If notice of termination is sent by email, does this constitute notice ‘in writing’?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 3 November 2020
Johanna Cunningham
Arthur Cox
Issues covered: Redundancy; Termination of Employment; Written Notice; Emailed Notice

Although not a statutory requirement, it is usual for employment contracts to state that notice must be given in writing. It is prudent for employment contracts to define what is meant by ‘writing’ to avoid any ambiguity. In circumstances where ‘writing’ is not defined within the contract, the definition under section 46(1) of the Interpretation (Northern Ireland) Act 1954 should be considered.

Section 46(1) defines the terms, ‘writing’ or ‘written’ as: “words…represented or reproduced by any mode of representing or reproducing words in a visible form.” This is a wide definition which seems to suggest that email would be covered. Further, the Law Commission has also given its view that

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This article is correct at 03/11/2020
Disclaimer:

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Johanna Cunningham
Arthur Cox

The main content of this article was provided by Johanna Cunningham. Contact telephone number is Johanna Cunningham or email belfast@arthurcox.com

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