Introduction to this document

Early release from notice letter

Use our letter when an employee has resigned and you agree to release them from the requirement to serve out their full contractual notice period. Make sure it’s made clear that they will not be paid for any part of the notice period that they do not wish to work.

Early departure

Sometimes, an employee will resign but then ask to leave early, i.e. without working their full contractual notice period, in order that they can start their new job as soon as possible. You do not have to accept this request. However, if you do accept it, it’s important to record the fact that this agreement not to work out some or all of the contractual notice period was mutual and entered into voluntarily by the employee. Otherwise, it could be later argued that you forced the employee to leave early in order to deprive them of their notice monies for the unexpired period of their notice. Not only that, it could potentially convert the resignation into an unfair dismissal during the employee’s notice period. Use our Early Release from Notice Letter for this purpose. It’s surprising how many employers think they have agreed to the employee leaving early without further notice pay whereas, conversely, the employee thinks that this agreement was on the basis they would be paid for the unexpired period of their notice. Confirming the position in writing avoids dispute.

Your decision

Where it’s entirely your decision that the employee leave early once they have resigned, you will not only have to pay the employee for the unexpired period of notice but also you are at risk of an unfair dismissal claim if, by the words you use, you effectively convert the employee’s resignation into a dismissal.