The Court of Appeal has held that where an employer provided an intended, unambiguous written notice of termination to an employee, the employer was not subsequently entitled to unilaterally withdraw the notice of dismissal on the basis that the notice was premature and/ or a mistake. In this case the employer mistakenly believed, at the point of dismissal, that they had a mutual agreement for an alternative arrangement where the claimant would become self-employed after the dismissal.

What does this mean?

Once an employer has given an employee notice of dismissal, or an employee has given notice of resignation, the notice can only be withdrawn if both parties consent to the withdrawal.

What should employers do?

In such circumstances, employers should ensure that they are in full possession of the facts and have agreed all relevant matters with the employee and have clear evidence of that agreement in writing before taking action.