Is it legal to resign without notice?

What do you do if your employee resigns without notice? Is that legal? Hmm, interesting. Stick around and we’ll try and work that one together, I think.

Hi, everyone, Simon here from the Contract Company. Contracts, that’s what we do, all day every day and sometimes overnight. Lucky us, and it is, ’cause we like what we do and this is another one of those interesting questions.

Is it legal to resign without notice?

So, is it legal if someone resigns without giving notice? Well, the short answer is yes, meaning the notice is effective because you can’t hold someone to stay in a job because they’re not slaves, we don’t believe in slavery in Australia.

So you can’t compel them to turn up but the real question is if they’ve given you no notice, do you have to pay them out the notice period?

That’s the real issue. So the notice itself is effective. They will cease employment.

The question then is how much notice period pay do you pay them? Now unfortunately for you, I can’t answer that on the spot. This is because you’d need to look at the award, the relevant employment agreement or the registered agreement.

Look at whichever one is applicable to actually determine if or how much of that notice period needs to be paid.  Or if none of it needs to be paid because they gave you no notice.

So that’s the real issue and that’s where you’d go to find it. You’d have to look in the award or the relevant employment agreement or registered agreement. And that’s how you’d work that out.

Extreme Opposite: Advanced Notice

Now, someone does the opposite and goes to the other extreme, which is they give you way more notice than you need.

So say the employment agreement says that you can terminate employment on, you know, a month’s notice.  Now you’ve got a very zealous and organized employee who gives you 3 months’ notice.  Well, you don’t actually have to accept the extra two months.

You can just accept one month’s notice and say goodbye to them after one month. Or, because you’re the employer and they’ve given you three months’ notice, which means they’re happy to stick around for three months, you could keep them around until the end of the three month period which gives you more time to find someone else.

Anyway, that’s notice periods and resignation without notice. I hope you found that useful. I tried to do it quickly and in an uncomplicated manner. Don’t always succeed but I think that went all right.

Anyway, if you have any questions please feel free to get in touch. 1 800 355 455, Simon at, thank you.

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