How long employees must give notice before they can resign as a guide

This occurs frequently in employees are encouraged to look for "greener pastures" in other businesses. When a member of staff "on the spot," an employer has very little time to risk manage the situation before the employee is no longer under their employ. departure, by taking measures such as ensuring that all of their work is completed and handed over to the appropriate parties. to another worker, or even finding a replacement for the position

While this is not the case It is illegal for employees to resign without giving proper notice, and employees who do so may be subject to disciplinary action. consequences for employees who fail to provide their employers with the required amount of notice before resigning their positions The question of notice can on occasion present employees and employers with a number of challenges. employers to get their heads around, particularly for employees' minimum notice requirements periods

Minimum periods of notice required of employers

The National Employment Standards (NES) are mandated by the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) ("FW Act"), which is the governing legislation in Australia. In turn, the NES determines the minimum employment entitlements that are required to be provided to all employees. These minimum employment entitlements include, but are not limited to the following

  • weekly hours;
  • various leave entitlements;
  • holidays recognized publicly; and
  • notice/redundancy

In section 117 of the FW Act, employers are given the minimum amount of notice that they are required to give to their employees. The following types of notice periods are applicable according to section 117:

Time Allotment for the Service Time allotted for the Notice less than one year 1 week 1 year and continuing until the end of the 3 year period 2 weeks From three years all the way up to the end of five years 3 weeks 5 years of age and up 4 weeks

Having said that, this There is no mention of the notice that the employee is required to provide in any section of the FW Act. to provide in return

It should also be noted that the requirements of this section of the FW Act are limited by the application of s. 123 of the FW Act, which outlines some exceptions where the employer is not required to provide this notice (i.e., if the employee is a member of the employer's immediate family or if the employee is a member of the immediate family of the employee e employees who were terminated because of "serious misconduct," as well as casual employees

Minimum employees' rights to receive notice periods

According to section 118 of the FW Act, modern awards of enterprise agreements can specify the amount of notice an employee is required to give their employer in order to resign from their position.

Most modern clauses in awards titled "Termination of Employment" require an employee to provide a reason for leaving their position. to give the same amount of notice that is required by the employer (i.e., one month), e the notice required by the NES, with the exception of an additional week's notice that is required for anyone older than 45 years of age)

What are the repercussions if a contemporary award is not applicable?

Where a contemporary If the award is not applicable, the employee and employer are free to negotiate their own terms for the contract. that stipulate a different notice period (provided that it is comparable to or longer than the current one) than the baseline eligibility for NES benefits)

Because of this, while The notice that is required from each party, the employer and the employee, is almost always the same. employee and employer can come to an agreement on minimum notice periods that are unique to each party. For instance, a company might insist that an employee (who has successfully finished his or her during their trial period) to give them a notice period of four weeks (regardless of the results of their regardless of length of service, the employer is only required to comply with the notice requirements. a time frame within the NES

In the end, given that As long as the employer complies with the minimum notice period outlined in the NES, any additional notices are deemed to be valid. arrangement is possible Obviously, if a prospective employer intends to demand an excessive notice period (i e 12 months), it is likely that it will have an effect on their ability to entice workers to work for them in their company

What should we do in the event that the required amount of notice is not specified anywhere?

If an employment agreement:

  • does not state the notice that it requires period of time (or there is no agreement); and
  • no other award given out today, the applicable legal framework is a commercial instrument or a registered agreement,

therefore, both the and When a termination is to take place, both the employee and the employer are required to provide "reasonable notice." employment

In this For example, the employer is allowed to have the expectation that the employee will provide notice. equivalent to the amount of time an employer can anticipate it will take them to obtain an acceptable replacement

As a result, it is standard practice for executives and other senior employees to be afforded longer notice periods. up to three months or even longer (depending on the type of business and the position held by the employee).

What outcomes are possible in the event that an employee fails to provide the proper notification


  • There is a required minimum amount of notice time. which a worker is obligated to provide in order to comply with a contemporary award or industrial instrument agreement regarding employment; and
  • despite repeated requests, the employee has not provided this notice.

There is a possibility that the employer is allowed to withhold any money that is owed to the worker by the employer (e g outstanding pay), up to the total amount of the the amount of money that the worker would have earned if they had provided the service. required amount of advance notice and had worked the required amount of advance notice

For instance, in the event that an employee is if an employee is required to give a notice of two weeks but only gives one, the employer has the right to withhold the second week of pay the employee will forfeit one week's worth of pay and/or annual leave payments for failing to comply. provide the bare minimum amount of notice that is required

At the end of the day, the The terms of an employee's contract determine the amount of notice that they are required to give. applicable:

  • contemporary honor;
  • enterprise agreement; or
  • employment agreement/contract

In the event that none of the aforementioned circumstances are relevant to the employee's employment, an An employee is required to give an employer "reasonable notice," the specifics of which can vary. It depends on the kind of work that the employee does. It's possible that relevant factors include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • the number of years that the employee has been employed;
  • the amount of experience that an employee has;
  • how many other employees at your company have the same level of expertise as you do? seniority;
  • the characteristics of the position that the employee holds;
  • the payment due to the employee;
  • the age of the staff member; and
  • the employee's credentials as well as their prior work experience

What exactly do the Wizards say

An employer is defined as obligated to provide an employee with the statutory minimum amount of notice ultimately required by the NES On the other hand, a business agreement or employment contract may impose certain requirements. the obligation of the employer to provide a more advantageous entitlement.

For an employer who maintains active employee participation issues that are not addressed by a contemporary award or It is important that the notice periods be included in the enterprise agreement for both the company and the employees. the terms of individual employment contracts This will reduce the likelihood of confusion for both the reader and the speaker. both the employer and the worker

In a similar vein, employees who are able to people who are who are considering leaving their current jobs should make sure they provide the enterprise must comply with the requirements of the modern award regarding the appropriate notice period. agreement or employment agreement that is relevant to their position If unsure, Employees are able to communicate with their employers in order to make sure that this procedure is carried out as expected. as effortlessly as is possible

If you are having trouble with employee resignations, we can send you our free "How To Guide" on navigating "Employee Abandonment and Resignation," and we can discuss our resource pack, which includes all the letters and tools you'll need in the next instance of employee resignation. If you are having trouble with employee resignations, we can send you our free "How To Guide" on navigating "Employee Abandonment and Resignation." Simply give Workplace Wiizards a call at the following number: 03 9087 6949 (or send an email to [email protected]) to receive the free guide, or to have a free conversation with no obligations regarding the ways in which we can assist you.

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