Understanding Payment in Lieu of Notice: (Employers Guide)

UK Immigration Blog

Payment in lieu of notice is a legal concept allowing employers to pay employees some form of compensation when their employment is terminated without notice. This kind of payment is often referred to as PILON. PILON can benefit both the employer and employee as it allows the employer to terminate the employee without any hassle and the employee to receive compensation for the loss of income. 

However, certain rules and regulations need to be followed while making PILON. In this blog post, I will help you understand the rules for payment in lieu of notice.

What is pay in lieu of notice?

Pay in lieu of notice, also known as PILON, is a payment made by an employer to an employee when they terminate their employment contract without giving the required notice period. 

The payment amount is usually equivalent to the employee’s wages. This payment is usually made at the time of termination and includes all the benefits the employee would have earned had they worked during the notice period.

How does pay in lieu of notice work?

When an employee resigns or is terminated from their job without serving the required notice period, the employer has the option to either ask them to work out the notice period or to make a payment equivalent to the wages of the notice period. This payment is made on the assumption that the employee will not be required to come to work during the notice period. 

Some employers might make this payment even if the employee agrees to serve the notice period. In such cases, the payment is considered an incentive to encourage the employee to leave.

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Is pay in lieu of notice mandatory?

In most countries, pay in lieu of notice is not mandatory unless specified in the employment contract. However, some countries have specific regulations requiring employers to pay terminated employees without notice. It is important to check the labour laws of your country to understand the rules regarding pay in lieu of notice and employment termination.

What are the tax implications of pay in lieu of notice?

Pay in lieu of notice is considered taxable income and is subject to income tax deductions. The amount of tax deducted will vary depending on your country’s tax laws and your tax bracket. It is important to understand the tax implications of pay in lieu of notice to avoid any surprises during tax season.

5 Payment in Lieu of Notice Rules

Rules regarding Payment in Lieu of Notice

1. Notice Must be Clear

The first and most important rule for PILON is that the terms of the notice must be clear and concise. The notice period should be explicitly marked in the employment contract and must be adhered to while making PILON. 

In case no notice period is mentioned in the contract, the period is assumed to be the statutory minimum of one week for every year of service up to a maximum of 12 weeks. Failing to adhere to the notice period outlined in the contract can result in legal action against the employer.

2. Contractual and Non-contractual Payments

The second rule for PILON is understanding the difference between contractual and non-contractual payments. When an employer makes a contractual PILON payment, it means the employer has paid what was agreed upon in the contract. 

However, non-contractual PILON payments are made when the employment contract is silent about PILON. In such cases, the employer can choose to make a discretionary payment. It is important to note that contractual payments are taxed and subject to national insurance, while non-contractual payments are not taxable.

3. PILON Amount Calculation 

Employees are entitled to receive PILON as if they had worked the notice period. The calculation is based on the employee’s gross pay and includes regular extras such as bonuses, overtime, and commission. It is important to calculate PILON correctly, as failure can result in legal action against the employer.

4. Notify the Employee Before Termination Notice

Employers must provide a written statement to the employee explaining the reasons for the termination, the termination date, the amount of notice given, and the amount of PILON payable. This must be provided to the employee within 14 days of the termination date.

5. Settlement Agreement Between Employee and Employer

A settlement agreement is a contract that waives an employee’s right to bring a claim against the employer. Employers must provide an employee with independent legal advice before the employee signs the settlement agreement. Failure to do so can result in the settlement agreement being invalid.

Understanding the Wages in Lieu of Notice and its Impact on Unemployment

You may be curious about the implications of this and how it affects your unemployment benefits.

You might wonder what this means and how it impacts your unemployment benefits. Let’s delve deeper into wages in lieu of notice, discuss their significance, and elaborate on how it affects unemployment benefits.

What are wages in lieu of notice?

Wages in lieu of notice refer to an employee’s compensation when an employer terminates their employee without giving sufficient notice. It is a payment that an employer provides to an employee instead of the required notice period.

Significance of Wages in Lieu of Notice

Wages in lieu of notice are significant as they pay employees suddenly out of work without sufficient notice. It helps the employee cover their finances for the duration they would have worked had they been given notice. 

This payment can be significant when the notice period is long or when the employee is in a high-paying job. Some employers may choose pay in lieu of notice as a goodwill gesture to the employee.

How do wages in lieu of notice affect the waiting period?

When an employee receives wages in lieu of notice, it can also affect the waiting period for unemployment benefits. The waiting period is the time an employee must wait before they can apply for unemployment benefits. 

The waiting period ensures that only job-lost employees can claim unemployment benefits. The number of wages in lieu of notice may reduce the waiting period by covering some of the time frames that would have been covered by the waiting period.

How wages in lieu of notice are taxed?

Wages in lieu of notice are taxed just like regular income and considered a separate payment on an employee’s final paycheck. The payment is considered taxable income and will be subject to federal, state, and local taxes. Your employer will report the payment in the same way as other income.


Payment in lieu of notice (PILON) is a concept that must be handled with care by employers. The rules related to PILON are clear and must be followed diligently. Employers who fail to follow these rules may face legal action against them. It is important to note that employees who receive PILON must be treated fairly and provided with adequate compensation for the loss of income due to termination. 

Wages in lieu of notice can significantly impact an employee who has suddenly lost their job without sufficient notice. It is crucial to understand what it is and how it affects unemployment benefits, including how it can impact the waiting period and how it is taxed.

You must contact a legal professional if you need any help or have any queries during the process. At the same time, ensure that commitments are legal and you fulfill rules and regulations. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long is payment in lieu of notice?

The length of payment in lieu of notice depends on your contractual or statutory notice period. If you have a contractual notice period of four weeks and your employer decides to pay you in lieu of notice, you will receive four weeks’ pay. If you do not have a contractual notice period, you would receive the statutory minimum notice period based on your length of service.

Does payment in lieu of notice count as service?

Yes, payment in lieu of notice does count as service. If you are being made redundant and receive payment in lieu of notice, you will still be entitled to redundancy pay if you meet the eligibility criteria. Your length of service will be calculated from the date you started working for your employer to the date your employment ended, including the payment in lieu of notice period.

Do I have to accept payment in lieu of notice?

Whether or not you have to accept payment in lieu of notice will depend on the terms of your employment contract. Some employment contracts may require you to work your notice period, while others may allow your employer to pay you in lieu of notice. If your contract is silent on the matter, your employer may still be able to pay you in lieu of notice as long as they give you reasonable notice of their intention.

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Teresa Aldridge
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VisaHelpUK - UK Immigration and Visa Application Advice Service
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