Your rights around resigning

Time to resign?

Perhaps you’ve found another job, are ready to retire, have won the lottery or you just can’t do it anymore. Whatever the reason, you have rights when it comes to resigning. However you also have obligations.

You should give your employer a written letter of resignation. The letter should include the date your resignation is effective from, the role you are resigning from and the date of your last working day. Don't forget to date the letter.

Be sure to keep a copy, and make a note of the date when, and who, you submitted it to.

Try to main professional and resist telling the boss to shove it up his woolly jumper. Burning bridges is never a good idea!

TIP:  Before writing your letter of resignation contact SDA’s Information Helpline on 1300 732 4357 to confirm the amount of notice required and dependent on the length of service and reason for resigning to further check whether you are entitled to any pro-rata Long Service Leave. It is important to check these details before writing the letter as they may affect the wording of your letter.


How much notice do you need to give your employer?

The amount of notice you need to give your employer will vary depending on the agreement or award you work under, along with also your classification (full time, part time or casual) and how long you have been employed by the company.



If you’re employed on a casual basis it means you are engaged by the hour, therefore you’re not required to give any notice. It’s always polite however to give some notice if your circumstances allow you to.


Permanent Part Time or Full Time

The notice period can range from one week to 4 weeks.

Under the General Retail Award if you’ve been employed for:

  • less than one year, you are required to give one week’s notice
  • one year or more but less than three years, you are required to give 2 weeks’ notice
  • three years or more but less than five years, you are required to give 3 weeks’ notice
  • five years and over, you are required to give 4 weeks’ notice.


There are a few variations in some agreements.

Under some Agreements/Awards, if an employee fails to give the correct notice required the employer may take payment in lieu of notice i.e. withholding pay for the equivalent period if you have failed to provide notice.

Ensure you check your Agreement / Award or call the SDA’s Information Helpline on 1300 SDA HELP (1300 732 4357) to confirm what notice you are required to give.


Your employer’s obligations

Most companies can waive the notice period at their discretion. Any such requests would obviously not be possible if there are genuine shortages in staff coverage.

If you give all, or more than, the required notice period you cannot be made to leave the employment before the date of your last working day (as specified on your resignation letter) without the employer paying you as if you had worked.

Furthermore, you cannot be made to use your leave entitlements to serve out the notice period. You are within your rights to work through to the final day of your notice period.

If you have any questions regarding resignation or any other employment related matter contact the SDA Helpline on 1300 732 4357 (1300 SDA HELP) or email







We’ve got you covered

For news and info from where you work, choose your industry.