Paymaster Magazine

Termination of service some rules

Notice Period:

Worker employed for… Notice Period
6 months or less 1 week
More than 6 months, but less than 1 year 2 weeks
1 year or more 4 weeks

Unless :

The employment contract stipulates a longer notice period

A collective agreement has reduced the 4 weeks notice to 2 weeks

Notice must be given in writing

Any notice either by the employee or the employer must be in writing except where the employee is illiterate. Where an employee does not understand the notice this must be explained to them in an official language that they understand

Notice cannot be given or run concurrently

· During any period of annual leave

· During any period of sick leave

The principal her is that employers won’t force their employees to take annual leave and so avoid having to pay the employee for the outstanding leave. It is also to protect the employer from employees taking unnecessary sick leave and so avoid coming to work. So use your management discretion when dealing with this issue.

Example: if an employee (a habitual sick leave user) takes sick 2 days sick leave in their notice period and does not bring a doctors certificate you may want to consider making this unpaid leave.

However I would advise you to consult a labor consultant before making any decisions.

Pay Instead of Notice

Employers may decide to waive the notice period, but the worker must still be paid for the notice period. Should the employee not work their full notice then the days not worked may be deducted from the notice pay.

Notice and Accommodation

Workers who live on the premises of the employer may stay in the accommodation for 1 month if the employer ends the contract of employment prematurely.

Certificate of service

On termination of employment an employee is entitled to a certificate of service stating—

(a) The employee’s full name;

(b) The name and address of the employer;

(c) A description of any council or sectoral employment standard by which the employer’s business is


(d) The date of commencement and date of termination of employment;

(e) The title of the job or a brief description of the work for which the employee was employed at date

of termination;

(f) The remuneration at date of termination; and

(g) If the employee so requests, the reason for termination of employment

Adrian Baillie-Stewart

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