If you’re thinking about leaving your job or moving to a new role, a key consideration to bear in mind is your notice period. Your notice period is the time you are contractually obliged to work after letting your employer know you are leaving (“handing in your notice”). If you are being made unemployed or redundant, this may also be used to refer to the time between your employer notifying you of your job ending and your last day at work.
Many NHS staff believe that notice periods are the same across organisations, in the same way that annual leave, pay progression and other benefits are standardised for staff on Agenda for Change contracts.
However, in the national Agenda for Change contract, notice periods are defined as “Other Terms and Conditions”, which are to be agreed locally rather than nationally. This means that every NHS organisation has its own notice period requirements.
In practice, most organisations increase the length of notice periods depending on seniority. Some common notice periods are set out below:
|Agenda for Change band
|Length of notice period
|Three to six months
If you’re not sure what your notice period is, check your contract of employment. And bear in mind that there might be some flexibility in your notice period – it is always worth speaking to your manager about whether it might be possible to leave early, particularly if you have some annual leave to take!