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Handling Staff Resignations

Employers Handling Staff Resignations

All employers need to know the proper procedures for handling employee resignations. Your staff member will give you a written or verbal resignation when they want to resign.

WHEN EMPLOYEES RESIGN: An employer cannot refuse to accept an employee resignation.

There are many reasons why you might try to persuade them to change their mind. But, you must accept it if they have decided to leave.

An employee deciding to retire is also a form of resignation.

What should you do if they withdraw their resignation later?

As a rule, you are not forced to agree to their continuation in work for you. But, dealing with resignations in difficult situations requires extra care.

Tread with caution if an employee hands in their notice under controversial circumstances. An example might be following a heated argument at work.

When a staff member resigns you must follow these procedures as part of the resignation process:

  1. Get the employee to confirm their resignation in writing for you.
  2. Inform them what their working notice period is.
  3. Make it clear, and get their agreement, when their last day at work will be.
  4. Confirm whether you want them to work all, or only part, of their notice period.

Note: Employees often make verbal resignations in the heat of the moment. This type of departure can lead to claims of unfair dismissal. Always ask for further confirmation in writing before moving forward with their exit.

Staff Resignations During a Business Transfer

There are special rules for employees during business transfers or TUPE. The term stands for the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations.

In these circumstances your staff are not forced to accept the transfer to any new employer. So what happens if they do not want to transfer their employment contracts to the new organisation?

Employers can consider their employees to have resigned in this case. The time of resignation gets taken from the actual date of the business transfer. As a rule, staff who resign in this situation do not:

  1. Receive redundancy pay or statutory redundancy pay.
  2. Have the legal right to get taken on by the changed employer.

Conducting Employee Exit Interviews

It is always recommended to arrange an exit interview when an employee leaves. Their response often outlines any underlying work-related issues that you should address.

But, it can be quite difficult for managers to get employees to reveal the exact reason for leaving. Often, it is a case of whistleblowing in the workplace that reveals any wrongdoings.

An employee may make accusations against another working colleague. Employers must resist acting too hastily during an exit interview. Your role is to ensure a fair investigation for all circumstances.

Note: Get more information on handling staff resignations at the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service.

Employer Procedures for Handling Employee Written and Verbal Resignations
Last Updated 2018