As an employee, you can try and agree a shorter notice period with the employer. If an agreement is not reached to waive the notice period, and you refuse to work the notice period that is required by the employment contract, you will be in breach of contract and your employer is not required to pay your notice. For more details see Contractual Notice Pay below.
Statutory Notice Pay
Statutory notice is the minimum legal notice that is required. If you’re handing in your notice as an employee, you must give your employer a minimum of one week’s notice once you have been employed for one month.
Or if your employer is giving you notice, then as an employee you are entitled to receive one week’s notice and pay if you have been continuously employed for one month or more, but for less than two years. If you’ve been employed for two years or more, you’re entitled to receive two weeks’ notice and pay, plus one week’s pay for each year of continuous employment with the employer, up to a maximum of 12 weeks’ pay.
Contractual Notice Pay
An employer can set out in the employment contract a contractual notice period which is usually longer than the statutory notice period.
As an employee you can try and agree a shorter notice period with the employer. If an agreement is not reached to waive the notice period, and you refuse to work the notice period that is required by the employment contract, you will be in breach of contract and your employer is not required to pay your notice.
Your employer also has the right to bring a claim for damages against you in a Civil Court for the cost of any loss to their business. Although the likelihood of this is rare, since it is usually very hard for an employer to identify any financial loss as a result of an employee’s early departure.
There are some exceptions to this. For example, if an employee is dismissed for gross misconduct, he/she will not be required to work their notice period and in return will not receive any notice pay. Or if an employee resigns due to a fundamental breach by their employer, it may not be necessary for him/her to give notice.
Alternatively, your employer may place you on ‘garden leave’. This is where the employee is not required to attend the workplace, although they remain an employee until their last day of employment. They can remain on garden leave until their notice period has expired.
Pay In Lieu of Notice (PILON)
Pay in lieu of notice is made to an employee where their employment is terminated without notice, instead of the employee working their notice period.
The employment contract may allow for a PILON to be made, and in such circumstances the termination of employment will be immediate. Without a PILON term within the employment contract, any such payment in lieu of notice is likely to be considered a breach of contract and the employee would have a claim for damages.