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Updated: Jul 10, 2023

Being aware of notice period lengths in European countries is crucial for employers seeking to recruit IT specialists from outside their own country. By comprehending the legal requirements and cultural expectations, employers can effectively plan for employee transitions, avoid legal pitfalls, and maintain positive relationships with both incoming and departing team members.


The thematic map & chart in this article provides a comparative overview of notice period lengths by an employee, meaning the amount of time employees need to respect when resigning from their jobs.

Thematic map comparing resignation notice periods in Europe

The chart and thematic map we present here highlights the statutory notice period lengths in 22 European countries, ranging from a few weeks to several months. We’re happy to share this first-of-its-kind resource, which allows employers to quickly grasp key international data all in one place.

As you can see in the chart below, there is often a notice period interval, depending on the employee’s seniority or length of service. The chart provides comments about the conditions that can influence or change the length of the customary notice period. To make it easier to see the general notice period lengths across countries, we’ve categorized them into countries with standard (1 month), generally longer or shorter notice periods. Countries that don’t have a standard notice period, are grouped under the “Individual” category.

Chart comparing notice period by employee in 22 European countries, created by MateHR
Chart compearing notice period by employee in 22 European countries

This guide does not include information about notice periods that apply during employee probation. Usually, the length of notice during the trial period is significantly shorter, starting with no notice period at all up to one or two weeks.

What is the average notice period length in Europe?

Notice periods serve as a buffer between an employee's resignation and their departure from the company, ensuring a smooth transition for both parties involved. Here we look at notice periods by employee, as opposed to notice periods employers need to give their workers when dismissing them.

Notice period length can become an issue when you want to recruit someone whose employment contract stipulates a very long notice time. This can especially be the case with senior or executive positions or employees who work in classified projects or highly complex industries.

To make things even more complicated, notice period legislation varies significantly among European countries. If you thought one month is the average standard notice period for employees across Europe, think again. In countries like Germany or Italy, an executive’s notice period can last as long as 7 or even 12 months.

Each country has its own legal framework and cultural norms that influence the length of notice required before terminating an employment contract. The good news is that many countries indeed require a one-month notice period – and some countries even less – allowing for workforce transitions to happen quicker.

The importance of notice period length when hiring internationally

Businesses seeking highly knowledgeable and motivated tech employees often choose to expand the talent pool and hire outside of their country. As a tech recruitment agency, we are happy to help companies hire international IT talent – either inviting them to relocate or work remotely from their home country. However, we often see that long notice periods become an obstacle for hiring IT professionals swiftly.

Different countries have different employment practices and expectations regarding notice periods. By gaining insight into these variations, employers can make informed decisions, comply with local regulations, and foster positive employer-employee relationships.

Bear in mind that there can be significant variations in the employment contract, stipulating longer notice periods by both sides. Some IT employees have signed NDA agreements or legal consent that forbids them to work for competing companies for a certain amount of time. Countries with strong trade unions, like France or Italy, don’t mention standard notice period lengths at all, as those can only be stipulated in the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) or employment contract.


While this resource gives employers a good idea of where to start their team expansion efforts, it doesn’t substitute legal advice. MateHR can take no responsibility for actions taken based on the information contained in this guide.


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