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How to Deal with Employee Resignation

Unfortunately, even the most loyal employees resign from time to time. In some instances, their resignation is unforeseen; and can leave you feeling bewildered and unsure how to proceed.

It’s important to be prepared for staff resignation; and to know the steps you need to take to manage their departure successfully. Here’s a quick guide to help you.

Steps to Handling Staff Resignation

  1. Get it in writing. You’ll need to get written confirmation of their desire to leave, for legal purposes. A verbal resignation isn’t enough – and could result in claims for unfair dismissal.


  1. Notify HR. As soon as your employee announces their intention to leave, notify your HR specialist. They’ll take on an invaluable role, and ensure that you act within the law throughout the process.


  1. Provide official notice. You also need to give official notice to the resigning employee, detailing the date of the termination of their contract. Their contract should state how much notice is required if not, it’s standard practice to request a minimum of two weeks’ notice, unless there’s a good reason to ask them to leave sooner (for example, if you’re concerned about the protection of intellectual data).


  1. Conduct an exit interview. It’s not imperative for your HR specialist to carry out an exit interview, but it’s strongly advisable. This confidential meeting provides valuable insight into the working environment of your company, and may identify areas you’d like to improve in the future.


  1. Notify other employees. Your team have a right to know when a member of staff is leaving the company. The easiest way to tell them is to call a quick meeting, or send an email to all relevant team members. This not only fills them in on the situation, but provides you with the opportunity to tie up any ‘loose ends’ that the resigning employee may leave in their absence.


  1. Protect data and premises. If your employee has access to sensitive files, you’ll need to ensure that their access to your system is deactivated upon their departure. You’ll also need to take back any passcards or keys.


Pay During the Period of Notice

You’re legally obliged to pay your staff member their normal rate of pay, throughout their notice period. This applies even if they’re off sick, on holiday, or on maternity / paternity leave.

However, if you want your employee to leave immediately, rather than working out their notice, you can choose to offer a one-off payment instead; known as ‘payment in lieu’. Bear in mind, it’s your staff member’s right to refuse this, unless it’s specifically in their contract.

Grievances After Resignation

Occasionally, a resignation can be emotionally fraught, which in turn, can lead to disputes and grievances. The most effective way to prevent this happening is to create a solid employee contract right at the start of their employment – which an HR specialist will assist you with. It’s also advisable to have a grievance procedure in place, to cover you in the eventuality that something doesn’t go according to plan.

HR Specialists in the South West

Dealing with resignation in the workplace can be complicated, which is where an HR expert can come in useful. If you’re looking for assistance with HR, simply get in touch with Harris Law today.