Notice of termination

What happens when I terminate an employee?

There are a number of requirements you need to meet when you terminate the employment of an employee, including providing notice of the termination in writing (templates available below). These requirements are in the National Employment Standards (NES).

Find out more:

What happens when my employee resigns?

Under the Cleaning Award, if an employee resigns or ends their employment, they need to give you notice of termination. The amount of notice they have to give you is the same as the amount of notice you have to give them under the NES (you can find this information using the link above), except that your employees don’t need to provide additional notice based on their age.

If an employee does not give you the correct amount of notice of termination, you can withhold money from their final pay equal to the amount they would have earned if they had worked during the notice period.

Note: An employee’s final pay includes any outstanding wages (including penalty rates and allowances), unused annual leave and annual leave loading, unused long service leave, redundancy payments (if applicable), and pay in lieu of notice of termination (if applicable). Further information is available on the Final pay page. You should also ensure you make the required payments into the employee’s superannuation fund (call the Australian Tax Office's superannuation hotline on 13 10 20 for more details).


Adrian has been working at Clean as Day Cleaning Services for 4 years. Adrian decides to resign and gives his manager, Melanie, 2 weeks’ notice.

Under the NES, the notice period for an employee who has worked for 3 - 5 years is 3 weeks; Adrian should have given Melanie 3 weeks’ notice. Melanie advises Adrian that she will withhold the equivalent of 1 week’s wages from his final pay to cover the additional week’s notice that he did not provide.

For information about unfair dismissal, the small business fair dismissal code and what to pay your employees in their final pay, visit Termination.


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Page last updated: 16 Sep 2010