My employee is resigning without providing notice

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Sometimes when an employee resigns from a business, they ask to leave immediately, or request to work out only part of the notice period dictated in their employment agreement.

There will sometimes be pressure for them to start at their new job as soon as possible, particularly with more senior employees who may have a longer notice period, but there could be a variety of reasons for the request. If an employee resigns they are obligated to provide at least the period of notice required in their employment agreement, so it is worth double checking at this point to see what their notice period is.

If the employee gives the required notice, and works this notice out, the employer must pay the employee to the end of the notice period. The employment relationship continues until that date. However, if an employee leaves work without giving notice, the employer is not required to pay for time beyond the employee’s last actual working day. The employer must not deduct pay in lieu of notice from any amount owed to the employee unless the employee agrees in writing or the employment agreement specifically allows it (and there are additional restrictions around this).

By mutual agreement you may agree to the employee’s request for them not to work out all (or part of) their notice. This agreement must be recorded in writing and clearly state that the employee forfeits his or her wages or salary for the notice period not worked. Their employment ends at that agreed date at which point their final pay is calculated and they are paid out for any unused annual leave and days in lieu. An employee may also request to take leave during their notice period, thus shortening the working notice period.

This would again need to be approved by the employer, so it can be declined if there are reasonable business reasons for not allowing the leave. It is important to note that the scenario we are talking about is when an employee requests not to work out their notice period. An employer must never pressure an employee to leave their employment earlier than they intended, if they provide you with the required notice then you are required to allow this.

However, if your employment agreement includes an appropriate clause (as the Restaurant Association employment template does) you may be able to pay them in lieu of notice – meaning they will not be required to work out the notice period, but you will still be obligated to pay them for the full notice period and their employment still officially ends on the date that their notice period ends. Having an employee who does not want to be in your business can also be detrimental to the staff moral and be potentially damaging to your customer service. In these cases a change of duties can be appropriate.

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