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Why storming off in a huff is not the same as resigning

No one likes a scene - especially when it explodes the calm professionalism that's expected in the workplace. But if tempers ever flare up enough for an employee to storm out, hinting it's for good, should an employer treat it as a resignation?

The short answer is no. A worker must make it clear to an employer that they intend to resign. Slammed doors and angry words said in the heat of the moment may not be a true reflection of intentions.

In the wake of a heated exchange, a discussion between the parties when passions have cooled should establish whether a worker really does want to terminate employment. And if not, this communication might be the basis for finding a resolution to the problem.

Resignations can be given verbally, but both employer and employee must be clear that the employee wants to end their employment. It's recommended that a resignation is made in writing.

Employees must also resign giving the correct notice, or they could be in breach of contract. The notice period might be set out in the terms of their contract, or be the statutory minimum requirement of one week, which comes into play once the employee has been employed for more than a month.

For further insights into Termination of an employment contract, Acas offers practical training courses on Contracts and terms and conditions, as well as Employing People - A Practical Introduction, covering all the fundamentals of employing people. Training in Staff retention may help your organisation improve employment relations and avoid this type of scene in the first place.

Visit the Acas Training Courses, Workshops and Projects area for more information.

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