What is a notice period?
A notice period is a required amount of time that an employee must provide to their employer before leaving their job.
The notice period is typically two weeks, but can be longer or shorter depending on the company's policy and contractual obligations.
When an employee quits their job, it can land on HR teams to check an employee's contract on the agreed notice period to ensure an appropriate amount of time is given.
Why is a notice period important?
A notice period is important because it gives an employer time to find a replacement for the departing employee. It also allows the employee to tie up any loose ends and train their replacement before leaving.
Giving proper notice is also generally good courtesy. It shows that an employee appreciates their time and effort in training and that they are willing to return the favor by giving their employer enough time to find an adequate replacement.
How to calculate an employees notice period
The amount of notice required is usually based on the employee's length of service. Here is a general guide for how to calculate an employees notice period:
If the employee has been with the company for less than 2 years, they are typically required to give 2-4 weeks notice.
If the employee has been with the company for 2-5 years, they are typically required to give 4-6 weeks notice.
If the employee has been with the company for 5-10 years, they are typically required to give 6-12 weeks notice.
If the employee has been with the company for 10+ years, they are typically required to give 12-16 weeks notice.
Once again, it really depends on the employee's contract, company policies as well as the seniority of the position being left.
Can an employee extend their notice period?
Yes, an employee can extend their notice period under some circumstances.
If an employer has given an employee less than the required amount of notice, the employee can choose to extend their notice period. This is called "acceptance of shorter notice." For example, if an employer gives two weeks' notice but the employment contract requires four weeks' notice, the employee can choose to work the full four weeks.
The employee must give written notice to the employer of their decision to extend their notice period. The extension cannot be for more than the original length of notice that was given by the employer.
If an employee wants to extend their notice period for any other reason, they must get written consent from their employer.
Can an employee quit without giving notice?
An employee may quit without giving notice for a number of reasons.
The most common reason is that the job is not a good fit. The employee may have been hired for a position that is different from what was expected, or the company culture may be negative.
In some cases, an employee may feel unsafe at work. If an employee quits without giving notice, they should be prepared to forfeit any vacation pay or benefits that they would have otherwise been entitled to.
Can an employee quit during a probationary period?
Many employees are under the impression that they can't quit during their probationary period, but that's not always the case.
In most cases, an employee can quit during their probationary period without any repercussions. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. If an employee has signed a contract that states they will not quit during their probationary period, then they may be held liable for breaking that contract.
Additionally, if an employee quits during their probationary period and it causes financial harm to their employer, the employer may have grounds to sue the employee.
How to talk an employee out of quitting
It's no secret that employees sometimes get the urge to quit their jobs. Maybe they're feeling overworked, underpaid, or just plain unhappy with their current situation.
Whatever the reason, it's important that HR teams and their managers try to talk them out of quitting before they hand in their notice. Here are a few tips on how to do that:
Talk to them about what's making them want to leave. Is there something specific that's causing them discontent? If so, see if there's anything that can be done to address the issue.
Remind them of all the good things about their job. What do they like about their work? What are the benefits of staying in their current position?
Help them see the potential for growth in their role.
Difference between statutory notice and contractual notice
There are two types of notice that can be given when terminating an employee: statutory notice and contractual notice. Statutory notice is the minimum amount of notice that an employer must give an employee, as set out in the Employment Standards Act. Contractual notice is any additional notice that may be required by an employment contract.
Statutory notice is calculated based on length of service, with employees who have been with their employer for less than 3 months entitled to 1 week's notice, and those who have been employed for more than 3 years entitled to 8 weeks' notice.
Contractual notice may be more or less than the statutory minimum, depending on what is agreed upon in the employment contract.
If an employee is terminated without cause, they are entitled to receive both statutory and contractual notice.
Factors to consider when an employee gives notice
When an employee gives notice, there are a few factors to consider.
First, the employer should make sure they have a solid understanding of the company's policy on notice. They should also be aware of any laws that may apply.
Additionally, the employer should consider how the resignation will affect their business. They may need to find a replacement for the employee, or make changes to the work schedule.
Finally, the employer should thank the employee for their service and wish them well in their future endeavors.