Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

Final resignation?

An employee who was upset by incidents in his life outside work decided to resign. His line manager gave him half an hour to cool off and reconsider. At the end of that period he repeated his desire to resign. The terms of his resignation were unambiguous.

Some days later he attempted to withdraw the resignation and when this was refused he went to tribunal and then to appeal. The employment appeal tribunal did not rule in his favour.

Unless the terms of a resignation are ambiguous - in that the empoyee's words or actions weren't certain - there is no obligation on an employer to accept a request to withdraw a resignation.

Unless the resignation is caused by the employer's conduct, the employee has no basis for a claim. Even if there is ambiguity, a cooling off period of one to two days appears to be the limit before an employer may consider the resignation final.

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