When an employee wishes to resign, it is best to ask for the resignation to be submitted in writing, specifying the termination date. This avoids confusion between the date the resignation was tendered and the date the employee intends his/her employment to end (usually the last day of the notice period). Whether the resignation is verbal or written, it is best practice to acknowledge it in writing. For a letter which can be used for this purpose, please see .
An employee’s notice period is normally included in his/her contract of employment. The employer is entitled to be given the amount of notice specified in the contract. This can, however, be varied provided both parties (the employee and the employer) agree to the variation. If, for some reason, the contract does not specify a notice period, the employee is required to give the employer one week’s statutory notice, provided he/she has been employed for one month or more.
If an employee resigns and gives less than the required period of notice, he/she would technically be in breach of contract. However, unless the employer can prove a resulting financial loss and wishes to sue for damages, there is little that can be done. The employer is, of course, only obliged to pay the employee for that part of the notice period the employee actually works.
When an employee is working his/her notice, all of the provisions included in his/her contract of employment, including any benefits, continue to apply.
A resignation cannot be withdrawn except with the employer’s agreement. However, a resignation tendered in the heat of the moment and retracted quickly should be treated with caution. Wait until the situation has calmed down and confirm the employee’s actual intentions.
A resignation which is tendered under pressure, for example under the threat of dismissal, will constitute a dismissal.