What Does “Notice Period” Mean on a Job Application?

What Does “Notice Period” Mean on a Job Application?

Reviewed by: .

Employment is not necessarily permanent. There may be a time that you want to grow further and work for another company that may satisfy your need for improvement. You may also experience termination of your contract due to several reasons. Nonetheless, you must serve a notice period before you leave your company. With this, you might ask, what does a notice period mean?

A notice period is the length of time between the day of your resignation (or termination of your contract) and the day you leave your company. Upon submitting a letter of resignation, it is customary for you to give your employer time to prepare for your departure. Conversely, your employer must also provide you with a period of notice before the termination of your contract.

Here is more noteworthy information about notice periods in employment.

What Is the Minimum Notice Period?

It is standard practice that your contract of employment specifies the details of your notice period. Typically, you will have one week notice period after submitting your resignation or termination of the contract if you have worked as an employee for more than a month but less than two years

You are entitled to an additional one-week notice for every continuous year between 2 and 12 years. At the same time, employers must provide at least a 12-week notice period for employees who have been working at the company for more than 12 years. 

The length of notice may also vary based on your position in the company. If you hold a highly significant role, you may need more time to train a candidate who will replace you.

Does a Notice Period Affect My Job Application?

When you have recently resigned or terminated from your job, your job application may be affected if you intend to work immediately. Most employers may require you to render a notice period before your actual departure from the company. During your notice period, you will need to report to your employer to find a suitable candidate to replace you from your position. Thus, you will not be readily available once hired by a new company.

Can I Be Dismissed During My Notice Period?

Upon serving your notice period, your employer may dismiss you earlier by offering you a payment in lieu of notice. A payment in lieu of notice is a standard provision in employment contracts that allows your employer to accelerate your dismissal by paying you with the equivalent amount of salary you would have earned by working through your notice period, including compensation for loss of benefits. For instance, if your notice period is two weeks, you will be compensated for two weeks’ worth of salary.

Why Is a Notice Period Important?

When you resign, a notice period allows your employer to prepare and find someone who can take over your role in the company. A notice provides your company sufficient time to process your resignation, create a job advertisement, examine applications, and interview candidates for the position. It also gives your employer a chance to delegate your tasks to your co-workers for them to plan for your absence, especially if your position is not yet filled by the time you leave.

Notice periods ensure a smooth transition of duties and responsibilities within your workplace. Furthermore, a notice period lets you maintain a positive relationship with your employer. That is because you may need their recommendations when you apply for future positions.

What Is Garden Leave?

Within your notice period, your employer may ask you to go on garden leave. During this time, you are not allowed to report to your workplace or work elsewhere. This precautionary measure protects the company by limiting your access to clients, co-workers, and other confidential information. Though, your employer may ask you to return to work if necessary. Still, you are entitled to your usual pay and benefits throughout your garden leave period.

What Are Restrictive Covenants?

Restrictive covenants are legal agreements that prevent you from taking specific actions after the termination of your contract. These covenants intend to restrict you from working for a competitor for a definite period, prohibit you from soliciting customers from your previous company after your departure, and prevent disclosing confidential company information. A breach of restrictive covenants can result in lawsuits and fines from your previous employer.

Can My Employer Dismiss Me Without Notice?

Summary dismissal is the immediate termination of your contract without notice or payment in lieu of notice due to gross misconduct. When you commit an unprofessional act within your workplace that has serious grounds for termination, your employer has the right to dismiss you from your position immediately. 

On a similar note, you also have the right to resign from your job, with or without notice. It is justifiable when your employer commits any breach of contract. These are some grounds: not paying you the right salary, forcing you to work in dangerous situations, and unethical acts of harassment, discrimination, or violence. Such termination is called constructive dismissal.

Fixed-term employments are contracts where an employee is hired for a specific period. When the contract expires, your term automatically ends without notice. However, if your employer wants to end your contract sooner than the specified date, he/she should give a notice period. The employer can also renew your contract after the term expires.

What happens If I call in Sick During My Notice Period?

Feeling sick can happen anytime in your career. It may happen while serving your notice period as you prepare to leave your company. During this time, you may be allowed to take sick leave by your employer. Still, your last day of employment will not change.

Your notice period is intended for your employer to plan a handover of your responsibilities within the company. When you call in sick during your notice, it is customary for you to immediately notify your employer and provide evidence, such as a medical certificate if necessary. Additionally, if you recover before your notice period ends, it is proper for you to report back and finish the remaining working days required of you.


Knowing that you will soon be leaving your company does not permit you to act unprofessionally during your notice period. Instead, you should maintain good working ethics and remain focused on your work. Your continuous willingness to help allows you to leave an excellent lasting impression among your employer and colleagues in your workplace.