Responding to a resignation
Responding to a resignation

The following Employment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Responding to a resignation
  • Initial response
  • Resignation in breach
  • Exit interviews
  • Suspension
  • Garden leave
  • Constructive dismissal
  • Post-termination restrictions

Responding to a resignation

It is not inconceivable that the first indication an employer will have about potential competitive activity by an employee is when that employee resigns.

The employer's response is critical, and so managers who are likely in practice to receive an employee's notice of resignation should be given appropriate training on how to respond.

This Practice Note outlines the issues that will typically arise in a situation where it is anticipated that the departing employee proposes to join a competitor or set up his own competitive business.

Initial response

In many cases, an adequate response will simply be for the manager to take the employee's letter, if there is one, say that he will contact HR and state that the employee will be called to a meeting later to discuss the relevant details and arrangements for his departure.

However, it may be helpful if the manager is prepared to:

  1. discuss, however informally, the employee's future plans—this may give an indication of whether the employee's intentions are unlawful and/or whether he has already engaged in unlawful activity

  2. make a judgement as to whether the employee should be kept away from their work computer/telephone so that information on the equipment can be secured

  3. listen to any concerns the employee expresses as the reason for his resignation, to see whether the situation could be retrieved and the employee convinced to

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