Unfortunately, at some point business owners will be faced with staff turnover, whether it be by employer or employee choice. An employee or employer may decide to end employment for a number of reasons with both parties needing to ensure their minimum obligations are met. Depending on how the employment ends will determine these obligations and what documentation should follow.
What are the types of termination?
There are various forms of termination, both voluntary and involuntary that an employer may encounter. The most common are:
Redundancy is where the employer no longer requires the employee’s role within the business. This can be due to factors such as technological changes or a piece of work ending. If redundancy is to occur in your business, it is important to remember that the role is being made redundant, not the employee.
Resignation occurs when an employee no longer wants to continue working for their employer. This is usually due to other career opportunities, the employee’s lifestyle changes or the employee is wanting to change industries. When an employee resigns, they should do so in writing by addressing their manager and confirming their end date whilst taking into account their relevant notice period.
Similar to resignation, however it is when the employer decides they no longer want the employee to continue their employment. This is usually the result of unsatisfactory work performance that hasn’t improved after a series of warnings or discussion, misconduct of an employee’s actions, or in severe cases, serious misconduct where an employee may place the health and safety of others at risk.
What are the required notice periods?
Notice periods will differ depending on the termination type. When an employee’s role is made redundant or their employment is terminated, their notice period will be outlined in their employment contract which should adhere to the guidelines in the applicable modern award or National Employment Standards.
In some instances, an additional week’s notice may need to be provided from the employer’s side if your employee meets certain criteria.
Both the employee and employer should give the minimum notice required to the other party to end the employment, however by mutual agreement may decide to finalise employment sooner than the projected end date. The employer may be required to pay the employee in lieu of the full notice period, and by the same token, the employee may forego payment of accrued leave if they do not give the notice they are required to.
This also applies to redundancy – an employer will need to ensure the employee is given the required notice to be able to find alternative employment.
If a person’s employment is terminated due to serious misconduct, no notice period is to apply and the employee will depart the workplace immediately.
It is important for both employees and employers to understand their obligations when terminating employment. From an employer perspective, if the requirements are not adhered to the possibility of an unfair dismissal claim being raised by the employee increases.
Are you needing to end employment for someone in your team? Are you unsure if your employee has given the required notice? Contact one of our HR consultants today!