Period of notice

The period of notice is part of a normal employment relationship, during which both parties must keep fulfilling the duties they have due to the employment relationship.

Updated 1.8.2012

The length of the notice period can be agreed on, within the limits stated in law and possible collective labor agreements, in the employment contract. The maximum length of the notice period is six months. In case ce, it shall be 6 months. The notice period that the employer must follow can be agreed to be longer than the employee’s. The notice period that the employee must follow can’t exceed the length of the employer’s notice period. Should there be such an agreement, the employee shall observe the same notice period as has been agreed for the employer.

No minimum length has been stated for the notice period. Thus, the parties can agree that there is no notice period at all. Such agreement can also be made at the time of giving notice. In that case, unless otherwise agreed, the employment will terminate at the end of the workday or shift. An agreement on giving up the notice period made at the time of giving the notice will restrict unemployment benefits for the length of the given up notice period.

If no agreement on the notice period has been made, the parties shall follow the lengths stated in the law:

Duration of the employment Employer's notice period Duration of the employment Employee's notice period
up to 1 year 14 days up to 5 years 14 days
1 year - 4 years 1 month over 5 years 1 month
4 years - 8 years 2 months    
8 years - 12 years 4 months    
over 12 year 6 months    

If a notice period is stated in months, the last day of work shall be the same numerical day as when the notice was given. If there is no such day on the month in question, the last day of the month is the last day of work. If a notice period is stated in weeks, the last day of work is the same weekday as when the notice was given.

During the notice period the employment relationship itself continues normally with no changes. Thus, the employee must carry on his duties normally and unless otherwise agreed, agreed holidays, family or other leaves and possible sick leaves will happen as they have originally been agreed on. However, the duty to work may end earlier if the parties so agree or the employer so orders. In this case the salary will continue to be paid normally until the end of the employment. It is highly recommended to have a written agreement or other written proof of such an order, so that no claim of neglect can be made later.

If the employer doesn’t observe the notice period, the employee has the right to receive as compensation his/her full notice period salary including holiday compensation. Accordingly, if the employee doesn’t observe the notice period he/she must pay the notice period salary for the employer. If one of the parties only partially fails to observe the notice period, the damage shall be paid accordingly.

Specific notice periods are observed in case of a transfer of business, lay-off, bankruptcy, or company reorganization. Unless otherwise agreed, a fixed-term employment can’t be terminated during the fixed-term.

Relevant Legislation: Employment Contracts Act Chapter 6, Sections 2, 3 and 4