As much as we want to believe that our staff will want to work with us forever and always, at some point, they might decide to hand their notice in. And as employers, we have to make sure we handle resignations in the right way.
Clarify the details
When someone hands their notice in, it's really important to confirm details like:
their contractual notice period
any post-termination restrictions applicable to the role
whether garden leave is provided for in their contract
any company items issued to the employee which need to be returned
holiday that has been accrued but not taken.
It's helpful to confirm all these details in a resignation acknowledgement letter as well as in a conversation. You can also use this letter to confirm when the employee's last pay will be and when they will receive their P45.
No notice given?
I hear you, all that's lovely but what about when they just walk out and don't come back?!
Sometimes employees just don't give you any notice that they are leaving despite what is written in the contract. Whilst there is some legal recourse for their breach of contract, for the amount of money you are likely to recover, it's probably not worth a legal battle. And short of physically dragging them to work (not recommended) there isn't much else you can do.
In these scenarios, you would take their last day worked as their leaving date, calculate holiday and pay up to that date and send the aforementioned resignation acknowledgement letter.
Sometimes employees don't even give you their notice in writing. The good news is that you can accept a verbal resignation. If the resignation happens during a "heat of the moment" kind of situation, you could give the employee time to cool off and then offer them the chance to reconsider.
If there was no "heat of the moment" situation, you can choose to accept the resignation and process it in the same way as a written resignation.
Contrary to popular belief, this is not where you send your employee home to do some gardening! Garden leave is enforced absence from the business where the employee remains an employee and must remain available for a handover. This is typically used in senior roles where the employee could have a detrimental impact on the business' client base etc.
If you want to put an employee on garden leave, you need to check your contract before you do anything! If it ain't in the contract, it ain't happening!
Absence in Notice Period
Sometimes employees will need to take time off sick during their notice period. And sometimes they'll ring in sick because they don't want to come in. Either way, you treat absence in their notice period exactly the same as you would if they weren't in their notice period. SSP rules still apply.