Employers unhappy with notice period rules

Firms want longer statutory staff notice periods to help see work through on time - survey

UK employers feel that the period of statutory notice given to departing employees is too short, new research has revealed.

A survey carried out by Croner found that 38 per cent of bosses felt that four to eight weeks should be the standard notice period, while 36 per cent thought two to four weeks would be more suitable.

Under current regulations, employers must give an employee at least one week’s notice if he or she has worked at the company for one month, rising to two weeks’ notice if the employee has give two years’ service.

An additional one week’s notice must be given for each further year of service, rising to at least 12 weeks notice for staff employed for 12 years or more.

Croner said that firms want longer notice periods to help see projects through and help new staff settle into their roles.

Peter Etherington, of Croner, said that the importance and impact of notice periods vary massively from company to company.

“Employers have every right to demand that an employee sees out their contractually-agreed notice period and puts in just as much effort as they would if they weren’t leaving.

“Both parties should sit down and agree how the departure should be handled and then stick to what’s been agreed – failure to do this could lead to an awkward and swiftly deteriorating workplace situation, or even leave wither party facing serious employment law problems.

“If a smooth handover has been completed inside an employee’s notice period and all parties are happy to cut it short, there seems little point in dragging it out just for the sake of it – common sense should prevail,” he said.

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