as an employee
- have worked for the employer for at least a month
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
The employee's contract 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.
Possible exceptions to the statutory notice period
There are exceptions to the rules on notice period and pay.
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.
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.
For more advice on exceptions to the statutory notice period, you can contact the Acas helpline.