A notice period is the amount of time an employee will work from when they hand in their resignation letter to their final day of work. Notice periods are typically between two weeks to a month.
What are the different types of notice periods?
- Statutory notice periods: The legal minimum amount of time an employee needs to provide.
- Contractual notice periods: Notice periods that are defined in the employment contract.
- Probationary notice periods: Probationary periods are between one to three months where employers see if new employees meet work, adaptivity, and cultural standards before offering them a permanent role.
- Gross misconduct: If an employee has committed gross misconduct, the employer can dismiss them without notice.
Payment in lieu of notice: Employers pay the employee what they’re owed in gross wages during their notice period, but do not expect them to carry out work.
Why is a notice period important?
A notice period helps the employer prepare for the employee’s departure. Without a notice period, the employee’s team may need to scramble to pick up the workload or rush to fill the position and end up with an unqualified hire.
When an employee gives proper notice, the team has time to either hire a qualified worker for the role, or train a team member to take on additional responsibilities. A notice period also allows the company ample time to transition, setting them up for success. It’s common practice (in addition to being decent and responsible) for employees to give enough notice before leaving the role. Employees can benefit from leaving on good terms and employers can be prepared for the next steps.
How should employees submit their notice?
The employee figures out what their last day will be. At least two weeks is common.
The employee speaks to their supervisor to let them know they’re leaving and when their last day of employment will be.
The employee writes a letter or sends an email detailing the date of the notice, the employee’s contact information, a statement of resignation, a line or two of gratitude for the opportunity, and a signature.
The employee will let their team know, either in person or through a thoughtful message.
Finally, the employee may wish (or be contractually required) to train the new hire or show team members important workflows, files, or documents they’ll need to stay organized.