Employer and employee have to serve notice of termination of employment if they want to close the relationship. Notice provisions are found in the employment contract.
If there is no written contract of employment then the employee will be entitled to statutory notice of termination, and if the employee resigns they will have to provide a reasonable period of notice according to their seniority and length of service.
Employers have to give regard to issues other than contractual notice when terminating employees. If they fail to progress a fair dismissal process the employee may have a statutory claim of unfair dismissal.
Alternatives to working notice
Providing the business has reserved the right to do so in the employment contract, then it may request that the employee serves out all or part of the notice period from home – this is called garden leave.
The employment contract may also give the employer a discretion to terminate employment immediately and to pay the employee in lieu of the notice period. If the employment contract does not have a payment in lieu of notice clause, then an immediate termination by the employer will undermine any post termination restrictions.
Failure to pay notice
An employer’s failure to pay notice is a breach of contract, also known as wrongful dismissal.
Depending on the circumstance some employers offer an enhanced termination package when they dismiss an employee. It is usual for the employer to request that both parties sign a settlement agreement to record the settlement and to protect the employer from future claims by the individual.
Contact us on 020 3878 8700 for a Free Chat if you have been terminated (with or without notice).