A resignation is as simple as saying “I quit!” right? Wrong!

Though it is, by definition, at the employee’s initiative, a resignation nevertheless presents judicial risks for the employer who must proceed with caution in handling the exit. Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when an employee resigns.

Do request that a resignation be put into writing; this is to ensure that the resignation meets the case law criteria of being both clear and unequivocal.

Don’t take the employee’s verbal resignation as enough, no matter how clear it seems in the moment. Get it in writing!

Do get in touch with legal counsel, providing the letter, in order to draft a proper response together.

Don’t rush into acknowledging the resignation immediately. Remember that any correspondence might be used at a later date in potential litigation!

Do make sure that the letter does not put the blame on the company. Be very careful of any malicious wording such as « because the company has failed to… » or « as requested… »

Don’t fall into a common trap that is for the employee to frame the resignation as a constructive dismissal. The major risk is that the resignation later be re-characterized as an unfair dismissal!

Don’t leave the letter aside.

Do respond to the claims in the letter.