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Your notice period during redundancy

This advice applies to Wales

If you’re made redundant, your job won’t end straight away - you’ll get a paid notice period.

You might get notice pay instead of your notice period - this is called ‘pay in lieu of notice’. Your employer will tell you if they’ll give you pay in lieu of notice.

How long your notice period should be

If you’ve worked for your employer for at least a month you’re entitled to statutory notice. This is the minimum notice period your employer can give you.

Your statutory notice depends on how many years you've worked for your employer when you're given notice.

Time with your employer Minimum notice
1 month to 2 years 1 week
2 years or more 1 week for each full year, up to a maximum of 12 weeks

For example, if you've worked for your employer for 5 years and 3 months you get 5 weeks' notice

Contractual notice

Your contract might say what notice period you’re entitled to. If it does, this is called ‘contractual notice’.

Contractual notice can be longer or the same as statutory notice. It can’t be shorter - you should always get at least your statutory notice.

Pay in your notice period

What you’re paid in your notice period depends on whether you get statutory notice or contractual notice.

If you get statutory notice

As long as you work your normal hours in your statutory notice period you’ll get your normal pay. This is as well as any redundancy pay you’re entitled to.

You’ll still get your normal full pay if you’re:

  • on holiday
  • off work because of sickness or injury - even if you’d normally get statutory sick pay instead
  • off work because of pregnancy, maternity leave, paternity leave, adoption leave or parental leave
  • willing to work but aren’t given any work to do

Contact your nearest Citizens Advice if you’re not sure what your pay should be - for example if your hours vary each week.

If you’re on maternity leave

You’re entitled to your normal full pay for the whole of your statutory notice if you’re made redundant on maternity leave. This could be more than your maternity pay.

Your employer can reduce your notice pay by the amount of any statutory maternity pay you’re also getting. They can’t do this if you get pay in lieu of notice - you’ll get the full amount of statutory maternity pay and notice pay.

Your statutory maternity pay continues if you’re made redundant - find out more about redundancy and maternity pay.

If you get contractual notice

You should get your normal full pay in your notice period if your contractual notice is the same number of weeks as statutory notice.

If your contract gives you at least 1 week more notice than the statutory amount you’ll get your normal full pay as long as you’re at work. If you’re away from work in your notice period you’ll get what you’d normally have been paid for that absence.

For example, you might get sick pay if you’re off sick or maternity pay if you’re on maternity leave. This could be less than your normal full pay.

How your employer should give you notice

Your employer should tell you about your notice period when they tell you they’re making you redundant. It’s better for them to do this in writing, but they don’t have to. 

Your notice period only starts when your employer says you'll be made redundant and gives you a finishing date. Your notice period doesn’t start from when your employer says you’re at risk of redundancy.

If your employer says you don’t have to work your notice period

You’ll still get the same notice pay if your employer says you don’t have to work your notice period. You’ll also still get work benefits, for example pension contributions, unless your contract says your employer can leave them out. Not having to work your notice period could mean either:

  • you’re paid as usual until the end of your notice period, but you don’t have to come to work - this is called garden leave
  • you get all your notice pay at once and your job ends straight away - this is called pay in lieu of notice, or PILON

If you get garden leave or pay in lieu of notice your employer will either tell you in person or put it in your redundancy letter. Talk to your employer or contact your nearest Citizens Advice if you’re not sure which you have.

If you get garden leave

You’ll be paid at your usual times and pay your usual tax if you get garden leave. You'll also keep any work benefits, such as pension contributions or personal use of a company phone.

Your job won’t end until the end of your notice period, even though you don’t have to come to work. This will increase your redundancy pay if it means you’ll have completed another full year with your employer.

Your current employer can occasionally ask you to come into work while you’re on garden leave. This means you shouldn’t start another job in your notice period unless your existing employer agrees.

If you get pay in lieu of notice

You’ll get all your notice pay in one go if you get pay in lieu of notice. You’ll pay tax as normal and your job will end straight away if either:

  • your contract says your employer can give you pay in lieu of notice
  • your employer often gives people pay in lieu of notice

If you get pay in lieu of notice but it isn’t mentioned in your contract and your employer doesn’t usually give it, you get 2 advantages:

  • you won’t pay tax on your notice pay unless it and your redundancy pay add up to more than £30,000
  • even though you don’t work for your notice period, your statutory notice period is added to how long you’ve worked for your employer - this could increase your redundancy pay

If you want to leave your job in your notice period

You might want to leave your job before the end of your notice period - for example if you get another job. If you want to leave early, ask your employer to change your finishing date. You’ll still get your redundancy pay if they agree to change the date.

It might help to remind your employer that letting you leave early will save them money - they won’t have to pay your wages for as long.

Don’t leave early unless your employer agrees - otherwise you’ll have resigned and won’t get your redundancy payment.

If you want to leave early because you’ve found another job you could also ask your new employer if they’ll let you start later. Starting later could be better than losing your redundancy pay.

Sometimes it’s possible to leave early and keep your redundancy pay if your employer doesn’t have a good reason to make you stay. Contact your nearest Citizens Advice if your employer won’t let you leave early and you’re worried about losing your new job.

Holiday in your notice period

You can ask to take holiday during your notice period, but it’s up to your employer to decide if you can take it then. You’ll be paid for any holiday you have left over when you leave.

If you do go on holiday in your notice period you’re entitled to your usual wage. 

If you get contractual holiday, you’ll need to check what your contract says about holiday.

If your employer tells you to use up your holidays during your notice period

Your employer can tell you to use up any holiday you have left over. They need to tell you when to take the holiday, and they have to give you these dates at least 2 days in advance for each day of holiday. For example, if they want you to take 5 days’ holiday, they have to tell you at least 10 days in advance.

Check your contract, as this might change how much notice your employer needs to give you.

If you have a problem with notice or pay

There are steps you can take to solve problems with notice or notice pay. It’s always best to start by talking to your employer.

If you need to take more formal action you might be able to make a claim in the employment tribunal if your employer:

  • doesn’t pay you for your notice period
  • tells you to leave straight away without pay in lieu of notice
  • doesn’t pay you the right amount

It’s only worth starting legal action if you’ve tried everything else and if you’ve lost money. You’ll only be able to win money from a tribunal if you’ve lost money.

There’s a tight time limit if you want to make an employment tribunal claim, so contact your nearest Citizens Advice for help as soon as you can.

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