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Can an employee change their mind once they have resigned?

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Once notice to terminate an employment contract has been given by one party, it cannot be withdrawn without both parties consent – Riordan v War Office 1961 1 WLR 210 CA.  The other party must consent before withdrawal is effective – Harris and Russell Ltd v Slingsby 1973 1ICR 454, NIRC.

Similarly, where an employee submits an effective resignation, the employer can hold the employee to that resignation unless it is withdrawn by agreement.

The same principle applies even when notice is given orally by an employee.  He or she cannot withdraw it and cannot complain of the employer’s refusal to accept the withdrawal – Brennan v C Lindley and Co ltd 1974 IRLR 153, NIRC.

So it is very important that you are sure of your decision before handing in your resignation.

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For further information, contact Pearson Solicitors Employment Law team.

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