The rise in no notice resignations

The rise in no notice resignations

November 1, 2023

It’s very apparent that for many employees when it comes to notice to leave their employer they are happy to leave without giving any notice. Having seen a rise in this over the past 12 months, I thought I would share my ramblings about why I think this is happening.

New Employer Behaviour

I am calling this new employer behaviour but actually it may have little to do with the new employer. Imagine the scene candidate is asked at notice about their availability. Keen to secure the offer the candidate says they can start immediately. Wonderful says the new employer. Most employers will wait for the ‘right’ candidate. Agreed some employers are desperate and will make out to the candidate that nothing less than an immediate start will suffice. However in 2023, we are finding increasingly candidates don’t want to negotiate and would rather let down their current employer, than risk the securing their next move. That leads us on to…

No S**** given Behaviour

This one is where the employee believes it is their right to leave their employer and notice is a choice they can choose not to give. I am afraid some people in society, and sometimes it feels more like, many people in society do not give enough sh*** for how they treat other people and how that could reflect on them.

Lack of Contract of Employment

Leaving without notice will almost always be a breach of contract. Whilst the contract does need to be written to exist, the employee has to receive the Written Statement of Terms and Conditions on their first day of employment (since April 2020). Still more than 3 years on we hear of employers who are not issuing written statements or if they do waiting until someone has passed the probationary period. This is a mistake. If an employee doesn’t know what their notice period is, you can guarantee they will not give it.

Reluctance to handle the conversation

We are hearing this in scarily increasing numbers. I mean once a week. The rise in anxiety that people have in social interactions is staggering. People are increasingly likely to say that they feared having the conversation with their Line Manager that they wish to resign so they emailed or wrote a letter of resignation with immediate effect.

Issues with organisational culture

The phrase you get the behaviour you deserve. I am afraid some workplaces only have themselves to blame for employees not resigning with notice, but instead resigning with immediate effect. In some cases it is the perceived reaction they will receive from their Line Manager. Line Managers will know the impact of the resignation and may not be able to help themselves but express their feelings on the matter to the employee. Once one employee has a negative reaction to a resignation with notice, in our experience other employees may choose to follow.

Longer notice periods

Increasingly, we believe due to difficulty in hiring practitioners we are asked for 6 week notice periods in written statements. Longer notice periods can reduce the likelihood an employer will receive notice.

A belief that there is no consequence to this action

This belief can be justified. Employers are not recommended to sue ex employees for breach of contract if they fail to give contractual notice, though we do recommend to our clients that they have clauses in the written statement that allow for the recovery of costs where notice not given. Sadly employees will time their resignation without notice for the day after they have received their final pay. Additionally they will resign and go off sick.

References not being requested

Many sectors don’t bother with references and many employers would not see a candidate’s reference where the employer has repeated the fact that notice had not been given -as a negative.

A belief that they can threaten constructive dismissal

CD can’t be threatened. If an employee has resigned and they have 2 years’ service they can choose to apply to a tribunal to claim constructive dismissal. These cases are hard to win, but remember there are some employers who behave so unreasonably that an employee really does have no choice but to resign and to claim CD.

I hope you have found this blog interesting and given you perspective as to what is happening. If we can be of any assistance with any aspect of HR please call the team on 01527 909436.

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