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notice periods policy
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Notice periods policy

Notice periods policy

Our policy set out the employee’s rights and obligations during their notice period, including not working elsewhere and continuing to work at normal capacity. It also helps protect your business interests at this difficult time and dovetails with our written statement of employment particulars and a number of our other clauses and policies.

Rights and obligations

The primary aim of our Notice Periods Policy is to set out your expectations of a departing employee during their notice period. It’s not unknown for employees to start doing work for their new employer or to take their foot off the gas and think they can do very little until they leave. Our policy clarifies that the employment contract remains in force during the notice period and the employee remain bound by its terms, including their duties of loyalty and confidentiality - so they can’t work elsewhere without your agreement. It also states that they’re expected to continue working at their normal capacity and to uphold the high standards of conduct and performance you expect and that a failure to do so is a disciplinary matter. In return, they continue to receive their full salary and benefits during their notice period.

Protecting business interests

Depending on the employee’s role and whether they’re off to work for a competitor, you may need to take steps to protect your business interests during their notice period, assuming it’s going to be worked. Our policy confirms that you can restrict their job duties, assign them to other duties or vary or withdraw any of their powers or responsibilities. It also states you can restrict their contact with colleagues, clients, customers and suppliers or limit their access to information and resources. If you want to ensure the employee’s work is properly handed over, our policy provides that some of their duties may be passed to other staff during their notice period and they will give such assistance in effecting a smooth and orderly handover as you reasonably require.

Resignation and dismissal

Our policy has provisions covering resignation and dismissal, including confirmation that:

  • resignations need to be in writing
  • the employee is required to work out their full contractual notice period, unless you agree otherwise
  • they won’t be paid for any part of their notice period they refuse to work
  • you may release the employee early from their notice period on request, at your absolute discretion and subject to business requirements - you don’t have to do this if it’s not convenient (and don’t do it on resignation if the employee hasn’t asked, or else you could turn a resignation into a dismissal).

A useful round up

The other aim of our policy is to bring together various provisions relating to the notice period that you have elsewhere in other clauses and policies. What we didn’t want to do was to just repeat all those provisions, so our policy cross refers to:

  • the employee’s contract of employment for details of: the notice period to be given or received to terminate employment (see the Written Statement of Employment Particulars), the right for you to pay them in lieu of notice or put them on garden leave (see the Pay in Lieu of Notice Clause and Garden Leave Clause), the return of your property (see the Return of Company Property Clause), and deductions from their wages for outstanding monies owed (see the Deductions from Wages Clause)
  • the holidays policy for provisions concerning outstanding accrued holiday or excess holiday taken on termination of employment (see the Holidays Policy)
  • the reimbursement of expenses policy for claiming back any final expenses (see the Reimbursement of Expenses Policy).

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