Statutory Notice Period: Employer's Guide

By Amanda Beattie
15 Jul 2019

Every business has a standard which they expect their employees to meet. If they don’t reach expectations, you’re within your right to end an employee’s contract of employment.

During the process of firing an employee, you’ll need to keep certain things in mind. One of which is their statutory minimum notice period.

There are two main types of notice periods:

  1. Contractual
  2. And statutory.

Contractual notice is the amount of time set out in an employee’s contract of employment. While this time can be above the statutory notice period, it can’t be less than it.

We’ll focus on the rules surrounding notice periods and your obligations as an employer.


What is statutory notice period in the UK?

Under section 86 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, it’s the least amount of notice required before terminating a contract of employment.

But what is the statutory minimum notice period? It depends on the amount of time that they’ve spent in your employment.

  • If they've been with the organisation for one month or more, but less than two years, you should give them one week’s notice.
  • If they’ve been with your organisation for two years, you should give them two weeks’ notice. This goes up to an extra week for every further year of service (up to a maximum of 12 weeks’ notice).

So for example, an employee worked for your organisation continuously for six years. The statutory notice period said employee receives amounts to six weeks.

It’s also worth noting, irrespective of the amount of time employees spend at your organisation, they’re required to give at least one week’s notice if they plan to resign after a month’s service.


What is the statutory notice period for redundancy?

Employees are bound to have a feeling of uncertainty if they’re made redundant.

For this reason, you’re required to give them a statutory redundancy notice period (in writing) to allow them to prepare and make alternative arrangements.

During redundancies, the statutory notice periods are:

  • At least one week’s notice if the employee’s been with you for longer than one month but less than two years.
  • If they’ve been with you for two years or more, then an additional one week (up to 12 weeks) for every further year.
  • 12 weeks for staff members with 12 years or more continuous service.

Terminating employment without notice

In rare cases, it’s possible to fire an employee without a notice period. This is only necessary when you’re dismissing them on the grounds of gross misconduct.

It’s when an employee behaves in a way that breaches their employment contract. Examples of behaviour considered gross misconduct include:

  • Physical abuse.
  • Gross negligence.
  • And serious insubordination.

Expert Support

If you’d like to find out more information on any of the topics mentioned in this article, please contact Croner on 0808 145 3380.

About the Author

Amanda Beattie

Amanda represents corporate clients and large public bodies, including complex discrimination and whistleblowing claims. Amanda also drafts and delivers bespoke training regarding all aspects of employment law, including ‘mock tribunal’ events; in addition she also frequently drafts employment law articles for various publications for Croner and their clients.

Get expert views & insights delivered directly to your inbox