Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment. Under Irish law there is law which sets out a minimum period of notice to be given when employers and employees want to terminate a contract of employment.
This is set out in the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Act, 1973, which is explained in detail in this article.
This Act also sets out the type of information Employees are also entitled to be provided with about their employment.
What am I entitled to as an employee?
If your employer wants to dismiss you, your contract of employment ought to dictate the minimum amount of notice required before termination of your employment. Your contract of employment may apply for a longer period, and if it does, then the contractual period in excess of the period set out in the act will apply.
The Act sets out the minimum period which must be applied based on how long you have been employed, which is outlined below:
|Length of time employed
|Amount of notice required
|Thirteen weeks to two years
|Two to five years
|Five to ten years
|Ten to Fifteen Years
|More than Fifteen years
Bear in mind that these notice periods are required to be given but if the person who receives the notice wishes, they can be waived. In practice it is very rare for an employee to waive their notice entitlement as they are waiving their right to be paid for this notice. In reality payment in lieu of notice is common.
A frequent question in practice is what are the consequences if any employee leaves before their notice period is up. Strictly speaking the employer is entitled to require an employee to serve out their notice period but in practice this is rarely enforced and once an employee has given their notice employers are usually flexible around end dates.
As an employee, you are also entitled to
- written information regarding the terms of your employment,
- your salary,
- your date of commencement,
- details regarding hours and overtime, and
- time off work.
This is often delivered in the form of an employee’s contract and employee handbook, but if one is not made available, you are entitled to request a copy of your written terms that is required to be delivered to you within one month.
Exceptions to Minimum NoticeThere are limited exceptions to the rules surrounding notice such as termination or misconduct which can occur without notice. Misconduct and the types of misconduct are usually defined on contracts of employment.
Can a dismissal without notice lead to an unfair dismissal?
Failure to provide adequate notice from an employer may itself be grounds for an unfair dismissal. Any economic loss can be subject to a claim in the workplace relations commission.