Employment can usually only be terminated by either party giving a period of notice, unless an employee is contracted to work for only a specific fixed period of time or their contract provides other circumstances that automatically end it.
The contract can set out how much notice either party needs to give, but the employer must give the employee at least the statutory minimum period of notice which is one week, until there have been two completed years of continuous employment, after which it is one week for every completed year of employment up to a maximum of 12 weeks’ notice. This rule applies to employees who have been employed for more than a month.
An employee only has to give their employer a week’s notice, after a month of employment, irrespective of how long they are employed.
There is however an implied term that both employer and employee must give each other reasonable notice and the circumstances of a particular business may require greater notice than the statutory minimum. If the contract expressly provides for a notice period that is not less than the statutory minimum then it will be binding.
Wrongful dismissal is where an employer who dismisses someone without contractual or statutory notice will be in breach of contract and liable to pay compensation.
Bishopsgate Law employment lawyers provide independent legal advice about employment settlement agreements, and represent employees and employers at employment tribunals.