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9 minute read

What Should You Know About Notice Period?

Are you reviewing the notice period for your current or future job? It is essential to understand what your notice period entails.

A notepad with notice letter written on it

A notice period is the amount of time a person is required to notify their employer before leaving their job. It usually includes time for the employee to wrap up projects, train a replacement, and provide other details that might be necessary. It is typically specified in the employment contract and can range from one week to several months.

When do you need to review your notice period? 

1. New job offers:

During negotiations for a new job, make sure to discuss and clarify your required notice period.

2. New job role/promotion:

When you transition to a new role and gain additional responsibilities.

3. Company policy changes: 

Keep an eye out for any updates to the notice period policy that may impact you.

4. Resignation: 

When it’s time to inform your employer about your departure date, and you have to provide them with proper notice. 

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What are the key points to look out for? 

An employee concerned about how to negotiate the notice period for resignation


1. Duration of notice period: 

The length of the notice period can vary depending on factors like the employment contract terms, the employee’s position, and their length of service. Generally, the notice period can range from one day to several months.

2. Mutual agreement: 

The employer and employee can agree on a notice period longer than the minimum required by law. This is typically stated in the employment contract. 

3. Termination without notice: 

In some cases, either party may terminate the employment without notice or with shorter notice if there is a breach of contract, gross misconduct, or other serious issues. However, proper documentation and adherence to legal requirements are important.

4. Payment in lieu of notice: 

Instead of serving the notice period, the employer or employee may provide compensation in lieu of notice. This means that the terminating party pays an amount equivalent to the salary for the duration of the notice period.

5. Statutory notice period: 

If there is no pre-agreed notice period in the employment contract, the Employment Act of Singapore specifies a statutory minimum notice period based on the employee’s length of service:

  • Less than 26 weeks of service: 1 day is required.
  • 26 weeks to less than 2 years of service: 1 week’s notice.
  • 2 years to less than 5 years of service: 2 weeks’ notice.
  • 5 years or more: 4 week’s notice

6. Probation period: 

During probation, the notice period is usually shorter for both parties. The specific terms are typically stated in the employment contract.

7. Retrenchment and redundancy: 

In cases of retrenchment or redundancy due to business restructuring, employers are often required to provide additional benefits and notices as per the Employment Act.

8. Foreign workers: 

For foreign workers, it’s essential to be aware of the relevant work pass regulations as the notice period and termination procedures may differ for them.

9. Documentation: 

Both employers and employees should ensure proper documentation procedures are followed when giving or receiving notice. This helps prevent misunderstandings and potential legal issues.

10. Employment contracts:

Employment contracts should specify the terms and conditions of the notice period, including any provisions related to early termination, payment in lieu of notice, or other relevant details.

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Can you negotiate your notice period before you sign a contract? 

Yes, negotiating the notice period before signing a new job contract is possible and can provide flexibility and alignment with your needs. Here’s a simple and engaging approach to help you navigate this process:

1. Research: 

Start by researching typical notice periods in your industry, role, and location. This knowledge will serve as a starting point for your negotiations.

2. Consider your needs: 

Clearly identify the reasons why you want to negotiate the notice period. Do you need more flexibility for job changes or better alignment with your current notice period? Knowing your needs will strengthen your position during negotiations.

3. Early discussion: 

Rather than waiting for the contract, raise the topic of the notice period during the interview or offer negotiation process. This early discussion ensures mutual understanding from the beginning.

4. Reasonable request: 

During negotiations, make a reasonable request that aligns with industry norms and your specific situation. If your current notice period is longer, suggest a middle ground that works for both parties.

5. Explain your reasoning: 

Clearly communicate why a certain notice period would be more suitable for you. Explain any ongoing projects or the need for a smooth transition, emphasising the benefits of your request.

6. Employer benefits: 

Highlight how a longer or shorter notice period could benefit your prospective employer. For example, cost saving, as the handover within your scope of work can be done efficiently within a shorter period of time. 

7. Negotiation points: 

Keep in mind that negotiations involve give-and-take. If the notice period is non-negotiable, consider other areas for negotiation, such as salary, benefits, remote work options, or other favourable terms.

8. Be flexible: 

Be open to compromise employers the employer’s perspective if they have valid reasons for a specific notice period.

9. Put it in writing: 

Once both parties agree on a new notice period, ensure that it is clearly documented to avoid any misunderstandings.


Negotiating the notice period can be a beneficial process for both you and your future employer. And, do remember to express your enthusiasm for the new position and your commitment to making a positive impact as soon as possible. 

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Can you negotiate your notice period when you get promoted? 

Negotiating your notice period for a job promotion may differ from negotiating when starHere’s new job. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate negotiating your notice period when promoted within your current company:

1. Prepare: 

Before entering negotiations, review your current employment contract and company policies. Understand your current notice period and any differences for the new position.

2. Timing: 

Choose the right moment to initiate the conversation. During a performance review or promotion, discussion is often ideal. This signals your interest in the promotion and allows the company to consider your notice period as part of the overall package.

3. Highlight your value: 

Emphasise your contributions, skills, and experience that make you valuable for the new role. Justify your request for a specific notice period.

4. Discuss transition: 

Explain your plan for a smooth transition, whether your notice period is shorter or longer than the standard. Outline how you will ensure a seamless handover of responsibilities to your successor.

5. Company needs:

Consider the company’s perspective. In some cases, a shorter notice period might encourage employees to focus on providing comprehensive and organised handover materials. This ensures that the knowledge transfer process is concise and relevant.

6. Understand the impact: 

Be aware of how your proposed notice period might affect the company’s operations and projects. If a shorter notice period could cause disruptions, discuss ways to minimise these disruptions.

7. Offer flexibility: 

If requesting a shorter notice period, offer to assist in finding and training your replacement. This helps ease the transition for your team and the company.

8. Negotiate other terms: 

If adjusting the notice period is challenging, consider negotiating other aspects of the promotion package, such as salary, benefits, or additional perks.

9. Maintain professionalism: 

Keep the negotiation professional and respectful. Frame your request as a discussion rather than a demand. Be open to feedback and willing to compromise if necessary.

10. Put It in writing:

When both parties agree on a notice period, ensure it’s clearly stated in your new employment contract or promotion letter.

Remember, navigating notice period negotiations requires tact and effective communication.

When resigning, can you negotiate a shorter notice period with your employer?


Yes. Negotiating a shorter notice period with your employer can be a delicate process. Here are some steps to approach the conversation thoughtfully and professionally,

1. Review your employment agreement/contract: 

Before initiating any negotiation, carefully review your employment agreement or contract to understand the terms and conditions related to the notice period. This will give you a clear idea of what is required and any potential consequences of requesting a shorter notice period.

2. Choosing a good time:

Timing is essential when discussing a sensitive topic like a notice period change. Arrange a time when your supervisor or HR representative is available and not overwhelmed with other tasks or responsibilities.

3. Prepare a solid reason:

When requesting a shorter notice period, be prepared to explain your reasons clearly and concisely. Valid reasons might include personal circumstances, a new job opportunity that requires an earlier start date, or a family emergency. Ensure your reason is reasonable and justifiable.

4. Offer solutions: 

When making your request, offer potential solutions that would help mitigate the impact of your shorter notice period. This might involve offering to assist in finding and training a replacement, completing pending projects before your departure, or extending your availability for remote support after your official departure.

5. Highlight your commitment to a smooth transition: 

Emphasise your commitment to ensuring a seamless transition. Assure your employer that you will work diligently to ensure all your ongoing projects and responsibilities are transitioned smoothly to your colleagues or a new hire.

6. Discuss the benefits: 

Explain how a shorter notice period can benefit both parties. It might allow your employer to save on salary expenses or allocate resources more efficiently. Highlight how your proactive approach will conorganisation’s organisation’s continued success.

7. Flexible: 

Be open to a compromise. 

If your employer expresses concerns or hesitations about a significantly shorter notice period, consider being flexible with your proposed timeline. Finding a middle ground can demonstrate your willingness to cooperate.

8. Listen and respond calmly: 

Listen attentively to your employer’s perspective during the negotiation. Be prepared for potential counterarguments or concerns. Respond calmly and professionally, addressing their points while restating your reasons for the request.

9. Put it in writing: 

If your employer agrees to a shorter notice period, ensure you send a follow-up email summarising the agreed-upon changes. Include the revised last working day and any agreed-upon terms related to the transition process.

10. Express gratitude:

Regardless of the outcome, express gratitude for your time with the company and the consideration given to your request. A positive attitude can leave a lasting impression.


Remember, every situation is unique, and the success of your negotiation will depend on various factors. Approach the conversation with professionalism, empathy, and a willingness to collaborate for the best outcome for both you and your employer.

All in all, notice periods are a key part of the employment contract that both employers and employees should familiarise themselves with. Not only are they important to review before signing a contract, but when it comes to resigning, negotiation for a more favourable notice period can be beneficial for both parties. 

Remember that communication is key, and understanding your obligations, as well as those of your employer, is essential to having a successful conversation. Everyone should take the proper time to sit down and discuss expectations on how the process should look—that way, the expectations are clearly understood by all parties involved.

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