A useful reminder of the law relating to resignation has arisen in the case of Wallace v Ladbrokes Betting and Gaming Ltd (UK EAT/0168/15/JOJ). Ms Wallace resigned, correctly giving notice that her employment would terminate on 26 October 2012. Ladbrokes suggested she reconsider her decision and that she would not be “processed” as a leaver until they had had further discussions regarding her grievances. After those discussions, she was sent her P45 which confirmed 15 November as her leaving date even though she was not working in November. She brought claims in the employment tribunal on 13 February 2013 but they were held to be out of time as the effective date of termination (EDT) was, in fact, 26 October and the three month time limit to present her claims had expired on 25 January 2013.
A resigning employee sometimes thinks that an employer has to “accept” their resignation before it is effective. While it is often good practice for an employer to do so, this is not a legal requirement. A clear notice to resign, given in accordance with the contract, will always work to terminate the contract on the EDT. This is the case unless the employer and employee agree, during the notice period, to alter that course. In this case, the EAT did not accept that the further discussions, the confirmation regarding her “processing” or the termination date on the P45 were sufficient to demonstrate an agreement to alter the notice period.