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Resignations – Is Your Business Prepared?

You will no doubt have heard that Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid have resigned from Boris Johnson’s cabinet, it’s got the nation talking. But for many managers it’s more than that, it’s a call to action for their business, it’s a reminder to be prepared.

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What three steps can you take now to reduce disruption to your business if an employee resigns?

Know how to handle a resignation.

This can help you to deal with the situation quickly, efficiently and appropriately. In most cases, dealing with a resignation is straightforward.

If an employee has resigned in writing, given the required notice and their reason for resigning doesn’t imply that they have been treated improperly (or there is any wrongdoing on your part!), you usually need only wish the employee all the best and accept the resignation.

Worried about a resignation?

Unfortunately, life doesn’t always run smoothly so be alert. There are some circumstances that can require different action so it’s important to watch out for those.

For example, an employee raising a complaint in a resignation letter, resigning verbally, wishing to leave with immediate effect or walking out. If this happens, remember to speak to an expert for specific advice before acting.

Have an action plan at the ready

There can be a lot to do when someone resigns, especially if they are a key person, so being prepared in advance can help things to run more smoothly. Many employers will want to have some or all of the following on their ‘leavers to-do list’:

  • Handover – ensure there is a plan in place for this and that it will meet the needs of your business

  • Company equipment – identify what company equipment (if any) the employee has and make appropriate arrangements for its return

  • Communication – ensure the necessary people are notified that the employee is leaving, such as payroll and that any final pay is correct

  • Announcement – if a wider announcement is to be made agree the wording of this and identify when and where it will be used

  • Access and security arrangements – make sure you put appropriate arrangements in place for when the employee has left such as changing passwords, auto – forwarding company emails etc

  • Job description and person specification – check to see that these are up to date to support you in recruiting a replacement without delay

Look to the future

We sometimes get asked what can employers do if an employee resigns with immediate effect?

This can understandably be frustrating for employers. Unfortunately, there’s often little that can be done if an employee decides to leave immediately – they can’t be forced to work their notice (although they of course won’t usually be paid for it!)

The most positive action you can take is often to set your sights on the future and channel your energies into recruiting their replacement. Thinking about your recruitment process?


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