Losing your job - entitlements
If you are being dismissed from your job or made redundant you may have certain entitlements including notice and pay for annual leave earned but not taken.
This is a checklist of what your employer must give you when you leave work:
- P45 – a statement of your pay and deductions – see ‘P45’ below
- Pay that you are owed for work you have done – see ‘Pay’ below
- Payslip – showing your gross pay and any deductions
- Payment for annual leave which you have earned but not taken – see ‘Holiday pay’ below
- Payment instead of notice if you have not worked your notice period – see ‘Notice’ below
- Information about what happens to your pension scheme if applicable
When you leave your job your employer must give you a P45. This is a statement of your pay and the tax, Universal Social Charge (USC) and PRSI to date deducted by your employer. It is a very important document and you need it if:
- You are starting a new job – to give to your new employer in order to avoid paying emergency tax
- You are unemployed – to claim a tax refund, to claim social welfare benefits
The date on your P45 is the date that you physically leave the job. For tax and social welfare purposes your employment has ceased. Under employment law, the termination date of your employment may be different – see ‘Payment instead of notice’ below.
If your employer does not give you a P45 you should ask for it – see
‘How to apply’ below.
You may be entitled to notice if you are being let go from your job. This means that you are given notice that your job will end, and a date in the near future when this will come into effect. The length of notice you are entitled to, will depend in the first place on your contract of employment. In addition, there is a minimum entitlement set out in the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts 1973–2005.
In order to be entitled to the statutory minimum, you must have been working for your employer for at least 13 weeks.
Minimum period of notice
The amount of notice you are entitled to by law will depend on how long you have been working for your employer.
|Duration of employment||Minimum notice|
|13 weeks to 2 years||1 week|
|2 years to 5 years||2 weeks|
|5 years to 10 years||4 weeks|
|10 years to 15 years||6 weeks|
|15 years or more||8 weeks|
While the notice entitlements under your contract of employment can exceed the minimim periods above, any provision for notice in your contract for less then the above is invalid. This essentially means that while your contract of employment can set down that you will receive a greater amount of notice than the law states above, you cannot get less, even if your contract says this.
Payment instead of notice
You may be required to work the notice period or you may accept payment in lieu of notice, if offered. Payment in lieu of notice means that you will not have to work for the period between receiving notice and the ending of your employment, but you will get the same amount of wages that you would have received, had you worked. This payment is not regarded as wages or salary but as compensation for loss of employment, which may qualify for tax relief. However, if your contract of employment provides for a payment of this kind on termination of the contract or if you work for the period of notice, you pay tax and PRSI in the normal way.
If you get payment in lieu of notice you are considered to be unemployed and available for work during this period. This means that you can claim a jobseeker’s payment. You cannot claim a jobseeker’s payment for any day that you are receiving holiday pay (see below).
If you are accepting payment in lieu of notice, the date on your P45 is the date that you physically leave the job. For tax and social welfare purposes your employment has ceased. This allows you to claim social welfare benefits. However, the P45 does not prove the termination date of your employment for the purposes of employment law. Under section 7 of the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Act 1973, if you accept payment in lieu of notice, then the date of termination of your employment is the date on which notice (if it had been given) would have expired.
During your period of notice you should receive your normal pay. This also applies if you are paid in lieu of notice.
Waiving your right to notice
Employment legislation sets down that if an employer and an employee agree, the employee can waive their right to notice. In addition, where the employer and employee agree, the employer can pay the employee in lieu of notice. This right is set down in Section 7 of the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Act 1973.
Dismissal without notice
Your employer may dismiss you without notice for serious misconduct, although you can contest whether your employer was justified in such action.
If you lose your job you have certain rights and entitlements including the right to be paid for work you have done. If you have not been paid by the date of dismissal or if you are still owed some wages, you have a legal entitlement to be paid for your work.
Holiday pay: If your employment is ending, you are entitled to receive a payment for annual leave which you have earned but not taken. The payment should equal the amount that would have been paid had the annual leave been taken. The ending of employment is the only situation where it is legal to pay an employee instead of giving annual leave.
Public holiday: If your employment stops during the week
ending on the day before a public holiday and you have worked for your employer
for the previous 4 weeks, you should receive an additional day's pay for the
public holiday. This also applies to part-time employees who have established a
right to the public holiday by working at least 40 hours in the previous 5
How to apply
Your employer is responsible for giving you your proper notice. If you have difficulty in securing your notice entitlement or if there is a dispute about pay you are owed, your payslip or pay for annual leave you can refer a complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission within 6 months of the dispute or complaint occurring. You must use the online complaint form available on workplacerelations.ie. The time limit may be extended for up to a further 6 months, but only where there is reasonable cause which prevented the complaint being brought within the normal time limit.
For further information on your employment rights contact the Workplace Relations Commission's Information and Customer Service - see 'Where to apply' below.
If you are not given a P45 when you leave your job you should first ask your employer for it. If the employer does not supply it you should contact your tax office. Revenue will contact the employer and obtain your P45 for you. If you have started a new job, Revenue will send you a new tax credit certificate so you will not have to pay emergency tax in your new job.
Where to apply
Workplace Relations Commission - Information and Customer Service
Information and Customer Service
Opening Hours: Mon. to Fri. 9.30am to 5pm
Tel: (059) 917 8990
Locall: 1890 80 80 90