What is Notice and How much do I need to give?

A notice period is the length of time you must give your employer to bring your employment agreement to an end. Your required notice period will ordinarily be set out in your employment agreement or applicable modern award, industrial instrument, or registered agreement.

For example, in the Building and Construction General On-Site Award 2020, the following minimum notice period is set out in Clause 40.1:

Employee’s period of Continuous Service with the employer at the end of the date the notice is givenPeriod of Notice
Not more than 1 year1 week
More than 1 year but not more than 3 years2 weeks
More than 3 years but not more than 5 years3 weeks
More than 5 years4 weeks

Some employees are not covered by a modern award or enterprise agreement. Many do not have written employment agreements or, their employment agreement is silent on the issue of notice. In those circumstances, you may only be required to provide ‘reasonable notice’ of their resignation.

What is considered ‘reasonable’ is highly dependent upon the circumstances of the individual employee and the resignation. Such things include:

  • the length of service of the employee;
  • the employee’s age;
  • the employee’s position with the employer, including their role or responsibilities; and
  • the employee’s remuneration (pay).

Notice periods do not apply to certain employees (such as casual employees).

It is important that you check their relevant documentation to ensure they provide the correct notice under their applicable employment agreement, modern award, industrial instrument, or registered agreement.

If you do not provide sufficient notice of your resignation, your employer may withhold wages.

Your notice period commences the day after you give notice of your resignation to your employer and is not extended or impacted by any periods of leave (person/sick or annual leave) taking during the notice period or any public holidays. It will end the required number of weeks after the commencement date of the notice period.

If you require assistance with determining your applicable notice period or navigating the resigning your employment, Adams & Partners Employment Law Team can help you. Contact us on (02) 4721 6200.

Written by Amelia Hatton.

 

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