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Annie Hayes

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UK amongst countries with ‘shortest’ notice periods

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Employees in the US, Mexico, Hong Kong, Ireland, Singapore and the UK have the shortest statutory notice period between resigning and leaving their place of work.

This is according to data released by Mercer, the consulting outfit. The data, from Mercer’s Global HR Factbook, outlines the minimum legal requirements for notice periods for employees across 43 countries.

Whilst the majority of countries require employees to give a month’s notice on resignation, custom does vary across borders. Employees in Mexico are not legally required to serve notice before leaving their employment. In the US, there is also no statutory requirement, though two or more weeks’ notice is customary.

Laws in Hong Kong, Ireland, Singapore and the UK require employees with a year’s service to give a minimum notice of one week. At the other end of the spectrum, employees in Switzerland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic must give at least two months’ notice.

These periods apply to employees with one year of service. In one in three countries, these periods will change according to an employee’s length of service. Also, individual contracts of employment may specify a longer period.

Clive Wright, principal with Mercer in the UK, said: “In many countries, the actual notice period depends on the terms of the employment contract that an employee has agreed with his or her employer. It is interesting to note the lack of consistency, however, especially across regions like the EU where it is reasonable to expect more uniformity.”

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Annie Hayes

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