This information is only relevant to employers and employees in the WA state industrial relations system.
- Employees are entitled to resign from their job at any time and for any reason.
- Employees are required to give notice of resignation.
- When an employee resigns, they must receive unpaid wages, unused annual leave, and may have a long service leave entitlement if they have been employed for 7 years or more.
Notice of resignation
When an employee resigns, the employee must give the employer notice of resignation. The required notice period is the number of hours, days or weeks:
- required by any WA award or industrial agreement that covers the employee;
- required by the employee’s employment contract (noting an employment contract cannot require an employee to provide a longer period of notice than what is specified in a WA award); or
- if the employee is not covered by WA award or agreement, and the employee does not have a written contract of employment detailing a required period of notice, the employee is to give ‘reasonable notice’ (see below for an explanation of reasonable notice).
The WA award summaries detail notice periods required by the relevant WA award.
If you do not know if a WA award applies to you, visit the Finding the right pay rate page for information on how to check WA award coverage.
Employees who work for a larger business or organisation, should also check whether an industrial agreement applies, which can be done by checking with the human resources or payroll area where you are employed.
There is no set definition of how much notice is 'reasonable', as this will depend on the circumstances. Through case law the courts have determined the following factors are relevant:
- the length of employment;
- the nature of the employment;
- the status, seniority and salary of the position;
- the employee's age;
- the employee's qualifications and experience; and
- the employee's length of service and degree of job mobility.
What an employee must be paid when they resign
The employee is entitled to be paid for all hours / days worked up to the time of finishing in the job.
An employer is not permitted to make any deductions from the employee’s final pay if the employee does not give the employer the period of notice of resignation required by the WA award, agreement or contract or does not provide reasonable notice.
Employers and employees should note that some WA awards contain out of date provisions about deduction of wages when notice is not given that are of no effect as they have been overridden by the requirements of the Minimum Conditions of Employment Act.
Annual leave entitlements on resignation
A full time or part time employee is entitled to be paid out annual leave when employment ends. The Annual leave page has detailed information on annual leave entitlements when employment ends.
Long service leave entitlements on resignation
Under the WA Long Service Leave Act, after 7 years of continuous employment an employee may have an entitlement to payment of long service leave when their employment ends due to resignation. This entitlement applies to full time, part time and casual employees.
The Long service leave – what is the entitlement when employment ends page has comprehensive information and an explainer video on this topic.
Personal leave entitlements on resignation
There is no minimum entitlement for personal leave / sick leave to be paid out when an employee resigns.
Statement of Employment
An employee can request a separation certificate on resignation. A separation certificate is a written statement specifying the period of employment and the job classification or type of work performed.