A Midland lawyer has warned the region‟s disgruntled workers to „think before they jump‟ after research revealed a quarter of the UK‟s workforce is unhappy at work – with a third seriously considering their future.
The advice comes from lawyer Kate Jones, an employment specialist at Worcester law firm MFG Solicitors, who in a message to the region‟s employed, has spelled out the legal dos and don‟ts to those considering resigning from their jobs.
Ms Jones has spoken out after a recent poll of 1,000 UK office workers by recruitment firm Badnoch and Clark highlighted that over 20 per cent of workers are unhappy in their job, whilst over a quarter wouldn‟t recommend their employer.
She said: “Employee engagement levels are dropping and I regularly meet people across Midlands who have resigned from their job without a second thought for the future. It may seem incredibly obvious but resigning from any job needs thought and careful planning because once a resignation has been submitted it cannot be withdrawn unless the employer agrees to a retraction or the contract of employment allows it.
“First and foremost workers must check every detail in their contract of employment as this holds vital information such as notice periods and procedures which must be followed. It‟s also wise for employees to put a resignation in writing so there is an audit trail and no room for misrepresentation should an employee go on to commence a claim in an Employment Tribunal. Those are basic, but vital steps which will help people to leave in a professional, timely manner and not in one which may result in an expensive dispute.
“Unlike the recent high profile resignations we‟ve seen in the wake of the phone hacking scandal, there are very few workers across the West Midlands who have the luxury of a financial cushion when they resign. Unfortunately many take that drastic decision without fully understanding the necessary legal steps or having other employment options.
“This recent survey has highlighted a larger-than-expected percentage of workers in the UK who may be considering leaving their job and there will certainly be a number of West Midlands workers who fit within that category. It‟s important that anyone considering their resignation protects themselves by being aware of the legal process and the options available.”
Ms Jones, who regularly advises workers on a variety of employment matters, has set out a helpful five-point legal „checklist‟ for workers who are considering resigning from their job.
- Do always review the content of your contract of employment and company handbook prior to making any final decisions. Some contracts may provide a resignation procedure.
- If there is no contract of employment, the minimum notice for an employee who has been employed for 1 month or more is 1 week.
- Employees must have a minimum of 12 months service with their employer to commence a claim for constructive dismissal through an Employment Tribunal.
- Once an employee is a position to resign, it is always advisable for that resignation to be submitted in writing.
- If an employee determined to resign, it is advisable to raise a grievance first and follow the employer‟s in-house grievance procedure. It isn‟t a legal requirement but could iron out any issues; however, in any event, it will show any resulting Employment Tribunal that they have taken reasonable, professional steps.