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How to deal with a heat-of-the-moment resignation

Author: Tina Elliott


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  • Be aware that clear and unambiguous words of resignation can usually be taken at face value and an employee cannot retract a resignation without the agreement of the employer.
  • Where the employee has resigned in the heat of the moment, consider if they genuinely intended to resign and fully understood what they were doing.
  • Take into account that there may be a risk of a tribunal claim even where the employee involved has less than two years' service.
  • Allow a day or so for the situation to cool and investigate the circumstances in which the resignation took place to find out the employee's real intentions.
  • Apply the same principles to a hastily written note of resignation.