Guide

When an employee resigns

Checklist: what to do when an employee resigns

If you accept an employee's resignation, there are several things you need to do to make their departure as smooth as possible. Make sure you:

  • Get written confirmation of the resignation, and the date of resignation. This will help you avoid disputes over the exact date of the resignation and the start of any notice period.
  • Decide whether you wish the employee to work out their full notice period. You may find it more appropriate to pay the employee in lieu of all or part of the notice period if your contract provides for it or the employee agrees. However, if you do so, be sure that you have another employee who is able to immediately take on the job.
  • Confirm the employee's notice period, usually part of their contract of employment. If it is not, statutory notice will apply. See how to issue the correct periods of notice.
  • Agree with the employee the terms of an announcement to other staff concerning their departure, if appropriate.
  • Organise a handover period. This allows for a smooth handover to existing staff or the employee's replacement of key tasks and responsibilities.
  • Arrange an exit interview - see conducting exit interviews.
  • Retrieve security passes and all other property of your business, eg tools, uniforms, computers and company cars.
  • Organise their final payment including all money owing, eg pay in lieu of working a notice period, money for unused holidays, overtime and bonus payments. See calculating final pay when a worker leaves employment.
  • Part on good terms. The person leaving may become a client or may be able to refer business to you. Equally, a disgruntled ex-employee can damage the reputation of your business if they leave on poor terms, eg having identified you as their previous employer then writing about their experiences as your employee on a social networking website or blog. This may be the case where the employee has details on their profile which identifies them as having worked for you. Read Labour Relations Agency advice on social media and the employment relationship.
  • Organise a farewell gift or party, if appropriate.
  • Make a point of saying goodbye on the actual day the person leaves and thank them again for all their hard work.
  • Be careful about references - see workers leaving: the basics.