Employee resignations are inevitable. Managing the notice is not always straight forward though. Some of us will allow an employee to work through their notice period while others of us take the approach to finish the employee the same day their resignation was tendered. Ouch!

It may seem harsh to tell an employee that they must leave your business the same day as tendering their resignation. Yet in the instance where that employee is leaving to work for a direct competitor, the action to secure company information makes a lot of sense. Imagine the damage to your business if your best clients were poached! It could set you back years!! Given the opportunity to work through one’s notice period, generally two weeks, Gary from sales could convince a significant portion of your key clients to follow him to his new place of employment. A more cunning and savvier employee may even record the contact details of key account holders with the intention of enticing them to jump ship once they have settled into their new role. It is not unheard of. So if you were thinking that it is a harsh undertaking to remove your departing employee immediately from your business, think again.

Successful businesses are built by people who work hard, risk plenty and sacrifice to realise their dreams. Thus it is natural and smart business practice to protect your asset from risk. So in reality it really should come as no surprise that an employee is asked to leave the premises and not see out their notice period once their resignation is tendered and accepted. Some employees however find this act insulting and humiliating. Did they really think that they could retain their company phone and have time to sync all their contacts? Hmm. One way to reduce the shock factor is to build this rule into your company policies.

An employee who is not continuing their career with a competitor may still be requested to move on before their notice period ends. Certain employees may be viewed as a risk to the business if it is suspected that they will be a distraction to others. Some employees, once they have publicly announced they are taking up a new opportunity, actually give themselves a licence to under perform, or worse still, attack the company by bad mouthing it to anyone who cares to listen. After all, what can management do? Fire them?? This type of employee is toxic and can cause a lot of damage to employee morale and the company culture. Best an employer moves them on quickly.

In telling, not requesting, an employee who has given notice that they must leave the company that very day can bring into question whether they should be paid out for their leave period. For the most part an employer will do so. In spite of the reasons behind the resigning employee’s earlier than expected departure, they have given the required company notice as company policy required. It is the company’s choice to prematurely terminate that notice period. So I strongly suggest that unless you have good reason not to pay out the employee’s notice period that you do so. To unnecessarily risk an ongoing feud in the courts makes absolutely no sense.

Some employees are not a risk. They have continuously demonstrated loyalty and respect and there is no reason to suspect sabotaging behaviour from them. The trust the company has in them has been earned. Escorting these employees in advance can send a damaging message to others who may, when the time comes, simply resign and walk without notice. Thus unless a company has clearly recorded and instructed their workforce that it is the organisation’s policy to terminate an employee’s service upon receipt of a resignation,  that it only does so when it feels the well-being of the company and its remaining workers are at risk.

An employer’s undertaking in response to an employee’s resignation can be unpredictable. It may even be uncomfortable. For all parties! The manner in which the situation is handled will send a message to those that remain. And while your workforce may agree with the company’s undertakings, they may also find the actions taken to be unfair. At the end of the day though, a business must do what is best for its employees and its future. To jeopardise the organisations well-being may also be to endanger the future and livelihood of those that remain.

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