Supreme Court holds that an employee must be aware that notice has been given before a notice period can run – Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust v Haywood

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Part of the Walker Morris Risk Series LogoIs notice of termination deemed to be received when it is delivered to the employee or when the employee actually reads it? The Supreme Court has given useful guidance on this question.


The Supreme Court held that notice of termination of employment, delivered by letter, does not begin running until the letter is actually read by the employee. The Court did, however, acknowledge that the employment contract can make express provision “both as to the methods of giving notice and as to the time at which such notices are … deemed to be received”.


In view of this decision, it may be worth inserting a clause in employment contracts setting out when notice of termination will be deemed to be received.