Question: How much notice do I need to give when quitting a job?

Did you know on average workers in the UK will have over 12 jobs?  

It's likely you'll end up quitting one of them, this is what you'll need to know:

What is a notice period?

A notice period is the length of time you or your employer have to give before leaving a job.

Notice periods exist so that the employer has enough time to find someone to replace you and so you can find alternative employment. 

The first step is to look in your contract to see the amount of notice you'll need to give.

Generally speaking, If you've been in your job for less than a month, you don't have to give any notice unless the contract or terms and conditions require you to (it's still a good idea to do so if you can).

If you’ve been in your job for more than 1 month, you'll need to give at least 1 week’s notice.

Breakroom pro tip: Give your notice in writing, that way there’s no confusion about when you did it.

All you need is a simple letter or email saying:

  • How much notice you’re giving 7 days or more

  • When you expect your last day at work to be

Good to know: Your notice period starts the day after you resign. This means if you give a week’s notice on Monday your last day at work will be the next Monday.

What if you want to give less notice or leave earlier?

Ask your employer if they’ll agree to let you leave sooner. Remind them that letting you leave early will mean they don’t have to pay you for as long.

Don't just leave without warning! It could cost you, for example: if they’d need to get staff to replace you at short notice, they could take you to court for costs. It could also hurt your references.

Can you ever quit a job without notice?

Sometimes you might be able to quit without notice but it is always best practice to talk to your boss or HR department.

For example, if you have a: 

  • Medical emergency 

  • Family emergency

  • Unsafe working environment

  • Temporary contract 

Before you quit make sure you have a plan 

When quitting it’s important that you know what you’re going to do next. 

Some helpful questions to ask yourself questions are:

  • Have you got money saved that can cover outgoings for a while?

  • What financial help will you be entitled to?

  • Can you apply for other jobs straight away? 

One thing to consider is how you’re going to explain quitting your job without notice to future employers.

Why did you leave your last job? Is a common interview question, so make sure you have a good answer and try not to be negative about your previous employer.

Will you get paid during your notice period?

Yes! You should get your normal pay if you work during your notice period.

This should include all benefits you get, such as pension contributions or free meals.

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Last updated on 22 August 2022