Time to resign? How much notice do you have to give?

Giving Sufficient Notice

Many employees are not aware that they may have a requirement to give a particular amount of notice when leaving a job.  Not doing so could cost you money.

And if one change being considered by the Fair Work Commission comes into effect it could allow employers to deduct up to five weeks’ pay when employees resign without giving the right amount of notice.

Every 4 years the Fair Work Commission undertakes a review of existing awards.

An award (if it applies to your job) stipulates your terms and conditions of employment.  In recent times, the Commission has made a number of changes to all existing awards, including for example, inserting provisions that allow employees, in certain circumstances, to cash out accrued annual leave.

Recently, the Commission has asked for submissions relating to the requirement for employees to provide notice to their employer of their decision to resign.  The feedback being sought is in relation to a standard clause that would allow employers to deduct up to five weeks’ pay when employees resign without giving the right amount of notice.

Every 4 years the Fair Work Commission undertakes a review of existing awards.

At present, awards generally say that if an employee resigns without giving the enough notice, then an employer can withhold payment of an amount that is equal to the amount of notice that the employee failed to give.

For example, if an employee quits and is required to give two weeks’ notice, but only gives one weeks’ notice, then the employer may be able to retain one weeks’ pay from the employee.

The Commission has stated that its concern with the existing arrangements is that the amount allowed to be deducted by an employer may not be the same as the actual loss suffered by the employer.

That is, the ability to deduct an amount equivalent to three weeks wages from the employee’s last pay (because they failed to give the required notice upon resignation), may be more than the actual financial loss suffered by the employer.

Until this matter is resolved, an employee, if you do wish to resign, should:

  1. review any applicable award and / or contract of employment to determine how much notice you are required to give when you resign;
  2. notify the employer in writing of your decision to resign and provide the employer with the requisite number of weeks’ notice.

If you require further information regarding a decision to resign, then please contact one of our friendly employment lawyers on 1300 851 430.

 

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