When does notice of termination take effect?

Q&A

When does notice of termination take effect?

Is the day an employee resigns counted as part of the notice period? Paul Munro explains.

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Is the day an employee gives notice of his resignation counted as part of the notice period?

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Q An employee has given one week’s notice of his resignation which was provided before 12 pm on a Monday.

Does the day that notice was given to the company count as part of the one week’s notice? Or does notice only include whole days, which would mean the employee’s last day at work is next Monday?

A It is usual to disregard the day on which notice is given or, what amounts to the same thing, the day on which the termination occurs in calculating the period of notice. See Construction, Forestry, Mining & Energy Union & Anor v Curragh Queensland Mining Ltd [1998] FCA 1231 (30 September 1998).

Conversely, if notice is given prior to the employee’s normal starting time, that day could count as part of the notice period. A “week” means the calendar week, i.e. any consecutive seven days and does not mean “working week” (five days).

Likewise, where a contract of employment requires a month’s notice of termination by either party, a “month” is defined as meaning the corresponding date of the following month. A month does not mean four weeks unless otherwise specified by the applicable industrial instrument, statute or contract of employment.

It should be noted that parties can negotiate a mutually agreed date of termination, which (in this case) may be less than one week from the day notice of resignation is given.

The bottom line: The day on which notice of termination is given does not count as part of the period of notice of termination, but may count if provided before the employee’s usual starting time. The parties may negotiate a mutually agreed date which is less than the minimum period of notice.
 

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