Resignation - how much notice?
When an employee resigns, they may have to give notice to their employer. The notice:
- starts when the employee gives notice that they want to end the employment
- ends on the last day of employment.
An employee's award, employment contract, enterprise agreement or other registered agreement sets out:
- how much notice (if any) they have to give when they resign
- when an employer can withhold money if they don't give the minimum notice period.
If you're covered by a registered agreement, check the terms of your agreement for information. To find a registered agreement, go to the Fair Work Commission website
Use our Notice and Redundancy Calculator to find information about minimum notice requirements or select your award from the list below.
- Building, construction and on-site trades
- Contract cleaning services
- Hair and beauty
- Health support services
- Real estate
- Road Transport
- Social, community, disability and home care services
- Storage services and wholesale
- Don't know
Giving more notice than required
An employee can give more notice than required in the award, registered agreement or contract. An employer doesn't have to accept this and can choose to only let the employee work for the minimum notice period. When the employee resigns, the employer should tell the employee if they accept the full notice period or if they only want them to work the minimum notice period under their award, registered agreement or contract.
Taking leave during a notice period
An employee can take annual leave during a notice period if the employer agrees to the leave.
An employee can take sick leave during a notice period if they give:
- notice of the leave as soon as possible
- evidence if the employer asks for it (eg. medical certificate).
An employer can't force an employee to take leave as part of the notice period.
No paid sick leave left
An employee who has used up all their sick leave can take unpaid sick leave. They have to give the employer notice and evidence.
Source reference: Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) section 22 and 117
Think a mistake might have been made?
If you’ve lost your job, contact the Fair Work Commission (the Commission) first if you think you were sacked because of:
- a reason that is harsh, unjust or unreasonable
- another protected right.
You have 21 days from the day you were sacked to lodge an application with the Fair Work Commission. Check the information at the Commission website to find out if you can apply for:
If you think you haven’t been paid everything you’re owed:
- read about Notice and final pay to find out what you should get
- see our Help resolving workplace issues section for practical advice on:
- talking to your employer about fixing your notice and final pay if it’s wrong
- getting help from us if you can’t resolve it.
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