Resigning from your employment

When faced with potential dismissal or unfair working conditions, do not resign. Resignation by the employee completely eliminates the employee’s rights at common law to receive reasonable notice of termination.

Under resignation laws, by voluntarily resigning, the employee is bringing the contract to its end and losing any remedy for a wrongful dismissal. There can be no dismissal if there is a voluntary resignation. Only cases of dismissal trigger employee rights to claim wrongful dismissal.

Often in cases where the employee “resigns”, what really happened was that the employer forced the resignation. In cases such as this, it is sometimes possible to overcome the resignation and characterize the ending of the employment as employee dismissal. This result will greatly depend on the facts of the case.

For instance, there was a case where an employee apparently resigned by returning the employer’s property, including computer and office keys, to the employer and leaving the workplace. However, prior to this, the employer had significantly reduced the pay of the employee, allowing the court to conclude that the reduction in pay constituted a constructive dismissal of the employee, and thus there was a dismissal, not a resignation. The employee went on to win a wrongful dismissal claim against the employer.

Where resignation is dismissal

Get advice before you resign

If you are at the point of resignation, before you do anything else, contact us either through our employment questionnaire or via email and tell us your story.

Learn more about employee resignation