Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union





Research shows that an average workers will change jobs up to 12 times throughout their career. We’ve all seen the dramatic scene in a movie or TV show of someone walking into the manager’s office, hurling a resignation letter at their face and storming out to a heroic operatic theme song. But is leaving your job really that easy?

Well, it’s not. Apart from the fact that most people don’t have the leisure of quitting their job at a whim, there are requirements to give notice before quitting your job.

How much notice do I need to give?

The first place to start is your contract of employment or your collective agreement (if you have one in place at your workplace).

Most agreements or employment contracts will contain provisions on how much notice you need to give if you are terminating your contract of employment.

If you don’t have an agreement or contract specifying the amount of notice you need to give, then you will have to consult your relevant Award.

You can see a comprehensive list of Awards here. If you need to know which one applies to you, contact the AMWU Help Desk on 1300 732 698.

Most Awards in the manufacturing industry provide for the following notice of termination provisions: 

Length of Service

Notice Required

Less than one year

1 week

At least one year but less than three years

2 weeks

At least three years but less than five years

3 weeks

Five years or more

4 weeks


* Check your relevant Award to confirm how much notice you are required to give

What if I don’t give enough notice?

The notice of termination requirements can be varied by agreement between you and your employer. Often employers will agree to vary a notice period but this needs to be discussed with your employer. 

However, if your employer insists that you should work out your notice period and you leave anyway, they do have the right withhold the amount of notice from the money that they owe you on termination.

For example, if you are required to give two weeks notice and you have four weeks of annual leave owed to you on termination, the employer is entitled to deduct the two weeks notice period from your four weeks annual leave (meaning you would only be paid out two weeks annual leave on termination).

Remember, if you have any questions about the above information, contact the AMWU Help Desk on 1300 732 698.


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