An employee who has worked continuously for a company for one month is required to receive at least one week’s notice. This increases to a minimum of two weeks’ notice if the employee has been employed continuously for more than two years. One additional week’s notice is added for every subsequent continuous year of employment to a maximum of twelve weeks.
An employer can if they wish include longer periods of notice in the contract of employment. A balance needs to be made between the value of the employee to the business and the impact his or her departure would have on the business against the potentially negative implications of having a disenfranchised employee forced to work a long notice period, when their heart is no longer in the job.
Notice periods can be a source of confusion for employers particularly when an employee is entitled by law to more weeks notice than their contractual notice period. This would occur when, say, a contract states the employee has to give four weeks’ notice but IF they have been with the company continuously for SAY six years and YOU ARE TERMINATING THEIR EMPLOYMENT THEYare entitled to six weeks’ notice.