You must follow the correct steps once your employee has resigned.
And this is even more crucial when dealing with resignations tendered in the heat of the moment.
After all if, for example, your employee resigns after an argument with his manager or another colleague, he may not have meant to resign.
This means, it can be dangerous for you to act as though he's ended the employment contract. If you do, he could claim unfair dismissal!
So what should you do if your employee resigns after an argument?
The Practical Guide to Human Resources Management recommends you follow these steps if your employee seems to have resigned or has walked out after an argument:
Step #1: Don't immediately assume that walking out means he's resigned.
Step #2: Allow him a reasonable 'cooling off' period.
Step #3: Try to determine if he really meant to resign, for example, phone your employee.
Step #4: If you can't contact him by phone or through mutual acquaintances, wait for a reasonable amount of time (one week) to pass before you start a termination procedure.
Step #5: Determine if there were other underlying circumstances. For example, was he being by a colleague for a long period of time? You can do this by having a personal, off the record, 'coaching' conversation with him..
Well there you have it. Resignations in the heat of the moment aren't that straight forward. You need to follow these steps before you accept your employee has ended his employment relationship with you.