Resignation can be costly


Davis Ndumiso Sibanda
MANY employees have found themselves out in the cold after resigning from employment and at times they find themselves working in worse off conditions than their previous jobs.

Resignation from one job and taking up another is not an act that should be done when one is emotional, excited or angry but it requires a sober mind where one evaluates thoroughly the costs and benefits related to resignation.

Mary resigned from her job after attending an interview where she was told she had got the job and would start work in the following month. When she got back to work she immediately gave notice to resign at the end of the month. The employer accepted her resignation on condition that she would forfeit her leave days equivalent to the unserved notice period.

Parties agreed to the arrangement and up to her last day at work, Mary had not received an appointment letter for her new job. In the afternoon on her last working day, she received a message saying that the new company would no longer be employing her as there is a change of plan and as such no contract will be sent to her.

Mary was devastated and quickly wrote a letter withdrawing her resignation. The employer responded advising her that resignation cannot be withdrawn and somebody else had been recruited to take her place. Thus Mary found herself without a job.

There are many cases similar to Mary’s because people do not understand the law on resignation. The first golden rule is that a resignation cannot be withdrawn, even a verbal resignation where there is evidence that one verbally resigned could be adequate to terminate the contract.

This means that no matter how angry one is, it is dangerous and risky to play with threats of resignation as some threats could cross the line and become acts of resignation unintentionally, leaving one without a job.

Secondly, you never resign without having secured a new contract in writing with prospective employers as failure to do so could leave one without a job and further when the offer letter comes, it might have inferior terms and conditions to what was said at interview making the offer unacceptable. In the event one had already resigned, it means that there will be a need to move to an inferior job.

Thirdly, there are costs related to resignation, which could be avoided if one applies for a waiver of notice, but many workers end up paying employers because they would have badly managed the notice period. In conclusion, before resigning one should seek legal advice while holding the offer letter so as to fully understand the legal implications of the contract and the processes that have to be followed to manage the possible costs of resignation.

Davies Ndumiso Sibanda can be contacted on: email: [email protected] Or cell No: 0772 375 235

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