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Has your employee resigned? Here's what you need to know about notice periods

by , 15 October 2015
So, your employee has, for whatever reason, CLEARLY stated her intention to resign and, in so doing, end the employment relationship between you.

Now, unless she takes it back and you agree, there's no turning back.

From this point on, the issue of the notice period comes into the frame of things.

Having said that, here are four items to keep in mind when it comes to notice periods:


If she resigns, she must work her notice. This period of time will be stated in her employment contract, or what the law says.

This will enable you to have a smooth hand-over by having sufficient time to find a replacement.


If she resigns and wishes to leave immediately, you can agree to waive the notice period. You'll probably do this if there is no need to find a replacement or if there's not really a need for a hand-over.

Make sure your policies, forms and contracts are legally correct every time

Can you answer these questions?
  • Does your chairman cover all the necessary points when chairing a disciplinary hearing?
  • Are your employment contracts up-to-date and do they include the minimum law requirements?
  • Do you have all the relevant documentation to win your case if a dispute arises with an employee?
  • Have you given all your past employees a certificate of service?
It's important to note that, according to the BCEA, if an employee resigns and you waive the notice period, you'll still be required to pay her for the notice period, unless you can get, in writing, an agreement to not pay her.

If she has sensitive information and you don't want her to disclose it, then you place her on 'garden leave'. This is when she'll not report for duty during her notice period.

But you can still request that she attends work at any time during the notice period to attend meetings or to any other tasks.


If she resigns and leaves without giving you notice, as required by either law or the employment contract, then you don't have to pay her for the notice period.
Remember that if she resigns and is working her notice period, you can STILL discipline her.

So, there are four items to keep in mind when it comes to notice periods around employee resignations.

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