The amount of notice you are required to give (and receive) from an employee will either be 'statutory notice' or the notice period in the employees contract of employment, whichever is GREATER.

Statutory Minimum Notice

The statutory minimum notice to be given by an employer to an employee is set out in the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts 1973-2001.

Employees who have been employed continuously for at least 13 weeks are obliged to provide their employer with one weeks’ notice of termination of employment.  If a greater amount is specified in the contract, then that amount of notice must be given.

Employers must give the following notice periods as a minimum:

Period of continuous employment (years) Statutory Minimum Notice (weeks)
Less than 13 weeks 0
13 weeks to two years 1
Two to five years 2
Five to ten years 4
Ten to fifteen years 6
More than fifteen years 8

Contractual Notice

Notice periods are generally detailed in the individual contract of employment and employers can give and ask for more notice than statutory notice requires. 

For example, the company may give and may ask for 1 months’ notice from an employee after their initial notice period (please see Contracts of Employment for more details). 

The notice to be given by an employer or employee will therefore be whichever is the greater.  

Example 1: if the contract states that the Company will give one month's notice, but an employee has been with the Company for 10 years, statutory notice will override the contract of employment and the company must give 6 weeks' notice. 

Example 2: if the contract says one month, and the employee has only been employed for 2 years, the contractual notice period will override the statutory (1 weeks) and one month's notice will be due. 

Retracting Notice

When notice is given by either employer or employee it cannot be withdrawn unless both parties agree. Therefore, if an employee gives notice to an employer and then later changes their mind, the employer can still consider the employee as having resigned (see Ending Employment). Equally, an employer cannot change their mind e.g. if the employer has issued notice of redundancy to the employee.