Notice of termination must be personally handed to an employee

The Court of Appeal has held in the case of Newcastle Upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust v Haywood that where an employee is to be dismissed, he or she must be personally handed a notice of termination for it to take effect. This applies where the contract of employment does not have a provision of confirming the relevant methods of service.

Therefore, in the absence of an appropriate provision in the contract, sending a letter or an email does not apply unless the employer can prove the employee had personally taken delivery of that letter.

From an employer’s point of view, this means there will be the additional doubt as to when the termination of an employee’s employment has taken place, and to also have the inconvenience and costs of having to serve the employee personally.

If you have any queries relating to the termination of employment, please call us on 0161 330 6821 or contact Mark Hirst (, Nicholas Clough ( or Rachael Frankland ( in our employment team.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.