UK: Termination – for contractual claims, notice of termination takes effect on actual personal receipt (in absence of express provision)

Employers wanting certainty as to the date of termination for contractual purposes should ensure that the employment contract specifies when notice is deemed to be given or, if it does not, that they hand over notice in person to the individual. The Court of Appeal in Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust v Haywood ruled that, where an employment contract was silent on when notice was deemed to be given, notice sent by letter to the individual's house while she was on holiday did not take effect until her personal receipt of the letter on her return home (and possibly not until she read it). As a result, her termination date was pushed back to after her 50th birthday, entitling her to a much more generous pension.

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