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Resigned or not?

When an employee resigns, and then they withdraw the resignation

in the heat of the momentA straight forward resignation usually happens when an employee leaves to go elsewhere. Maybe they have been head hunted or they have decided to tour the world. Either way they have communicated a clear intention to leave, usually by a fixed date.     


In this article we examine the situation where an employee resigns in the heat of the moment. Is this always a resignation? What happens when the employee withdraws the resignation?

When an employee resigns after careful consideration and without pressure from the employer, it is usually safe to accept the resignation.

The problems start when added pressure influences the decision. If it was in the heat of the moment, was that heat generated by anything connected to the employer? If so then the resignation may become a constructive dismissal claim.

A resignation becomes effective immediately. It is not necessary for the employer to accept it.

If an employee resigns in the heat of the moment, an employer should allow a cooling off period, usually a couple of days, before acting on it. If you believe, after this cooling off period that the employee intended to resign, then you can inform them that you "accept" their resignation and set in motion the necessary steps, eg seek a replacement etc.  If however you feel that pressure at work caused the reaction, then you need to investigate the matter and take appropriate action to remedy the situation.

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Image courtesy Tim Stephenson  cc.15        



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