Whether you’re actively looking for your new job, have already secured your new job, or you’re just starting the process, it’s crucial that you know how much notice you need to give your employer. Because the last thing you want is to agree to a start date that you can’t do.
What is My Notice Period?
Your Notice period is your contractually obliged period of notice that you must provide to your employer that you are leaving. Reversely, it is the same length of period that they must provide to you as an employee, to signify termination of your employment.
How long these notice periods are can vary wildly, depending on the contract you signed when you joined the business.
Notice periods are designed to protect both you as the employee and the employer from sudden departure or dismissal. The notice period helps you to find a new job if your company suddenly lets you go. And it also helps to protect the business if you decide to leave your job. Which is why the longer you are employed, the longer a notice period usually grows.
How Much Notice Do I Need To Give My Employer In The UK?
How much notice you need to give your employer will be in the contract you signed when you started your job. The typical notice period ranges from 1 – 3 months, with the average notice you need to give to an employer in the UK being 3 months.
If your contract doesn’t mention a notice period you are still legally owed one, and owe one to your employer. How long that is depends on how long you have been employed in your current role. Here in the UK:
- If you have been employed for less than a month, you have no entitled notice period.
- If you have been employed for one month to two years, the minimum you are owed is one week’s notice. Although this is only the very minimum, and will likely be longer.
- If you have been employed between two and twelve years, you have a minimum of two weeks notice, with an additional week for each additional year of employment. So at 6 years of continuous employment, you are owed 6 weeks, and at 10 years you are owed 10 weeks, up to a maximum of 12 weeks notice period.
- If you have been employed for more than 12 years, the minimum you are owed is 12 weeks (3 months).
If your notice period is too long and you need to be released from it earlier, all hope is not lost, because they aren’t always set in stone. Sometimes employers would rather have someone gone, instead of them sticking around and shouting about their amazing new job.
Here at Dynamic, we regularly help the candidates we work with negotiate their notice period. For advice from the experts, read here for a step-by-step guide on negotiating and reducing your notice period.
How Much Notice Do I Need To Give as a Contractor?
If you’re a contractor, then you have more power when it comes to deciding your notice period than most. Because you have greater control over the contract you and your employer sign.
Some contract workers choose to omit having a notice period altogether when discussing employment. Of course this is at the discretion of both parties, but there are tax reasons to not having a notice period. While it obviously decreases the security that having a notice period offers, having a notice period does risk you being classified as an employee by the business. This will in turn affect the IR35 status of your contract.
For more information on the IR35 status of your contract, you can continue reading here.
Do I Get Paid In My Notice Period?
Yes, you should be paid in full during the entirety of your notice period. This is unless you and your employer agree to shorten your notice period. Which may obviously affect how much you are paid.
You will also be paid for any outstanding holiday days that you have accrued in the holiday year. So if you have two weeks of holiday days left to use, you will be paid those in addition to your usual salary.
However, holiday days can be used to effectively reduce your notice period if you need to leave early. This is at the discretion of your employer who has to approve your holiday leave. And of course, this isn’t necessary for everyone, but is well worth keeping in mind if you need to make a quick exit.
How To Hand Your Notice To Your Employer in 4 Steps
This may seem the straightforward part of the process. But there’s a few things to remember when handing in your notice to your employer:
- Book a meeting with your employer and hand in your notice face-to-face. Explain that you are leaving, your mind is made up, and thank them for the time and the opportunity they have given you. Because you want to leave on good terms. You don’t want to burn bridges or sour relationships that may be beneficial to your career in the future.
- You should physically hand in your notice as you resign, as well as send a follow up email. This helps covers your bases, as you want to have physical evidence of your handing in your notice to your employer.
- Be prepared for your manager or employer to be upset about the news. Because their immediate concern will be how your departure affects them, and the business. They won’t be thinking about how your new job is a great opportunity for you.
- And lastly, prepare yourself to receive a counter offer. It can happen right there and then or later in your notice period. But the IT job market (and any other job market for that matter) are incredibly competitive right now. And it’s your managers job to try and keep you on the team. Which means you can safely expect to receive a counter offer. And your employer will likely offer you whatever they think you want to hear.
But a counter offer is often a short term solution for employers. Statistically, you will end up leaving anyway, with 80% of people who accept a counter offer leaving within six months of accepting a counter offer. You can read our complete guide on navigating counter offers here.
Whether you’re just thinking about starting your job search or you’re already interviewing, it’s always good to see what’s on the market. Have a look at our open Network, Infrastructure, Cyber and IT roles here. Or speak to one of our team for a confidential chat about your career.