Durban - Ever been so frustrated at your job that you thought of sending a resignation letter right then and there, but changed your mind instead?
What happens in this scenario then when someone goes through with it but immediately has a change of heart? Can they back off from this awkward situation?.
According to the Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr’s employment practice experts, a similar case was recently brought before the Labour Court.
In it, three questions were asked:
What is the effect of a resignation on the employment relationship?
When does a resignation take effect?
Can a resignation be unilaterally withdrawn and, if not, what would be required to revive the employment relationship?
“The court held that resignation is a voluntary and unilateral act that seeks to end the employment relationship.
“However, an employer can still elect to press disciplinary proceedings against an errant employee during the notice period if that employee sought to resign to avoid the potential for an adverse outcome in that process,” said the law experts.
The court gave credence to the fact that when an employee voluntarily makes the choice to communicate their intention to terminate the employment relationship, that decision cannot be unilaterally withdrawn once it has been communicated to the employer.
“Where the employee was bound to serve a notice period, their failure to serve that period will not negate the effect of the resignation, as the employment contract will still have reached an end.
“The only way to revive the contract of employment would be through a fresh offer and acceptance – which amounts to rehiring or re-employment.”