Retracting a Resignation

Retracting a Resignation


The Appeal tribunal has examined what are known as “Heat of the Moment” resignations. Could an employee resign in the heat of an argument, and then retract that resignation?

The original Tribunal had decided that where an employee had resigned in a fit of pique, or temper, the resignation was valid and had brought the employment to an end. Therefore the employee could not claim unfair dismissal.

The Appeal Tribunal ruled in this case, in line with a long standing line of authority, that such resignations were NOT valid and could be retracted.  The Appeal Tribunal reminded us all that such dismissals should be something that the employee should be able to reflect on, and if he later tries to retract it, he should be allowed to do so.

The Judge set out that it is not enough for the employee to express an intention to resign.

It was also said that anyone looking on, (a reasonable bystander) should understand that the words were seriously meant, conscious and rational.

The words should be considered in light of the circumstances when they were given.

Also, the longer time passes before the employee tries to retract the resignation, the harder it will be for the employee to change his mind.

So, each case will turn on its own merits, according to the facts at the time the words were said.


The actual case is Omar v Epping Forrest District Citizens Advice and the judgement can be read HERE.


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