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Dealing with employee resignations

Clients frequently ring me up and ask me how they should handle an outgoing employee, particularly if it is a member of their management team. Here are some simple tips in respect to dealing with exiting employees while protecting your business:

1. Exit interview: Arrange a meeting with the outgoing employee to ascertain why your employee is leaving, sometimes it will have nothing to do with how you run your business but everything to do with salary. Having said that sometimes an employee (as they will have nothing to lose) may provide you with constructive criticism which may help you retain employees in the future (providing you implement their recommendations).

2. Garden leave: you can only place an employee on garden leave if there is a provision for it in their employment contract. A garden leave clause is always a good idea to include in a contract, especially if your employees have access to confidential data or you think they will attempt to poach and/or solicityour clients or employees.

3. Restrictive Covenants: ensure you remind your employees about restrictive covenants, providing the covenants are reasonable then you should not have a problem enforcing them in the courts – you may find it useful to read this article in respect to enforcing confidentiality and post termination clauses http://www.scesolicitors.co.uk/news/can-confidentiality-and-post-termination-restrictions-be-enforced-through-the-courts.

4. Compromise agreement: if an employee has raised a number of grievances before they resign and there is any risk of a matter being taken to an employment tribunal then you may wish to pay the employee a discretionary payment (which may just be a payment in lieu of notice) in return for a compromise agreement. Ensure you take legal advice from a solicitor, as they will provide you with an assessment as to likely costs of defending any claim and compensation if your employee is successful in a claim.

I hope the above short summary helps, if however, you have an exiting employee that you are worried about or just need some advice as to how to deal with them, please do not hesitate to contact me at samira.cakali@scesolicitors.co.uk or 0113 350 4030.

Samira Cakali

Samira Cakali is a pragmatic and approachable solicitor advocate with extensive contentious and non-contentious experience in the fields of employment law as well as civil litigation, within a range of commercial businesses from SME’s to multinationals as well as senior executives.

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