Employers are generally required to offer notice to employees prior to terminating employment. The notice period is between one and twelve weeks, depending on the duration of employment of the employee. Employers frequently include extended notice periods in contracts. Employers may also give compensation in lieu of notice and quickly terminate an employee if the employment contract provides for it or if the employer and employee agree on this arrangement.
When employees are laid off as a result of redundancy, special processes apply. Employers must make every effort to avoid redundancy whenever possible by reassigning superfluous staff, reducing or eliminating overtime, discontinuing the use of contractors and freelancers, or implementing temporary or short-term layoffs rather than permanent ones.
If no alternative to layoffs exists, or if the company still needs to lay off employees after all other options have been exhausted, the employer must pursue the legal process for redundancy terminations. Employees who are eligible for statutory redundancy get a payment based on their age and duration of service.
In certain cases, employers are compelled to provide severance.
In the United Kingdom, there are two types of notice. The first is statutory notice, which is required by law, and the second is the notice period specified in the employee's employment contract. The statutory notice period is calculated based on the length of service. The notice period is one week for each month of service between one and two years. The notice period is one week for each year of service between two and twelve years. The length of notice specified in the employment contract is up to the employer, but it is typically one month for employees and up to three months for senior employees.
When an employee is laid off due to redundancy and has worked for the employer continuously for at least two years prior to the layoff, severance pay is paid according to the following schedule: half a week's pay for each year of service if the employee was under the age of 22; one week's pay for each year of service if the employee was between the ages of 22 and 40; 1.5 weeks' pay for each year of employment if the employee was 41 years or older. A weekly wage cap is in place for redundancy pay purposes, and it is adjusted annually.
The duration and terms of any probation period are determined by the terms of an individual's employment contract, but they are typically three or six months long and may include formal or informal assessments.