“I didn’t sack him, he resigned”…or did he?… Here’s why you MUST get this right.


Well maybe … in most cases if someone resigns then you are unlikely to hear from them again, however there are circumstances where a resignation can come back to haunt you if you are not careful.

If the employee tells you they are resigning because of something you, the employer, has done, there is a real danger that they could make a claim against you in an Employment Tribunal for what is called constructive dismissal. These claims are lodged when the employee believes (or thinks they can get away with saying) that the employer has breached the contract so fundamentally that they had no option but to resign. In cases like these if a tribunal agrees with the employee they will treat the case as if the employee was dismissed and make an award based on the same calculation as for an unfair dismissal claim.

However win or lose the distraction of having a claim made against you is disruptive regardless of the outcome of the case, so if someone walks up to you and resigns without warning and then mutters about being badly treated, check what has happened quickly so you can take steps to avoid a “jolly” day in court

Even worse, be very careful about “persuading” someone to resign, because by doing so you may be seen by the courts as having already made your mind up about them and a tribunal may find that persuading them to resign was just another way of dismissing them. I’ve lost count of the number of times that I have been told that the parting was amicable and the employee accepted the situation and resigned voluntarily, only to be sent a copy of a letter retracting the resignation and claiming they had been unfairly dismissed.

If you are worried about an employee and feel you may end up in this position give us a call on 07879 551256.

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