It is lawful for an employer to dismiss an employee if it is a genuine redundancy or if the dismissal would not be considered harsh, unjust or unreasonable or if the dismissal is consistent with the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code.

Notice of Termination

An employer must not terminate an employee unless they have given the employee written notice on the day of termination. Rules apply as to how much notice an employee must be given.

If the employee is over 45 years old, and has completed at least two years of service at the end of the day notice is given, the employee receives an additional one week notice. An award or agreement may include terms specifying the period of notice an employee must give in order to terminate his or her employment.

Employee’s period of continuous service with the employer at the end of the day the notice is given


Not more than 1 year

1 week

More than 1 year but not more than 3 years

2 weeks

More than 3 years but not more than 5 years

3 weeks

More than 5 years

4 weeks


Redundancy Pay

An employee is entitled to redundancy pay from the employer if the employee is terminated at the employer’s initiative because they no longer require the job to be done by the employee or anyone (except where this is due to the ordinary and customary turnover of labour) or because of the insolvency or bankruptcy of the employer.

The amount of redundancy pay will be determined by the employee’s period of continuous service with the employer on termination. This amount is based on an employee’s base rate of pay for ordinary hours of work. It does not include incentive-based payments and bonuses, loadings, monetary allowances, overtime/penalty rates or any other separately identifiable amounts.

An employer who is a small business employer is not required to provide redundancy pay on the termination of an employee’s employment. A small business employer for the purpose of determining redundancy pay is an employer who, at a particular time, employs fewer than 15 employees and also meets certain criteria.

Obviously this is only a brief overview of the legalities involved in terminating an employee and there are many complications and exceptions which are often overlooked. For this reason it is important you seek the advice of a professional.

Our experienced team of lawyers can assist you in preventing unfair dismissal claims against your business. For more information submit an online enquiry or call us on 1300 QUINNS (784 667) to book an appointment.