HR & Employment Law Insights

Helping family businesses, start-ups, charities, social enterprises, and other growing or established businesses throughout the UK make sense of HR and Employment Law challenges.

In this week's Question of the Week Emma Baker answers "My employee has resigned, is there anything I need to do?"

Question 

My employee has resigned, is there anything I need to do?

Answer

In short yes.

The most important thing to do if someone resigns is acknowledged their resignation in writing.  There are a number of things you should confirm in the resignation acknowledgement letter, including:

  •   the agreed last date of employment, including confirmation of the required notice period – this helps avoid any disputes over final dates of employment or notice periods;
  •   when they will be paid their last pay; and
  •   confirm any holiday pay they may be due as a result of holidays accrued but not taken.

There may be circumstances when an employee owes you money e.g. because they have taken more holiday than they have accrued; or perhaps because you have paid for training for them and it’s in their contract that this is to be repaid – this too should be confirmed in writing in the resignation acknowledgement letter.  Please note that some caution should be exercised before making any deductions from someone’s final salary.  We can advise on this if you need help.

On occasion, you may find someone resigns verbally in the heat of a moment.  It’s always good practice to allow them a chance to cool off.  Then following this you should revisit their decision to verbally resign with them and check that they are sure this is what they want to do.  If their decision remains to resign you should ask them to confirm this to you in writing to you, and you should then acknowledge this in writing, as above.

If they don’t confirm in writing, you should write out to them acknowledging their verbal resignation and confirm everything in writing.  In these circumstances, you should send recorded delivery to demonstrate you have a paper trail should they attempt to dispute later they did resign.

Some other useful things to consider when you receive a resignation include:

  • Do you wish your employee to work out their full notice period? If their contract provides it you may find it helpful to pay them in lieu of all or part of their notice period.  This will affect when their actual final date of employment is
  • Consider whether garden leaves during their notice period might be appropriate, only if their contract has a provision for placing them on garden leave
  • Think about announcing the resignation to other staff, agree on this with your employee
  • Remember to obtain any company property from your employee on, or before, their last working day
  • Think about recruiting a replacement – we can help support your recruitment needs with job adverts, screening applicants, arranging interviews etc.
  • Do you need to arrange a handover?
  • Finally, say farewell and part on good terms
  • Be careful about what you include in providing references

Here at the HR Booth, we have the expertise to help make any resignation as smooth for you and your business as possible.