How Much Notice Do I Need to Give My Employer in the UK? - Herd Digital

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How Much Notice Do I Need to Give My Employer in the UK?

how much notice you need to give your employer

Looking for a new job and wondering how much notice you need to give your employer? You’ve come to the right place. Here at Herd we regularly help the candidates we work with navigate their notice periods when they secure their new roles.

There’s no one answer for how much notice you need to give your employer that you’re leaving your job here in the UK. It’s different from person to person, and depends on the contract you signed when you started.

What Is Your Notice Period?

To quickly summarise, your notice period is the amount of time you are contractually obliged to give to your employer before you leave your job. A heads up to your employer that you’re leaving in X amount of weeks or months.

Notice periods here in the UK are designed to protect both the employer and employee. The employer from the negative effects on the businesses operations, that the sudden departure of potentially vital employees can have. For employees like yourself, it’s to protect your livelihood, and give you time to find new employment, should yours come to an abrupt end.

How Much Notice Period Do I Need To Give My Employer in the UK?

The absolute minimum you need to give your employer is one week after working in your role for a month. But the typical notice period is anywhere from 1 to 3 months; with the average notice period in the uk being 3 months. This is due to 3 months being the average amount of time for businesses to hire in most industries.

But for the majority of professionals, there’s no exact answer we can give you: To find out how much notice period you need to give your employer, you’ll have to look at the contract you signed when you started your job. 

Here at Herd we’ve seen notice periods increasing in length in the past few years. Due to how competitive the digital marketing job market is, and due to how regularly digital marketers are switching jobs to attain higher salaries. 

The variation in length of your notice period can be affected by a number of things, but primarily comes down to how difficult you are to replace as an employee, and how competitive the job market is in your industry. It’s not uncommon to see your notice period grow longer, the longer you have been employed at the business. 

For executives with less experience and skills, notice periods are typically 1 to 2 months. But for senior digital marketers who are hard to replace, (such as Heads of, Senior Directors, CMOs etc.) we have seen notice periods up to 6 months. 

How Much Notice Period Do I Need To Give My Employer In My Probationary Period?

If you’ve just started a new job and it isn’t right for you, then how much notice period you need to give to your employer is often significantly shorter than your regular notice period.This is also true for the notice period your employer needs to give you to terminate your employment. This is reduced during your probationary period to protect both you and your employer from 

How To Hand Your Notice In

When you hand in your notice, you should give it in writing as well as verbally. This can be done over email, but that can seem impersonal: So we would advise booking a meeting with your manager and delivering the news in person.

Your manager may react negatively to you handing your notice in: Because their immediate reaction is on how it affects them, and the business. They won’t often be thinking about how your new job is a great opportunity for you.

You should generally aim to be polite and thank your manager for the time and opportunities they’ve given you. After all, digital marketing is a small industry, and you don’t want to burn bridges on your way out,

But you should also be firm in your desire to leave. You can safely expect your employer to give you a counter offer. It may not happen immediately as you hand your notice period in. But you are likely to receive one during the length of your notice period, after they have had time to discuss with their managers.

For a guide on what to expect from a counter offer, you can read here to find out what a counter offer really means, and the dangers with accepting one.

What if the notice I need to give to my employers is too long?

Despite what some employers would have you believe, your notice period isn’t set in stone. They can be negotiated down, or in an absolute emergency, even ignored completely.

Here at Herd Digital we regularly help the candidates we work negotiate their notice period. We’ve put together a step-by-step guide on negotiating and reducing your notice period, to help you when you need it.

How Much Notice Do I Need To Give As a Freelancer or Contractor?

As a freelance or contract worker, you have much more control over your notice period than a  regular employee. You could choose to forego a notice period completely, meaning you can choose to terminate your contract at your discretion. Although this has its own drawbacks obviously. With no notice period, your employer can terminate your contract with no warning.

There are also affects on your IR35 status to consider, as having a notice period where your employer is required to pay you can make you seem like an employee. For more information on IR35, you can read here.

How Much Do I Get Paid in My Notice Period?

During your notice period you should be paid in full. Even if your employer asks you to work from home, or to not work at all. You are entitled to be paid in full, for the entirety of your notice period.

You should also be paid for any accrued holiday leave that you haven’t used in your holiday year. This is, unless you decide to use your holiday leave to effectively shorten your notice period. 

Employees often have more rights when it comes to notice periods than they realise. If you’re a digital marketer looking for your next role, reach out to us here. We can help you with the whole job search, interview process and the transition to your new job.

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