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How long should your notice period be in Ireland?

You’ve landed the new job, and you are excited. The pay is better and they’ve thrown in a car. The future looks fantastic and you can’t wait to start. But these warm and welcome thoughts are happening at your old place of work and there are a few things to do before you ride off into the sunset. At CareerWise, we can help you navigate all aspects of employment, from starting a bright new career chapter, to closing an old one calmly and respectfully. Here is our guide to giving notice in Ireland.

How long should your notice period be in Ireland

What is giving notice?

When you want to leave your current role, there are a few things to get done before you can say your goodbyes. Giving notice is the place to start. Leaving an employer requires you to give notice of your intention to go – informing your place of work of your plans, in advance. It’s a requirement governed by laws designed to protect both employee and employer. According to the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts, 1973 – 2001, either an employee or employer looking to terminate a contract of employment, must provide the other party with a specific notice period.

So you must by law tell your employer of your intention to leave. You must then work out your notice period – this will be stipulated in your contract of employment. It can be anything from a week to a month, usually depending on your level of responsibility. The idea is that it gives your employer a chance to fill your role, and for everyone to work together to make the transition smooth, so that business can continue to function without interruption.


What is the best way to give notice?

There’s an excellent case for approaching the giving of and working out of notice in a smart, professional and hands-on way. You are not just leaving a job; you are leaving your legacy and you want it to shine even during those last weeks. And, who knows, the dream job you seek some years down the line may just be with your current employer. The sum total of your legacy including your performance during the notice period may just get you on the short-list from the outset.

So, leave gracefully and on good terms with employer and colleagues. They may be asked to give you references now or somewhere down the line. We live in a networking world, and you will want to maintain contact with people you currently work with.


How long is my notice period?

Your notice period should be in your employment contract, but you can always check with the human resources department for the details. In Ireland, the minimum statutory notice period is one week, so this is how long your notice period will be if you do not have its length specified in your employment contract. But increasingly employers specify longer notice periods, with several weeks now being common.


How to give notice

A formal letter is the traditional way to give notice, and will still be considered the proper method by many employers. Your resignation letter should be brief and to the point, stating your notice period and specifying your last day of work. You are not obliged to state your reasons for leaving but there is no reason you shouldn’t. It may be pay, conditions or a career move. Some employers will be keen to know your reasons because they are operating in a competitive world. If they are losing staff because of pay they will need to do something about it. Your letter will enable them to make better decisions – however you should remain polite and professional at all times.

Print off the letter and sign it. Schedule a meeting with your boss. When you see her or him break the news verbally and hand over the letter. Be positive and cordial. You should also talk over the portfolio of work currently on your desk and how that should be closed out or passed to colleagues.

You are signalling that you remain as professional as you have always been.


What next?

Once you have handed in your resignation letter, issues such as leave that is due to you will be addressed by human resources. Employers may offer you pay for leave still owed or the time off. Such arrangements are not covered by legislation so you may need to thrash it out with the boss.

Human resources will also cover issues such as absence due to service with the Reserve Defence Forces, or absence due to sickness or industrial action.

With the legal stuff out of the way, you should assess your outstanding workload and aim to close out whatever projects you are responsible for. If it is not possible in the time available, keep your colleagues briefed on progress so they can take up the slack when you are gone. Make the transition a seamless one.

There’s a chance to shine even while working out your notice. If you are looking for a new job in Ireland, or need advice on any aspect of employment, contact CareerWise today. We have recruitment agency offices in Cork, Limerick, Galway, Dublin and Mayo. Our friendly team of recruitment experts pride themselves on connecting the best talent with the best opportunities, every time.



Cork Office

CareerWise Recruitment. EastGate Village, EastGate, Little Island, Cork.

Phone: +353 (0) 21 206 1900