Do I need to pay an employee who resigns without giving notice?

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Unless you have any agreement that the employee does not need to give you notice to resign from their role with immediate effect, then the employee would be in breach of their contract of employment.

Usually employees are required to give the notice period that you have outlined in the contract of employment, which is known as contractual notice period or the statutory notice period, being the minimum legal notice period of one week once they have worked for you for one month. This minimum notice is unaffected by the length of service.

In situations where the appropriate notice has not been given, you would take the day the employee resigned as their termination date and last day to receive pay and all other benefits. The employee would still be entitled to receive pay for any holidays accrued but not taken.

It is also important that you ask the employee to return all property and confidential items that belong to you, ask them to delete all emails and any other electronic files that they have in their possession and remind them of any obligations and restrictions set out in their contract of employment.

You can sue your employee for breach of contract if you can show that you have suffered financial loss and you might choose to take out an injunction from the court which could stop the employee from going to work elsewhere for a period of time. The action that you choose to take should depend on the role of the employee and the potential damage to the business.

Employees who resign without giving notice can put a strain on the business, however, it is worth noting that there is no point having employees in your business who do not want to be there and you cannot physically make someone to come to work.

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