Employees may resign at any time, provided they give reasonable notice. The employment agreement should be checked to confirm notice periods and final pay should be calculated. If the employee gives the required notice, the employer must pay the employee to the end of the notice period, unless the employee is justifiably dismissed during that period. The employment relationship continues until that date.
The employee may be required to work for the full notice period or may be asked to stop coming to work before this date. In either case, the employee should be paid to the end of the notice period. If pay is stopped before the end of the notice period, the employee may be able to claim for wages owed.
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.
The employer must pay all holiday pay owing to the employee in their final pay.
If an employer puts pressure (directly or indirectly) on an employee to resign, or makes the situation at work intolerable for the employee, it may be a forced resignation, often known as a "constructive dismissal".
A constructive dismissal may be where one or more of the following occurs:
- the employer has followed a course of conduct deliberately aimed at coercing the employee to resign
- the employee is told to choose between resigning or being dismissed
- there has been a breach of duty by the employer (i.e. a breach of the employment agreement or the duty of fair and reasonable treatment) such that the employee feels he or she cannot remain in the job.
If an employee has been forced to resign, they may have a personal grievance case.