Editor's message: An employee may resign by giving proper notice under their contract of employment and may not withdraw their resignation without your express permission.
However, there are circumstances in which it is unclear whether or not the employee’s words or actions amount to a resignation. If an angry employee resigns in the heat of the moment, it is a good idea to give them the opportunity to retract their resignation within a reasonable timeframe. If in doubt, you should clarify the employee’s intentions and ask them to confirm these in writing.
A resignation can amount to a dismissal where an employee resigns in response to their employer’s breach of contract. This type of dismissal is deemed to be a “constructive dismissal” and an employee can bring claims for breach of contract and unfair dismissal.
Zuraida Curtis, senior legal editor, employment law and compliance
HR and legal information and guidance relating to resignation.