If you have a contract of employment or statement of main terms, this will usually state what notice your employer must give to you in the event they seek to terminate your employment. If there is no such contract or statement or it is silent, then there are statutory minimum periods of notice as follows:
- If you have worked between 1 month and 2 years, you are entiled to 1 week’s notice;
- If you have worked between 2 and 12 years, you are entitled to 1 week for every full continuous year worked up to a maximum of 12 weeks.
These are only minimum, so senior employees may be able to argue that reasonable notice in their particular case having regard to the particular industry and seniority of the employee is more than the statutory minimum.
What notice must you give to your employer?
If you have a contract of employment or statement of main terms, then this may provide for the notice to be given to your employer in the event you terminate the contract.
If not, then statutory minimum notice is 1 week. Again, this is only the minimum and the employer may be able to argue that reasonable notice in the particular industry and having regard to the seniority of the employee is more than the statutory minimum.
Payment in lieu of notice (“PILON”)
Your contract may have a PILON clause within it that provides that your employer may at its discretion not require you to work your notice in whole or in part and pay you in lieu of notice instead. If there is no contractual right reserved to your employer to do this, then they cannot lawfully do so and have to give you due notice. They may however ask you to go on garden leave and serve your notice at home.
During a period of garden leave you are still an employee, so are still entitled to be paid and receive all your contractual benefits but you are still subject to the employer’s contractual terms and conditions, restrictive covenants and confidentiality provisions.
If your employer pays in lieu in breach of contract without the express contractual right to do so then the payment as damages for breach of contract should also include compensation for the loss of any other contractual perks that you would have had the benefit of during the notice period had your employer allowed you to work your notice such as a company car, employer pension contributions, holiday pay and any other perks.
To discuss these issues with a specialist employment law solicitor on a No Win No Fee basis, call 0800 612 9509 or fill in one of our online contact forms today.