Introduction to this document

Exit questionnaire

Asking employees who have resigned to complete an exit questionnaire and attend an exit interview will enable you to gather useful information about their reasons for leaving. It will also enable you to identify problems and to take steps to sort these out before the employee leaves, thus decreasing the risk of a successful constructive dismissal claim being brought by the employee.


Dismissal is only one side of the termination of employment coin. Many employees resign from their jobs every year for a variety of reasons, the main one being because they have secured alternative employment, which they perceive to be more advantageous, either financially or for career progression. In these circumstances, there is usually no dispute between employer and employee and the employee leaves on reasonably good terms.

Exit questionnaire and interview

However, there is sometimes more to a resignation than meets the eye, even though the employee’s resignation letter says very little. The employee may be resigning because there has been a fundamental breach of their terms and conditions of employment or because they feel there has been a breakdown in mutual trust and confidence between you. Where the employee has sufficient continuity of employment, then you are in constructive dismissal territory in these circumstances. An employee can generally claim constructive dismissal if they have been employed for two years or more. It is therefore best practice to request that all resigning employees complete an Exit Questionnaire. In addition, hold a meeting (often called an “exit interview”) with the employee following their resignation to discuss the reasons for their decision. Adopting these practices enables problems to be brought to light and hopefully resolved before the situation becomes irretrievable. It also enables you to gather information about employees’ reasons for leaving the company which can provide you with invaluable data about your employment practices and procedures, management style, staff morale, etc. Provided that an exit interview is conducted in a sensitive and fair manner, many employees will reveal the truth about their reasons for leaving. The person conducting the interview should, ideally, not be the employee’s line manager but someone in HR. Bear in mind that the employee may well say that they are leaving because they have found a new job, but they must still have had their reasons for looking for alternative employment in the first place.