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This time that's it, you have decided to resign! You must now inform your employer in due form. Which address ? What elements to indicate? And what to do with the notice period? Follow our tutorial for a successful resignation letter under any circumstances.

Keep it short … unless there is a conflict

Like all documents of this type, a resignation letter should have a letterhead with your name, contact details, recipient, location, date and subject. In the body of the text, “we have to keep it concise,” recommends Émilie Trappler, senior manager at Hays. It is not necessary to justify the reason for your departure but only to recall your status in the company, the date of your arrival and to announce the date of your departure taking into account the notice. ”


“I hereby inform you of my intention to leave the post of (job title) that I have held in company X since (date of entry into company). As agreed in my employment contract (or imposed by law or collective agreement), I will respect a notice of X months. The effective end of my contract is therefore to be expected on (date of departure from the company).

The lawyer specializing in labor law Benoît Sevillia nevertheless advises an employee in a situation of conflict with his employer to “state the reasons for his resignation in the letter », While remaining as factual as possible in its justifications: moral harassment, unpaid wages, etc. Why ? “Because in case of questioning of the resignation to the Prud'hommes, the employee's lawyer will have difficulty in defending him if the grievance is not indicated in writing in the letter of resignation. ”

Beware of the non-competition clause!

The famous non-competition clause can, as Benoît Sevillia reminds us, “constitute a significant additional remuneration”, up to 25% of the gross salary. Concretely, an employee resigning from a company receives this sum when he leaves if he does not join a company in the same sector of activity. “For the sake of clarity, an employee who wishes to lift this clause must imperatively notify it in the letter of resignation,” recommends Benoît Sevillia.


“I inform the parties concerned that according to the conditions recorded in my employment contract, I decide not to retain the rights provided for in the non-competition clause. ”


Notice is negotiable

“The length of notice is set by law and may vary depending on the position held, the collective agreement or a branch agreement,” notes Émilie Trappler. In general, the duration is between 1 and 3 months for a non-managerial employee and 3 to 6 months for a manager (with a variation depending on the length of service in the company). The shortening of the notice can be negotiated with the company, with a success rate “on a case-by-case basis, depending on the more or less cordial relations between the employee and his superiors”, Judge Émilie Trappler. “The employer must not feel betrayed, adds Benoît Sevillia. If he learns that the request for reduced notice is to take a position with a competitor, he may be reluctant to accept. “” Finally, resignation without notice can only be obtained in the event of a serious breach of a clause of the employment contract, for example unpaid wages.


By way of derogation from the provisions of article (article number) of my employment contract (or of the collective agreement), I thank you kindly shorten the notice from (duration in effective months) to (duration in months desired) so that my departure becomes effective on (date).


Acknowledgment of receipt or by hand: two options

Once the letter is written, who should I send it to? “To the company's human resources manager,” says Benoît Sevillia. Obviously the interlocutor may vary depending on the size and organization of the company. It can be directly the general manager, the manager or the director of human resources. The sending of a letter of resignation can then be done in two ways, specifies Émilie Trappler: “the registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt, keeping a copy, or in person, not forgetting to ask for a certificate of hand delivery. ” Upon receipt of the letter, the resignation takes note. Is it better to favor one option over the other? “Not necessarily,” says Émilie Trappler. In both cases, there will at one time or another be a face to face meeting with the hierarchical superior for an oral justification of the resignation. ”



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