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Resigning with Immediate Effect

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by mypseudonym, Oct 2, 2019.

  1. mypseudonym

    mypseudonym New commenter

    Hi All,

    I am a data manager at a secondary school and have been with my current employer for nearly 5 years.

    I am in dispute with my employer and I have gotten a solicitor involved. It's all long and complicated - related to discrimination, harassment etc etc. All nasty stuff. I've stayed working for purely financial reasons. But I am at my witts end and know that I have to leave soon for my own well-being.

    My employer has been given until Tuesday next week to respond to the allegations put to them by my solicitor.

    I have a feeling they will not respond well - obviously. I have accused them of several breaches of contract.

    As would be expected given the circumstances, I know I will have to resign soon, regardless of my financial needs.

    My line manager is a deputy head teacher. My dispute is with the head teacher, the business manager and another deputy head teacher.
    • When I do resign, should I give the letter to my direct line manager or to the head teacher?
    • Can I just resign with immediate effect (not work my notice period) because I believe they have breached our contract?
    • If I resign with immediate effect, can I just give whoever the letter at the end of my last day and never come back?
    Thanks in advance for any advice.
  2. DexterDexter

    DexterDexter Occasional commenter

    Check your contract- what does it say for serving notice?
    Does it have a “Garden Leave” clause? You don’t want to leave being in breach of contract!
    Are you in a union? Get them to negotiate you leaving with garden leave and some kind of official pay out relating to the reasons you are leaving.
    Does this trigger “constructive dismissal”?
    Just go to you union or an employment solicitor.
    agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  3. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    To answer the first question, normally you give your resignation letter to the headteacher, but it is courteous to give a copy to your line manager as well. Sometimes your contract &/or staff handbook will specify who you give notice to, in which case follow that.

    For your other two questions, you really must ask your solicitor. They are your professional legal adviser. Asking anonymous strangers with no legal qualifications and no knowledge of your specific circumstances on an online forum to second-guess what your solicitor will tell you isn't a good idea.

    Are you in a union? I suspect that as you are using an external solicitor you may not be.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
  4. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Agree with sage advice above... Really don't do anything without advice from your solicitor.
  5. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Certainly don't just leave.
    jlishman2158 and tall tales like this.
  6. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    You are paying your solicitor for advice. They are best placed to give it.
    The barriers to establishing a "constructive dismissal" are high and very fact sensitive.
  7. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    If you are using a solicitor, a union will not touch it. For the record there are many agencies you could go to for free advocacy for various discrimination matters before paying for a solicitor. Whether you'd get through to them is another matter.:rolleyes:

    I would never advise bringing in solicitors into school based disputes as all they do is antagonise situations and threaten. You have put yourself in a very difficult situation because allegations are usually responded to by counter allegations. And this is where the solicitors make their bread, litigation.

    What you need to be thinking about is getting out and getting a good reference as you will need them to write one for your next job. As mentioned above, get your solicitor to do this.

    Best of luck
    jlishman2158 and HolyMahogany like this.
  8. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    I was in a similar position as a teacher. I was advised not to leave by my solicitor and my Union rep. I suppose mostly it depends on your health and how much you can take but if you are thinking of resigning because of your mental health then why not take some sick leave to give yourself time to think and take stock of the situation?
    jlishman2158 likes this.
  9. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    There are times when it is completely appropriate to involve a legal representative.
    And solicitors don't always antagonise and threaten. What they can do, however, is a) give well-informed legal advice and b) represent the best interests of their clients (which sometimes involves settling and avoiding litigation).
  10. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    Sometimes they can antagonise in an already tense situation, but they are best used as a final resort as it takes very little to antagonise an SLT these days.

    When getting into disputes, always remember what it is you want from a situation. If it is bullying, you want the bully to stop. Easier said that done because confronting the bully with their bullying i.e. telling them they are bullying you, makes them feel hurt (yes bullies are real sensitive souls :rolleyes:) and when they are under attack, their defence i.e their actions will probably constitute more bullying.
    notreallyme75 and jlishman2158 like this.
  11. install

    install Star commenter

    This must be very stressful. See gp also. And if gp agrees then take time off 'ill'. Has it got to a point whereby the Head is refusing you access to your emails or even wants to look through all your emails - because it may well do?

    Be as professional as you can and use all the legal advice you can.
  12. tall tales

    tall tales New commenter

    Take some time off to mull things over - make sure you’re doing what’s best for you
    jlishman2158 likes this.

    SUPER.SUPPLY Occasional commenter

    6 MONTHS FULL PAY 6 months half pay off with stress and fatigue. sort yourself out with a doctor. Good luck
  14. tenpast7

    tenpast7 Occasional commenter

    The problem with taking sick leave is that it may put off future employers.
  15. mypseudonym

    mypseudonym New commenter

    I know the union wont touch it. They (Unison) were supporting me when this all started but their advice was slow and ultimately unhelpful... hence why I've now got a solicitor as they are moving it all along faster than the union was.

    Also, rather than responding with counter allegation my employer responded simply sent a short letter back to my solictor saying they will not respond to my allegations.
  16. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Take advice on the questions you pose in post #1 to your solicitor. He/she is paid to advise!
    Piranha and jlishman2158 like this.
  17. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    OP is not a teacher so may not have sick pay provisions anywhere near that.
    Piranha and jlishman2158 like this.
  18. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    Statutory sick pay is around £95 a week for 28 weeks, and it is likely the school has a better deal than that but not as good as what a teacher would receive. So review your contract.

    As I mentioned above, bringing in solicitors only antagonises already uber sensitive SLTs, so you and your solicitor will have to think very carefully of your next move. Because legal action has not been started, only a request for information, you could technically get support from your union and this time, ring the Head Office and ask to speak to someone who has experience of the type of discriminations you are facing. All unions have an Equality Division, and there are Women's, Race, LGBT, Disabled forums and there are reps who deal with these issues. Perhaps a better rep exists locally to help you.

    Remember to focus on what do you want out of this situation. Working there seems to be too much as the individual in question isn't going to change their ways, so if you could get a settlement agreement and a good reference, that would be seem to be the best solution.

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