Costly Resignations

George Heron

George Heron

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Phone 01952 566918

7 December 2016

Every dismissal carries some degree of risk and, in the event that a dismissal is held to be unfair, this can result in open wallet surgery. However, case law has highlighted that resignations can also hit employers financially.

One particular case involved an employee who had a strained relationship with her employer. She had intimated on several occasions that she was not happy, she was considering seeking alternative employment and that she may wish to resign. However, the key point to note is that she did not formally tender her resignation.

Upon growing sick and tired of these antics, her employer sought to put pressure on her to resign. Eventually, she did… but then proceeded to issue a tribunal claim alleging constructive dismissal. This claim was upheld, with the tribunal stating that the pressure the employee was put under was “wholly unwarranted”. It awarded the employee compensation of £49,000.

It is essential that any resignation is the employee’s decision and is not the result of undue pressure from the employer. If you have an employee who is making noises about resigning, you must be extremely wary of taking any action which could subsequently be interpreted as influencing their decision. Of course, constant talk of resigning does have the potential to become very disruptive and you do have the option of treating this as a misconduct issue via the usual disciplinary procedures, although care must be taken.

At Alpha, we have a vast experience in providing bespoke, practical advice on HR and employment law issues. This includes providing tailored advice on how to handle difficult employees. We are proud of our commercial outlook and do not sit on the fence. If you would like to have Alpha on your side, please feel free to contact us.

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