Dismissal notice periods

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The information on this page applies only to employers and employees in the WA state industrial relations system. The state system covers businesses which operate as sole traders, unincorporated partnerships, unincorporated trust arrangements as well as any incorporated associations or not for profit bodies that are not trading or financial corporations. The Guide to who is in the WA State System has more detail.

This information does not apply to any business which operates as a Pty Ltd business and is a trading or financial corporation nor to any incorporated association or not for profit body that is a trading or financial corporation. These businesses and organisations are in the national fair work system and should visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website for information on employment laws.

There are minimum notice periods required for full time and part time employees based on how long the employee has been employed and the employee's age. These notice periods are set out in the national Fair Work Act 2009, and apply throughout Australia, including to employers and employees working in the state industrial relations system.  

A relevant WA award may also require an employer to give a certain amount of notice when an employee is dismissed. If a WA award requires a longer period of notice than the Fair Work Act, the notice specified in the WA award must be given. If a WA award requires a shorter period of notice than the Fair Work Act, the notice period in the Fair Work Act must be given. You should check the WA award summaries or contact Wageline

The Fair Work Act notice periods do not apply if the employee is casual. Casuals can be dismissed by giving the notice required in a relevant WA award, or reasonable notice if there are no specific award provisions or the employee is award free. The Fair Work Act notice periods also do not apply if the employee is being dismissed for serious misconduct. Further information on serious misconduct can be found on the Dismissal - general and Managing employee performance information pages.

The Fair Work Act notice periods in the table below also do not apply to employees who:    

  • are employed for a specific period of time or task (e.g. a fixed term contract)
  • do seasonal work
  • are trainees employed for a set period of time or for the length of the traineeship only

Apprentices are entitled to receive the Fair Work Act notice periods, unless they are employed for a specific period of time or task. 

It is important to note that even if the Fair Work Act notice periods do not apply to an employee, a WA award or agreement may still require notice to be given on dismissal. Check the WA award summaries or contact Wageline for further information on notice periods in awards and agreements. 

The minimum Fair Work Act notice periods for full time and part time employees are as follows:

Notice periods for dismissal - Fair Work Act 2009
Employee's period of continuous service Minimum period of notice
Not more than 1 year At least 1 week
More than 1 year but not more than 3 years At least 2 weeks
More than 3 years but not more than 5 years At least 3 weeks
More than 5 years At least 4 weeks

 

Under the Fair Work Act if the employee is aged 45 years or older and has at least two years continuous service, he or she is entitled to one extra week of notice on top of the above notice periods – for example, a 50 year old employee who has worked continuously for 3½ years must receive 4 weeks’ notice (3 weeks plus 1 week).

Payment in lieu of notice is generally allowed, but the payment must be at least the amount the employee would have received if he or she had worked during the entire notice period.

If the employee resigns during the notice period he or she is only entitled to payment for the part of the notice period that was actually worked.

For further information on the Fair Work Act notice periods please contact the Fair Work Ombudsman on 13 13 94 or visit https://www.fairwork.gov.au.

Record keeping

All state system employers are legally required to keep employment records that detail time worked, leave taken and pay received by employees.

Learn more on the record keeping requirements page

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