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Documents you should keep and things your employer must do when you lose a job

If you leave your job, or are dismissed for any reason, certain documents should be obtained and actions should be taken by you and your employer to ensure the process is carried out properly.


When you leave your current employment your employer should provide you with a document called a P45.

This document includes information regarding your official leaving date, your national insurance payments, your tax code and PAYE (pay as you earn) reference number and your earnings in the tax year.

This is an important document as it will show you have paid tax on your earnings and will not, therefore, be liable to pay additional sums to Revenue and Customs.

If your employer refuses to provide you with a P45 you should contact a solicitor for legal advice as soon as possible. In this scenario it is likely that the employer has not processed your documents in order for you to have paid tax.

It is, therefore, very important that you ensure they have been paying tax out of your wages or you may be liable for the tax yourself.

Leaving a job

If you are considering leaving your job of your own accord then there are a number of additional factors that should be taken into account.

Firstly, you should consult your contract of employment and see what the required notice period is; this will usually vary from a couple of weeks to a couple of months and if you do not work your notice period, the employer is likely to be able to withhold your wages as a result.

You may also have taken more holiday days for the holiday year than allowed. When this is calculated as a percentage of the year, if you have resigned midway through the year, this can again lead to wages (to that amount) being withheld if provided for by the contract of employment.

If an employer is withholding money owed to you simply on account of you resigning and not in accordance with your employment contract, you should contact a solicitor for legal advice.

Fixed-term employees

If you are a fixed-term employee then you should be treated exactly the same when leaving your employer.

It is against the law to treat a fixed-term employee any less favourably than a comparable permanent employee on the grounds that they are a fixed-term employee without an objective justification.

In other words if, objectively speaking, a fixed-term employee’s contractual terms are broadly the same as a permanent employee’s then they must not be treated unfavourably.

If an employer can demonstrate that, objectively speaking, they have treated the fixed-term employee reasonably the same in all the circumstances, there will have been no unfavourable treatment.

Pension schemes

If you have a pension scheme with your current job then you should be able to transfer the equivalent amount to another scheme or a personal pension plan, unless this is specifically excluded in the terms of your pension or your employment contract.

It is important to note that when leaving a job you should still be afforded the same rights as before the time your employer gave you notice or you gave your employer notice of your intention to leave.

In addition to this, the employer must provide you with certain documentation when you leave; if you feel this had not been adhered to you should contact a solicitor for legal advice. 

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