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How long is a notice period?

Getting ready to hand in your notice? Make sure you’ve got all the relevant information before you inform your employer that you’re leaving (template included!).

How long is a notice period?

When leaving a company, you’ll usually have to give a formal notice period. This is standard practice in most jobs. It gives the employer time to find a replacement or reallocate your workload. In today’s blog, we’ll be discussing everything about notice periods. By the end of this post, you’ll be confident to hand yours in!

Most notice periods for full-time permanent employees tend to be 1 month. But this can be shorter or longer depending on a few things. Seniority and length of employment can influence your notice period. Lower level roles tend to be less time. But the notice period for senior level roles can last several months.

Here’s what we’ll cover in today’s blog:

  • What is a notice period?
  • When to hand in your notice
  • What happens if you don’t work your notice period?
  • The 3 parts to a resignation letter

What is a notice period?

A notice period is the length of time you need to continue working once you’ve told your employer you’ll be leaving. The length of this period will be written in your contract. It can be influenced by the amount of time you’ve worked for that company. Generally speaking, the longer you’ve worked at a company, the longer your notice period can be.

When to hand in your notice

It’s best to give notice once you’ve received a formal employment offer in writing and agreed a start date. Ideally, you’ll have signed your contract first but this isn’t always possible. Avoid handing in your notice when you’re still in the interview process. And wait until you’ve finished negotiating your salary. Otherwise you could end up jobless if your new job falls through.

You may want a little break between jobs. If that’s the case, you can hand in your notice whenever it suits you. But just make sure you have the finances to cushion you in case your job search takes a longer time.

What happens if you don’t work your notice period?

If you don’t work your notice period, you’re breaching your employment contract. As a result, your employer doesn’t have to pay you for the part of your notice period that you didn’t work. This may also hinder your chance of receiving a reference from your employer. So it’s best to work your notice period where possible and leave on good terms.

The 3 parts to a resignation letter

Your notice of resignation can be short and sweet. You should hand this over in-person as a hard copy, as well as over email. It’s a good idea to keep it factual, professional and polite. You can divide your notice into 3 parts:

Part 1: The facts

Let your employer know you’re writing to give formal notice, the position you’ve held, the length of your notice period and your end date.

Please accept this letter as formal notice that I, [John Smith], will be resigning from my position of [salesman]. In line with my contract, I am providing [1 month’s] notice and will therefore remain in my position until [25th January 2022].

Part 2: The plan

Include a couple of sentences to state your intent for your notice period.

During my notice period, I will be happy to continue performing my role to the best of my ability and will assist with any training requirements.

Part 3: The thanks

Finally, you want to end the letter on a positive note. So round the letter off with some sincere words of thanks.

I have enjoyed my role over the past [8 years] and the team will be sorely missed. Thank you for understanding my reasons for leaving to pursue a new challenge. I wish you all the best of luck for the future success of the company.

Leave on good terms

The most important thing to remember when giving your notice is to leave on the best possible terms. No matter what your reasons for leaving are, it’s never good to burn bridges. So keep it professional and give the required amount of notice. 

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a year ago



a year ago


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