In the case of termination of employment employers must give
employees notice. The length of notice is dependent on the employee’s
length of service and is covered by the Minimum Notice &
Terms of Employment Acts, 1973-20
The Acts lay down minimum periods of notice to be given by employers
and workers when terminating a contract of employment. In this
articles we address the most frequently asked questions.
Those sections of the Acts that related to information about terms of
employment - Sections 9 and 10 - have been repealed and replaced by the
Terms Of Employment (Information) Acts, 1994-2001.
How is the length of service calculated?
| Length Of Service|| Minimum Notice required|
| Thirteen weeks to two years
|| One week
| Two years to five years
|| Two weeks
| Five years to ten years
|| Four weeks
| Ten years to fifteen years
|| Six weeks
| More than fifteen years
|| Eight weeks
What is continuous service?
Service is regarded as continuous
unless the employee is dismissed or voluntarily leaves the job.
Continuity is not usually affected by strikes or dismissal followed by
immediate re-employment. The transfer and sale of a trade or business
from one person to another does not break continuity.
An employee, who claims and receives redundancy payment in respect of
lay-off or short-time, is considered to have left their employment
How is the period of service calculated?
Every week an employee works is used to calculate an employee’s length
of service. Absences of up to twenty-six weeks between consecutive
periods of employment count as periods of service if due to lay-offs,
sickness or injury, or when taken by agreement with the employer.
Absence due to service with the Reserve Defence Forces is deemed to be
periods of service.
What rights to notice has an employer?
Employees who have been in continuous employment for at least 13 weeks
are obliged to provide their employer with one week’s notice of
termination of employment. If a greater amount of notice is specified in
the employee’s contract of employment, then this notice must be given.
Could right to notice be waived or pay in lieu of notice be accepted?
The Acts allow an employer or employee to waive their right to notice or
to accept payment in lieu of notice. If the employer does not require
the employee to work out any part of their notice, the employer is
obliged to pay the employee for that period.
What about fixed-term contracts?
A fixed-term contract arguably has a notice date built in. However the
Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) has generally taken the view that even
fixed-term contracts should be terminated by the employer and/or
employee giving the appropriate statutory notice.
What if a minimum notice of entitlement is denied?
Disputes about the right to notice, length of notice, calculation of
continuous service or period of service, or dismissal due to misconduct
may be referred to the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT). Their decision
may be appealed by either party to the High Court on a point of law.
The Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment has published an
explanatory booklet for employers and employees. Click here to view and download the booklet.
Visit the Employment
Resource Bureau for information on human resource management for
your community organisation.
The content in this article is not a
legal interpretation of any matter and should not be interpreted as