What is a notice period?
A notice period is the time period between an employer notifying an employee of their dismissal (whether by redundancy or otherwise) and the end of the last working day. Similarly, if an employee resigns, they will usually need to work a notice period which is the time between them handing in their resignation and the last working day working for the company.
There are two kinds of notice period. Statutory notice is the minimum legal notice that can be given. This is at least one week’s notice if you have been employed by a company between one month and two years, or one week’s notice for each year between two and twelve years.
Contractual notice is the notice period that may be written into a contract of employment as part of the terms and conditions, however not every contract of employment will have this. Contractual notice cannot be less than statutory notice, but may be more. An employee may be required to give more notice if they intend to resign than if the employer terminates the contract of employment.
When does redundancy notice period start?
Your redundancy notice period only starts when your employer has told you that you will be made redundant and you have been given a finishing date. It’s important to understand that your notice period does not start from when you are told you are at risk of redundancy.
Do I have to work my redundancy notice period?
Whether or not you have to work during your notice period is up to your employer; however, whichever decision they take, you will get paid for that period. If your employer asks you not to come into work during your notice period, this could mean you are either given garden leave or receive payment in lieu of notice (PILON)
Payment in lieu of notice
Payment in lieu of notice, or PILON as it can also be called, is when your employer terminates your employment straight away and you are given a lump sum to cover what you would have earned during your notice period. If you receive PILON then you may be able to start a new job straight away, as long as there are no post-termination restrictions in your contract or outlined in a settlement agreement.
Garden leave is similar to payment in lieu of notice, as in you are asked to not come into work when your notice period begins. However, you are still an employee and are subject to all your contractual obligations, meaning you can't start a new job until your garden leave has finished and you may be called back into work if needed. You are entitled to look for a new job but cannot start one until your gardening leave has finished.
Getting another job during the redundancy notice period
It makes sense to look for and secure a new job before your notice period ends, but you’ll usually need to wait before starting your new role. If you choose to start your new job before serving the full notice period, your employer may be able to take legal action against you and if you have been made redundant, it could result in you losing your redundancy pay entitlement.
Depending on how your employer has chosen to deal with your notice period, you may not be able to start a job until after your notice period has ended. If you are expected to work your notice period or are put on garden leave, then you won’t be able to start a new role until your notice period comes to an end. However, you can look for and secure a new job, as long as your start date is after the end of your notice period.
If you have been given payment in lieu of notice then, as long as you are not subject to any post-termination restrictions, you are typically able to start a new role straight away.
If you need redundancy advice or want to understand you whether or not your settlement agreement is fair, then contact our expert employment solicitors today. From helping you to negotiate your exit to dealing with employment tribunal cases, our solicitors have years of experience in dealing with all aspects of employment law.