Notice pay and entitlements
Not all employees receive notice of their job ending or are entitled to redundancy pay.
Check your award, enterprise agreement or employment contract and any workplace policies to learn more.
An employment contract or workplace policy cannot provide less than the National Employment Standards, or any award or enterprise agreement that applies.
Before any major changes happen in a workplace, including redundancies, employers should consult with any employees who may be affected. This will usually involve:
- providing information about the proposed changes to the workplace and their expected impact
- discussing steps to avoid or minimise negative effects on employees
- considering employees’ ideas or suggestions about the changes
Workers who usually don't receive notice
Not all workers are entitled to a notice period. These include:
- casual and seasonal workers
- daily or weekly hires
- employees dismissed for serious misconduct
- most employees on fixed term contracts
Notice for full and part-time workers
When employment ends for full and part-time workers, employers generally need to provide at least the minimum amount of notice as outlined in the award, enterprise agreement or employment contract.
In most situations, this is based on how long they have worked with that employer.
If eligible employees are not given proper notice, an employer still has to pay for that notice period, even if the employee is no longer working there. This is called payment in lieu of notice.
Final and redundancy pay
Redundancy is when an employer doesn’t need an employee’s job to be done by anyone, or if the employer becomes insolvent or bankrupt.
The amount of redundancy, or severance, pay an employee gets is usually based on their period of continuous service with their employer, excluding any unpaid leave.
An employee's final pay must be paid within 7 days of their employment ending, and generally includes:
- outstanding wages
- any accumulated annual or long service
- if applicable, redundancy pay or payment in lieu of notice
But not everyone is eligible for redundancy pay if they lose their job, including:
- employees whose continuous service is less than 12 months
- those employed for a certain period of time or for a particular project or season
- employees of most small businesses with fewer than 15 staff
- those terminated because of serious misconduct
- those terminated due to ordinary and customary turnover of labour
- a casual employee or apprentice
Learn more about who does not get redundancy pay at the Fair Work Ombudsman.