What is the difference between dismissal with notice and without notice?

A dismissal with the appropriate notice is a contractually lawful dismissal. The notice of dismissal will specify when the dismissal takes effect. If your contract says that you are entitled to a month’s notice, the dismissal will normally be effective one month from the date on which you are told that your contract is being terminated.

The contract of employment may provide for a payment in lieu of notice, or an employee may voluntarily waive their right to notice and accept payment in lieu.

A dismissal without the appropriate notice is a wrongful dismissal (in other words, it is a breach of contract) unless it is in response to the employee's gross misconduct.

Dismissal without notice (often called 'summary dismissal') in response to gross misconduct should only take place after a proper investigation and disciplinary hearing.

The Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures (PDF, 167KB) recommends that employers should tell their employees clearly what constitutes gross misconduct.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.