In most employment contracts there is a provision allowing the employer or the employee to terminate the employment agreement on notice. Under the provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (Act), an employer must give this notice in writing.
Generally the employment agreement sets out the period of notice to be given. However, where the agreement is silent as to the notice period, the lawful minimum periods of notice can be found in the Act.
The Act provides the employer with the option of requiring the employee to work through the notice period or to be paid in lieu of notice.
When considering whether to terminate the employment of an employee on notice, it is important to be aware of the laws relating to unfair dismissal and to ensure that the termination will not fall foul of these laws.
This document has been authored for Lexis Nexis and is authorised by Joe Catanzariti, Vice President of the Fair Work Commission, Sydney and Michael Byrnes, Special Counsel, Clayton Utz, Sydney.
This document is prepared with the assistance of Specialist Editor Justine Turnbull, Partner, Seyfarth Shaw Australia.