By Tolley

The following Employment Tax guidance note by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Notice
  • Statutory notice
  • Length of statutory minimum notice
  • Where statutory minimum notice not given
  • Contractual notice
  • Termination without notice
  • Waiver of notice

All case references in this guidance note are subscription sensitive.

Statutory notice

There is a statutory minimum notice period that must be given to bring a contract of employment to an end, except where one of the parties is entitled to terminate the employment without notice, eg where an employer may dismiss an employee without notice for gross misconduct. The length of the statutory notice period depends on how long the employee has been working for the employer. Where the contract provides for a notice period that is shorter than the statutory minimum, the statute overrides the wording of the contract so that, in effect, the contract is treated as giving the statutory entitlement. This does not prevent the contract of employment from specifying a longer notice period.

The parties can agree to waive their rights to statutory minimum notice, or agree to payment in lieu of statutory minimum notice.

ERA 1996, s 86(3)

A very limited number of employee groups can be excluded from the minimum notice period mechanism. These are:

  • certain merchant seamen (ERA 1996, s 199(1))
  • people in the armed forces (ERA 1996, s 192)
  • Crown employees (ERA 1996, s 191)
  • parliamentary staff (ERA 1996, ss 194, 195)
  • people employed overseas (on the basis of territorial scope of ERA 1996) (Lawson v Serco Ltd [2006] UKHL 3)
Length of statutory minimum notice

The periods of statutory minimum notice to be given to employees are as follows:

Length of

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