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Saying “I won’t be back” in the heat of the moment was not a resignation given the circumstances

Makbool Javaid

In Rae v Wellhead Electrical Supplies Limited, Ogg, the Finance Director, had not processed salary increases that R, the MD, had promised to staff. R got angry, threw his keys on Ogg’s desk, shouted, “I told you what was going to happen” and then said, “I won’t be back”. When Rastall, a director, found out he said, “Thank f**k. Good riddance”. R explained to Rastall it had not been his intention to resign. Rastall, however, said R’s resignation had been accepted, indicated that R was being treated as a ‘leaver’ and should have no further contact with the business. The ET found that while R’s words were seemingly an unambiguous resignation, the circumstances had to be taken into account. R was angry because of the embarrassment caused by pay increases he had promised not being processed and had acted “on the spur of the moment”. There was considerable ill feeling towards R given Rastall’s comment and Rastall’s and Ogg’s desire to rid themselves of R, meant they seized upon what R said and failed to consider whether R had really meant to resign. Their actions amounted to unfair dismissal.

The updates are kindly provided by Simons Muirhead & Burton Law firm

This update provides summary information and comment on the subject areas covered. Where employment tribunal and appellate court cases are reported, the information does not set out all of the facts, the legal arguments presented and help judgments made in every aspect of the case. Click on the links to access full details. If no link is provided, contact us for more information.  Employment law is subject to constant change either by statute or by interpretation by the courts. While every care has been taken in compiling this information, SM&B cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Specialist legal advice must be taken on any legal issues that may arise before embarking upon any formal course of action.

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