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 external-icon.png.

Use our Notice and Redundancy Calculator to find information about minimum notice requirements or select your award from the list below.

Tell us more

* Please make a selection to find information tailored to you.

Show information tailored for me

You do not have javascript enabled. Please select your preferred industry from the links below, to view your tailored content for this section.

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 external-icon.png

Think a mistake might have been made?

For employees:

If you’ve lost your job, contact the Fair Work Commission (the Commission) first if you think you were sacked because of:

  • discrimination
  • 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.

​For employers:

Want to save this information for later?

If you might need to read this information again, save it for later so you can access it quickly and easily.

You might also be interested in:

Page reference No: 1996