Are your contracts clear on when notice to terminate employment is deemed to be given?

If an employment contract is silent on when notice is deemed to be given, notice of termination doesn’t take effect until the notice has been actually received. This may potentially have immense consequences for your company if it means the employee has completed an extra year service by the time they receive the notice, and therefore qualifies for a higher amount of notice pay and/or redundancy pay depending on the circumstances. 

For example in the recent case of Newcastle Upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust v Haywood, Ms Haywood received an enhanced pension payment because she was on holiday when the company sent the letter terminating her employment. She did not read this letter until she returned from holiday. If the employment contract had contained a clause stating that notices sent in the post are deemed to be delivered after a certain period of time the company may have avoided paying this enhanced payment.

If you would like us to review the notice provisions in your contracts please let us know.