I take it back!  When is a resignation final?

When an employee gives their resignation, verbally or in writing that resignation is considered final and the employer is not required to take the employee back on if there is a change of mind.

There is an exception to this.  When an employee resigns in the “heat of the moment”.

Resignations made in the “heat of the moment” can be taken back in some circumstances.

Some circumstances will result in a resignation not being considered valid, creating a situation where the employer must take the employee back on.  This is most common with verbal resignations, communicated after a performance counselling session, or an incident at work.

When an employee resigns under pressure of a situation there is reason for employers to ensure they are following due process before closing the employment file or recruiting for additional staff.

Final is Final

To ensure that the business can satisfy its staffing needs employers need to treat all resignations as tentative until:

  • Resignation has been received in writing;
  • A final date of work has been nominated or negotiated; and
  • Resignation has been acknowledged by the businesses in writing and delivered to employee.

Only after these thing have happened can the business put together final payments with any entitlements and begin recruiting for a replacement.

It is important that businesses tick all of these boxes before closing the employment file. As demonstrated in a recent case (Minato v Palmer Corp) an employee told their supervisor to “shove the f**ing job up you’re a***”, and due to the lack of written confirmation on either part the employee then brought an unfair dismissal case.

Managing people means managing personalities and managing pressurised situations. When dealing with the words of an employee in one of these situations it is important to seek clarification.  If you are dealing with a situation of resignation hesitation ACAPMAs Workplace Relations Professionals can help just call 1300 160 270 its free for members.

HR Highlights are things to consider, implement and watch out for in your business.  They are provided as general advice and you should seek further advice on your situation by  calling 1300 160 270 and speaking to one of ACAPMA Workplace Relations Professionals its free for members. ACAPMA Membership is affordable at only $550 per year for a single site and valuable with sites gaining HR advice support and representation as well as a raft of other benefits and discounts.  Click here to apply for ACAPMA Membership.

Elisha Radwanowski
BCom (HRM & IR)
Manager Association Business and Workplace Relations Professional