Minimum Notice Periods for Wrongful Dismissal

Even though Wrongful Dismissal is based upon contract law, there are minimum notice periods stated in the law. This is so that employees will be fairly treated by employers. These are as follows:

Time in Job
Under one month
Over one month
Two years' service
Three years' service
Four years' service
Minimum Notice
No Notice
1 Week
2 Weeks
3 Weeks
4 Weeks

This carries on with one weeks' notice for every extra year in the job until 12 years service. 12 weeks' notice is the maximum that the law goes up to.

However, a court or Employment Tribunal can allow for "reasonable notice" this will be more notice than the minimum protection. This discretion will only be used where it is unfair for the employee only to receive 12 weeks' notice. This discretion is rarely used.

However, many employment contracts allow for more than the minimum stated by the law. For example, it is not unusual for employees who have only worked for one year to be entitled to 3 months' notice under their employment.

This cuts both ways, if the employee decides to leave, the employer can ask and expect the employee to work this notice period. This gives the employer time to find a replacement. And if the employer wishes to dismiss the employee it gives the employee three months to find a new job.

This is why senior employees bring claims for Wrongful Dismissal rather than Unfair Dismissal because they are suing under the terms of their contract. Some contracts can state that the notice period is 12 months or more.

Finally, employees can agree to shorter notice periods than those above or even no notice at all.

Employers Breach under Wrongful Dismissal

Employment Law