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Sunday, 30 October 2011

Notice pay

If you are leaving your job then you should be entitled to pay and benefits during your notice period. If your employer can’t pay you then there are steps you can take to claim your payment.

Your rights during your notice period

During your notice period you will normally have the right to your normal pay and benefits (eg a company car), as set out in your contract of employment.

Right to minimum pay during your notice period

If your contract of employment sets out the number of hours you normally work (eg 39 hours per week) you may also have the right to be paid a minimum hour rate during your notice period for any time that you are:

  • off sick
  • on holiday
  • temporarily laid off
  • on maternity/paternity/adoption leave
  • ready and willing to work, but your employer does not give you any work

If your employment contract does not set out how many hours you work you still have the right to be paid a minimum hourly rate of pay during your notice period for any time that you are:

  • off sick
  • on holiday
  • temporarily laid off
  • on maternity/paternity/adoption leave
  • ready and willing to do a reasonable amount of work to earn a week’s pay, but your employer does not give you any work

Calculating how much you should be paid

Your pay during these periods is worked out by dividing your average week’s pay by the number of hours you normally work.

Exceptions to the entitlement to minimum pay

You will not be entitled to a minimum pay rate during your notice period if:

  • you are working a notice period that is longer than the minimum notice period by a week or longer
  • you take part in strike action after giving notice

You will not be entitled to the minimum pay rate for any time off that you request during your notice period. However, this could be protected separately if, for example, you need time off:

  • to look for work or arrange training if you are facing redundancy
  • for union duties
  • for antenatal care

Insolvent employers

Insolvency happens when an employer has no money to pay the people they owe in full and they have to make special arrangements to try to meet these debts.

It may be that your employer wants to end your employment but can't pay or compensate you because they are insolvent. In this situation you may be able to claim the money you are owed from the Insolvency Practitioner.

What to do if you have a problem

If you have a dispute with your employer about your notice pay you should try to sort out the problem with them informally. If this doesn’t work you can follow your company’s grievance procedures.

If you and your employer still can’t resolve the issue then you might be able to make a complaint to an Employment Tribunal for breach of contract.

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