Published January 23, 2020
How Much Notice Do I Need to Give to Resign?
- Published on January 23, 2020
- Updated on June 4, 2021
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Resigning is a difficult move, with one of the most confusing aspects being the amount of notice you need to give. So how does a notice of resignation work?
The circumstances around resigning from a job are hardly ever simple. Along with attending interviews and lining up your next job, you’ll also have to think of providing an adequate amount of notice to your current employer. When doing so, you’ll have to comply with your employment contract as well as legal obligations.
So what is a notice period and how do you ensure you’ll leave on good terms? Find out below.
What is a notice period?
The notice period refers to the period of time between an employee resigning and when they actually stop working. If you have a contract of employment, your period of notice should be clearly mentioned in the terms. You’ll have to abide by these terms in order to receive your final pay and accumulated annual leave, as well as to stay on good terms with your employer.
This notice period benefits your employer and yourself. Your employer will be able to have adequate time to find a replacement for your role, and you’ll have enough time for adequate handover preparations.
Choosing not to work through your notice period
If an employer prefers, or if the employee requests, it can be possible not to work out your notice period, instead taking annual leave. You will still need to be remunerated and receive any outstanding annual leave entitlements. However, bear in mind that refusing to work out your notice period may cause bad blood or result in a good reference not being given.
How long is a notice period?
Your notice period can vary from ‘no notice’ to over a month or more. Your required notice period will depend on:
- Your type of employment
- The terms of your employment contract (if you have one)
- Your industry
- Your award
In the case of casual employment or those on a fixed-term contract, neither employee or employer needs to give notice of termination or resignation. For part-time and full-time employees, the rule of thumb is to give at least two weeks’ notice. However, your employment contract may have other stipulations, such as requiring you to give notice of four weeks. If you are still in your probation period, you will usually only need to give one week of notice.
The resignation process
So now that you’ve determined the amount of notice you need to give, how should you actually go about providing your notice of resignation?
Notices are typically delivered in the form of a resignation letter; however, resigning by email is also acceptable in this day and age.
This document needs to specify your last day per your minimum notice period and provide a brief explanation of why you are leaving.
You’ll also want to think about when you should return your work keys, swipe pass, IT equipment and the like.
Is it ever okay to resign without notice?
Of course, resigning from a job isn’t always a smooth process. Sometimes, it’s simply too difficult to stay at work for your notice period due to personal reasons or an unpleasant work environment. If you need to leave without notice, try to discuss it with your boss before departing. It would help if you also put all your intentions in writing to have a record of everything that was discussed.
Planning your last days
Now that you’ve provided your written notice within the right time frame, you can start planning for the last days of your employment. You may want to write a positive goodbye email to your team or organise a casual catch up on your last day of work. Do your best to maintain a good relationship with your employer and colleagues, as you never know how it could benefit your career in the future.
For detailed information on resigning, visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website.
From sending your resignation letter to working on your final day, keep the whole process professional and positive to preserve your personal brand and career.
Need a hand drafting your resignation letter?
Check out our guide to resigning complete with our resignation letter templates.
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