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Handling staff resignations

An employer cannot refuse to accept someone's resignation and they must follow certain procedures.

When a member of staff resigns you must:

  • get them to confirm their resignation in writing
  • tell them what their notice period is
  • agree when their last day at work will be
  • confirm whether they should work all or part of their notice period

Employee decisions to retire are a form of resignation.

Verbal resignations given in the heat of the moment could lead to claims of unfair dismissal - always ask for resignations to be given in writing.

Resignations during a business transfer

Your staff do not have to accept being transferred to a new employer as part of a business transfer or Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE).

If staff do not want their contracts to be transferred to the new employer, you can consider them to have resigned from the date of the transfer.

In most cases, staff who have resigned in this way do not:

  • get redundancy pay or statutory redundancy pay
  • have the right to be taken on by the new employer


Contact the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) if you have any questions about handling staff resignations.

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