Can am employer decline a letter of resignation during an employment issue that could result in dismissal?

Question Details: I am unfortunately going through a disciplinary process with my employer. I have handed in my resignation in writing. However, they are refusing to accept it until they have made up their mind on the outcome. Can they legally do this?

Filed under Employment Law | 10302 View(s)

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Answers by Lawyers

Community Law Wellington & Hutt Valley

No, it is very unlikely that your employer can "decline to accept your resignation", just because you are dealing with an employment issue. Generally, an employee may end their employment relationship by resigning. You can do this at any time, provided you give the notice required in your employment agreement, or reasonable notice if the agreement does not specify how much is required. For more information, click here: www.communitylaw.org.nz

Your employment agreement may sometimes place limits on when you can leave employment, for instance because you agreed to work for a specific period that hasn't finished yet. But you can usually still decide to leave your job when you wish. The law will not usually force you to continue to carry out a contract that requires your continuing personal services, if you no longer want to do so. But you may incur some penalty such as a reduction in your final pay if you leave a job earlier than agreed or without fulfilling a required notice period.

Your employer may try to fire you (perhaps during your notice period) even though you have already resigned. They may also describe the full circumstances of your departure if you use them as a reference, unless you and your employer make a confidentiality agreement.

Be aware that some employment agreements will allow the employer to claim compensation from you if you just stop showing up (without working out your notice period).

Contact your local Community Law Centre to find out about local advice options if you need more help: www.communitylaw.org.nz.

Answered 14 Feb 2013. The IMPORTANT NOTICE below is part of this answer.

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