When does a notice period start and end?

06 June 2024

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A recent determination in the Employment Relations Authority clarifies that an employee’s notice period starts the day after the day on which the notice is given.

Tighe-Umbers v Jetconnect Limited [2024] NZERA 234

Mr. Tighe-Umbers was an employee of Jetconnect Limited. On 24 January 2022, Jetconnect gave notice of termination to Mr. Tighe-Umbers. According to the collective agreement (which Mr. Tighe-Umbers was subject to), Jetconnect was required to give three months’ notice. Mr. Tighe-Umbers employment ended on 24 April 2022.

Following this, Mr. Tighe-Umbers raised a personal grievance for unjustified dismissal on the basis that he was given insufficient notice. He claimed that his three-month notice period began on the day he received notice. In other words, his final day of employment should have been 25 April 2022.

The ERA was in favour of Jetconnect Limited, determining that the notice period begins the day after the notice is given and ends immediately before the corresponding day in the relevant month.

Section 56 of the Legislation Act is relevant.  It provides that a reference to 1 or more months in legislation is a reference to a period calculated as follows:

(a)    the period starts at the start of the relevant day in the month; and

(b)    the relevant number of months must then be counted to find the ending month; and

(c)    the period ends immediately before the corresponding day in the ending month or (if there is no such day) at the close of the last day of the ending month.

In the case of Mt Tighe-Umbers, his notice period started on 25 January and ended on 24 April.

This ruling emphasises the importance of correctly calculating the notice period to avoid legal challenges.

You can read the full determination here: Tighe-Umbers v Jetconnect Limited [2024] NZERA 234

For detailed advice or if you have any questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us: Tony Teesdale 021 920 323, Justine O’Connell 021 920 410, Michelle Battersby 021 993 735, or Esther Cohen-Goh 021 178 4111