Responding to an employee's resignation - Resignation

Responding to an employee's resignation

As an employer, it can be useful to have an informal chat with your employee when they resign. This can help you both avoid any misunderstandings or disputes.

You cannot reject an employee's resignation. However, a conversation might help you find out if there are problems that can be resolved. This might be enough for the employee to choose to stay.

You do not have to respond formally when someone tells you they're resigning. But it's good practice to respond in writing.

Your response should include:

  • that you've received the employee's resignation
  • their last day of work
  • what their final pay will be, including holiday pay and any deductions
  • anything you expect from them before they leave

You can use our resignation acceptance letter template.

If an employee asks to withdraw their resignation

Remember that an employee might not genuinely want to resign. For example, they might have made a sudden decision because their state of mind was affected by another factor, like a health condition or bereavement.

If they tell you they want to withdraw their resignation, you should:

  • offer an informal chat to talk things through if they want
  • be as understanding and flexible as possible

Arranging an exit interview

Arranging an exit interview can be useful to understand why the employee is leaving. Their reasons can help inform how you recruit or retain staff.

For example, if you find that employees regularly leave because the job is not what they expected, you could update future job adverts to be clearer about the role and responsibilities.

Exit interviews can also help to:

  • find out if the employee left because they felt excluded or held back in some way
  • deal with outstanding matters like handing over work
  • give you useful feedback on what you could change in the future
Last reviewed