“Can an employer delay accepting an employee’s resignation?”

Question: How can a firm delay acceptance of a resignation after the expiration of the notice period? I gave notice of resignation but my employer has ignored it. I have kept working, without complaining.

What happens if, after 10 months of working, can it be suddenly accepted? Would that be legal?

         Kathmandu, Nepal

Answer: P.R., when it comes to giving notice of resignation, once the notice period has expired, an employee does not have to get “permission” to depart. He or she can simply gather his or her belongings, and start a new chapter in life. 

What frequently happens is that employers permit – even encourage – employees to remain on the job until their services are not needed anymore. For example, an employer might encourage an employee to remain working until his or her replacement is hired, or even until his or her replacement has been fully trained. Sometimes, employers wait until the departing employee has actually trained his or her own replacement.

Once an employee is no longer a necessary “human resource,” an employer usually then terminates the employment relation, often without any notice at all. This can be harmful to an employee, an employee’s resume, and an employee’s finances.

To answer your question directly: an employer can even wait 10 months to “accept” an employee’s resignation.

When it comes to resigning, it’s best to do it on your own best timing. Don’t wait for approval, permission or recognition. As the Nike sneaker commercial says, “Just do it.”

Thanks for writing in from so far away. If this has been helpful, I hope you’ll tell others in Nepal about our Blog. Whether you’re in New York or Nepal, “We’re all in this together.”

           Best, Al Sklover

© 2010 Alan L. Sklover, All Rights Reserved.