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Late resignation refused

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by zcsaa44, Mar 10, 2016.

  1. zcsaa44

    zcsaa44 Occasional commenter

    I have a colleague who joined as a cover teacher on a maternity cover. His job here could disappear in September if the teacher comes back, which is a possibility, so he applied for another job. Interview went well and he was offered the job, the school has also asked to take him on as a cover teacher from after Easter till summer and will then get him through QTS (he is unqualified at the moment). Basically they gave him a much better offer.

    Problem is he missed the resignation date by about 2 days and so the school have refused to accept it until the 31st of August. He has only received his contact during half term so did not realise there was a cut off date to the resignation. The contract does not mention the resignation dates as it simply refers to the standard guidelines. His contract does also mention that he is on probation and so only needs to be given 2 weeks notice if the school wants to terminate the contract. Anyone know where he stands? He did resign as soon as possible as the interview was on 29th Feb
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    He should have known when the resignation dates were, but so many young teachers don't. E-mailing his resignation on 29th February would have done it . . .


    It's now a lot later. He can but try an appeal.

    Missing the resignation deadline

    Asking to leave earlier than your contractual leaving date

    He could also ask the other Head to talk to his current Head, and ask the Union if it is unreasonable to have 2 weeks' notice on one side, and 6 months on the other, which it now is. :(

    Moral of the story: everyone should know their resignation dates . . .

    Best wishes

    Last edited: Mar 10, 2016
  3. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide


    LA school or academy?

    Can you be more specific about "standard guidelines"? Which guidelines does it refer to? Does it specify the 'Conditions of Service for School Teachers in England and Wales'? (what's informally known as 'the Burgundy Book'). As the Burgundy Book doesn't apply to teachers on maternity cover contracts it shouldn't refer to it, but school might have got that wrong. But otherwise I can't think what "standard guidelines" exists - none AFAIK. Unless its an academy chain and they have their own standard employment contracts in mind.

    Which sounds like the 'standard guidelines' have already been varied for this reason - that's not a provision in the Burgundy Book. But more importantly Burgundy Book resignation dates wouldn't apply to maternity cover contracts because they aren't in scope of the BB. If they did the school wouldn't be able to terminate you when the permanent teacher returned from M/L. Is your friend certain that neither the job offer letter nor the the contract itself say anything else about notice periods?
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2016
  4. zcsaa44

    zcsaa44 Occasional commenter

    It is an academy but they use the Burgundy book rules from what I can see (I resigned and had to look into it because there was a note hidden on the Calendar which stated 31st January as the final resignation date).
    We will have a look at the contract tomorrow, he thinks it says something about 2 months. As I said we will look tomorrow.
  5. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I may be clutching at straws but he should explore the 'on probation' issue. If he was/is on probation at the time he wrote the letter than I think it's possible that there may be some mileage in arguing that the 2-week notice period has reciprocal force.
    opalfeet likes this.
  6. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Surely if he's on a maternity cover the normal notice periods do not apply, because he does not have a permanent contract?
    ilovepoppies, wanet and FrankWolley like this.
  7. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    ... which don't apply to maternity cover, para 1.1 (b) on page 3 of BB.
  8. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    I also thought for maternity cover the notice period was very short.
  9. opalfeet

    opalfeet Occasional commenter

    Yes I do believe this to be the case. I had a contract where the school said they were governed by STPCD... whatever it is (can't remember acronym) Yet in another paragraph it said they could give two weeks notice for dismissal at any time, without giving any reason. I took this to be reciprocal, apparently it wasn't- I was governed by STPCD apparently, but not the school. School released me in the end anyhow, but I did check with union and they confirmed that I was entitled to give two weeks notice. I am not an expert on this- just repeating union advice.
  10. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    I also wonder about unfair contract terms, if there is such apparent disparity between the resignation periods of either parties. In a temporary contract, you need the flexibility of being able to move to different work.

    Time to look very very closely at the terms of your friend's contract and take advice from the union.
  11. Katie777

    Katie777 New commenter

    I had a maternity contract where I was on one weeks notice. It was an academy...I imagine schools expect it would be them who gives such short notice if necessary, they don't expect it from the teacher! It is worth checking really closely to see if it is reciprocal, seems outrageous if not.
  12. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Surely the short notice to leave is because the teacher might return at any time..so the short notice,When as a supply i have covered maternity i was given one days notice...ie your not wanted from tomorrow.
    However it seems unfair but I suppose the school does not just want you vanishing before the teacher returns...although why they could not get supply cover I am not sure.
    I suppose they were not expecting the teacher to reappear till after the start of Spring term ,and so wished to retain the OP.
  13. zcsaa44

    zcsaa44 Occasional commenter

    His contract does not mention the Burgundy book but essentially has the same wording, that 2 months must be given to leave on 31st December or 30th April and 3 months to end on 31st August. The probation section is related to his unqualified status and mentions that if he is not performing and assistance given to support does not result in improvement then the contract will be cancelled so not sure that will work for him.
  14. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    When I had a maternity contract it was 4 weeks notice both ways.
    wanet likes this.
  15. redz

    redz New commenter

    So glad that in Scotland it's 4 weeks at any point through school year(unless promoted)
  16. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    @zcsaa44 Sorry, more questions. Ignoring the probation section, does it say that the 2 month/3 month notice periods you quote are only required to be given by the teacher or are they also required by the school? If they copied standard Burgundy Book conditions the same notice periods would apply to both sides.

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