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Annie Hayes



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HR Tip: Notice for senior staff


These questions are being answered by Learn HR, a market leader in the provision of HR and payroll training and nationally-recognised professional qualifications.

Q: “What notice periods should we write into senior staff contracts?”

A: That is entirely up to you and the employee to agree. There is no requirement for senior staff to be put on long periods of notice though it is customary to do so. On one hand, if the time comes when you wish to dismiss the employee, how much notice or payment in lieu would you want to give? Probably not much. On the other hand, if they put in their notice, how soon would you want the person to leave? Instantly because they're now a liability, or after one year to give you time to recruit a replacement and arrange a proper handover?

One problem with long periods of notice is that, if you, the employer, do not give full notice or payment in lieu, the employee will successfully sue you. But if the employee fails to give you the required long notice because they're moving to a higher paid job and leave with little warning, in practice there is nothing you can do. You need to weigh up all these factors and find a comfortable balance. Just make sure, however, that if you have people doing similar jobs on different notice periods, you do not unlawfully discriminate.

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Annie Hayes


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