Sometimes you may need to terminate someone’s employment, dismiss them or, in plain words, fire them. To do this, you have to give the minimum notice period in the National Employment Standards (NES). It is based on how many years your employee has worked for you.
Period of employment Minimum notice period
Less than 1 year 1 week
1-3 years 2 weeks
3-5 years 3 weeks
Over 5 years 4 weeks
If an agreement or contract stipulates a longer notice period, then that one applies. If an employee is over 45 and has worked at least two years on the day you give notice, they are entitled to an extra week.
How to end employment
You have to give your employee written notice on the last day of their employment. You can give it personally, leave it at their last known address or send it by prepaid post to that address. (Note, employees who are resigning only need to give notice verbally.)
You can dismiss an employee while they are on leave or on probation, but you still need to give the correct amount of notice.
The employee can work through their notice period or you can pay out the full amount to them (pay in lieu of notice). This may include bonuses, loadings, allowances, penalty rates and overtime.
No notice period
Notice periods do not apply to casuals, employees on a fixed contract, or employees doing seasonal work, such as in the building and construction or meat industry.
There is no notice period for employees who are fired because of serious misconduct, such as theft, fraud, assault, or refusing to carry out an instruction that is part of the job. However, you do have to pay all outstanding entitlements, eg, payment for time worked or annual leave.
If an employee thinks they have been unfairly dismissed, they can lodge an application for unfair dismissal remedy.
Employsure advisers can help you navigate the tricky process of ending someone’s employment.
For peace of mind, please call our 24 hour Advice Line now on 1300 651 415.