Dismissing employees? How do I calculate their notice entitlement?

What should you consider when calculating an employee’s notice period?

Calculating an employee’s notice period depends on a number of factors: 

  • How long they have been employed by you 
  • What is written in their contract of employment 
  • Whether they have been dismissed, made redundant or if they have resigned. 

Let us look first at notice when being dismissed or made redundant :

An employee should get at least the legal minimum ‘statutory notice period’ if: 

  • they are legally classed as an employee 
  • they have worked for the employer for at least a month 

In these cases, the minimum notice periods are: 

  • 1 week if they have worked for you for more than one month but less than 2 years 
  • Between 2- and 12-years’ service, they will be entitled to one week for every year they have worked for you 
  • There is a cap at 12 weeks’ notice, so anyone with more than 12 years of service can still only receive a maximum of 12 weeks’ notice. 

For example, if your employee has worked for you for 5 years and 9 months, they have 5 complete years of service and so would be entitled to at least 5 weeks’ notice.

Review your contractual notice policy

Your contracts of employment might say something different and this is the employee’s contractual notice. If this is more than the statutory amount then you need to go with this amount, but you can never give less than the legal minimum. 

When an employee gives you notice of their resignation, an employee’s contract should say how much notice they must give you when resigning. 

If it does not, and an employee has worked for you for less than a month, legally they do not have to give you notice. If an employee has worked for you for more than 1 month, they should give at least 1 week’s notice. If this doesn’t sound like very much, then it is important that you have an expressed notice clause in your contract 

You can agree to release an employee from their notice period early but any decision to do so should be confirmed in writing. 

In the event of dismissing an employee for gross misconduct:

There is a situation in which you would not be obliged to give an employee any notice and this is if you are dismissing them for gross misconduct. In these cases you would be dismissing them with immediate effect and no notice or pay in lieu of notice would be due. 

If you’ve got any specific queries, please do get in touch by using the contact form below: