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When does a notice of termination take effect? New Judgment says from when it is read

View profile for Sally Morris
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A notice of termination takes effect from when the employee actually reads it, the Supreme Court has ruled.

The judgment follows the case of Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust v Haywood.

The Supreme Court found in favour of NHS worker Sandi Haywood, whose bosses sent her notification of redundancy while she was on holiday.

The crux of the case was whether the notification came into effect before or after her 50th birthday.

A majority of three to two Judges upheld the decision of the Court of Appeal in May 2017, which recommended that a notice of termination could only take effect from when an employee reads it. Previously, it was thought the termination could take effect from when the notice left the employer’s hand.

Experts say the ruling could have a wide-ranging impact on employment law, particularly in relation to UK employment contracts.

The consequence of this case may mean that employers will be forced to revise employment contracts to explicitly state when and how a notice of termination will take effect, or otherwise be left open to interpretation.

To read the full judgment, please click here.

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