Q&As

If an employment contract requires notice of termination ‘in writing’ but does not define what this means, would notice by email constitute effective service? Can an employee argue that notice of termination has not been effectively given if it is served by a method not expressly set out in the contract?

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Published on LexisPSL on 12/10/2020

The following Employment Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • If an employment contract requires notice of termination ‘in writing’ but does not define what this means, would notice by email constitute effective service? Can an employee argue that notice of termination has not been effectively given if it is served by a method not expressly set out in the contract?

You have asked: If an employment contract requires notice of termination ‘in writing’ but does not define what this means, would notice by email constitute effective service? Can an employee argue that notice of termination has not been effectively given if it is served by a method not expressly set out in the contract?

There is no statutory requirement that notice of termination needs to be given in writing (notice may be oral or in writing), provided it is clearly communicated. For further information, see Practice Note: Contractual notice.

All contracts of employment must include details of the length of notice that the employee is entitled to receive in order to terminate the contract. For further information, see Practice Note: Written statements of employment particulars—What the written statement must cover.

There are also statutory minimum periods of notice that must be complied with when terminating a contract of employment, although a contract of employment can specify a longer notice period. For more information, see Practice Note: Statutory minimum notice.

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