Losing your job - entitlements


If you are being dismissed from your job or made redundant you have certain entitlements including notice and pay for annual leave built up but not taken.

This is a checklist of what your employer must give you when you leave work:

  • Pay that you are owed for work you have done
  • A payslip – showing your gross pay and any deductions
  • Pay for annual leave which you have earned but not taken
  • Pay instead of notice if you have not worked your notice period
  • Information about what happens to your pension scheme (if applicable)

You no longer get a P45 when you lose your job. Now, when you leave a job your employer will enter your leaving date and details of your final pay and deductions into Revenue’s online system. You can view your pay details through the ‘Manage your tax’ link in Revenue’s myAccount.

How much notice should I get?

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 when this will come into effect. The length of notice you are entitled to, will depend on your contract of employment. There is also a minimum entitlement set out in the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts 1973–2005.

To be entitled to the legal (or 'statutory') minimum, you must have been working for your employer continuously for at least 13 weeks.

Minimum period of notice

The amount of notice you are entitled to by law depends 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

For example, if you have worked for your employer for 5 years and 3 months you get 4 weeks' notice.

While the notice entitlements under your contract of employment can be more than the minimum periods above, your contract cannot have a notice period less than the above.

This means that whatever your contract says, your employer must give you at least the statutory minimum period of notice. You cannot get less, even if your contract says this.

Continuous service

Your service is continuous unless you are dismissed or you leave your job.

Continuity of service is not normally affected by:

  • Strikes
  • Lay offs
  • Dismissal followed be immediate re-employment
  • A transfer of undertaking (TUPE)

Calculating continuous service

When calculating the length of your continuous service for notice purposes, the following periods of absence from employment are counted as service:

  • Any period up to 26 weeks between consecutive periods of employment because of lay off, illness or by agreement with your employer
  • Any period of lock-out from your employment
  • Periods of absence due to service with the Reserve Defence Forces

Any period of absence to take part in a strike is not counted as service.

Pay instead of notice

You may be required to work the notice period or you may accept pay in lieu (instead) of notice, if offered.

Pay in lieu of notice means that you will not have to work for the period between receiving notice and the end of your employment. You still 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 allows for a payment 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 pay 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).

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

Under employment legislation you can agree with your employer to waive your right to notice.

If you both agree, your employer can pay you in lieu (instead) 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 challenge whether your employer was justified in dismissing you.

Getting paid what you are owed

If you lose your job you have 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

You are entitled to be paid 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 ends 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 get an additional day's pay for the public holiday. This also applies to part-time employees who have a right to the public holiday by working at least 40 hours in the previous 5 weeks.

How to complain

Your employer is responsible for giving you your proper notice. If you have difficulty in getting your notice entitlement or if there is a dispute about pay you are owed, your payslip or pay for annual leave you can make a complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission.

You should apply using the online complaint form. You must make your complaint within 6 months of the dispute or complaint occurring. The time limit may be extended for up to a further 6 months, if there was reasonable cause for the delay.

For more information on your employment rights contact the Workplace Relations Commission's Information and Customer Service - see 'Where to apply' below.

Where to complain

Workplace Relations Commission - Information and Customer Service

O'Brien Road
R93 E920

Opening Hours: Mon. to Fri. 9.30am to 1pm, 2pm to 5pm
Tel: (059) 917 8990
Locall: 0818 80 80 90
Page edited: 23 May 2022