What happens if an employee hands in their notice, in writing, and there is then a later change of mind. Can a job resignation simply be withdrawn?
If your resignation was in writing, then it still stands. What’s more any resignation [unless of course there are issues of constructive dismissal] means that there is no dismissal – so the employee will not be able, at a later stage, to make any unfair dismissal compensation or redundancy claim at an Employment Tribunal.
If the resignation was at any given verbally, the situation is a little less clear. A verbal resignation can be valid and binding – but only if it’s specific [e.g. “I’m resigning and leaving on Friday”].
If the verbal resignation was unclear, an Employment Tribunal may well consider it as merely an intention to resign – that the worker was considering handing in their notice – rather than an actual resignation.
Resignations – good practice for employers
In any event, if an employee does indicate they want to leave [provided, of course, that an employer is happy for them to do so], our employment solicitors suggest you consider the following;
- Acknowledge any resignation in writing – confirming relevant information such as the last day off work along with any remaining holiday entitlement
- If there has been an earlier resignation and then a subsequent attempt to retract it, simply confirm in writing the receipt of the request to take back the resignation and politely indicate that you’re unable to accept it, without giving the reason why, and confirming their last working day
- Consider including a resignation policy in any contract of employment or office manual – insisting that any resignation must be given in writing
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