Resignation: 5 things to know before leaving

Aux Etats-Unis, 3% de la population a démissionné en novembre 2021.

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Posted on Jan 10, 2022, 5:41 p.m.Updated Jan 10, 2022, 5:46 PM

The desire to change jobs tickles you more and more lately? You are not alone. Some are already talking about “The Great Resignation”. On the other side of the Atlantic, the Americans have resigned with a vengeance since last summer. According to figures from the Department of Labor, 4.5 million Americans voluntarily left their employers in November 2021, or 3% of the population.

A record, which testifies to a profound upheaval in the relation to work: most sectors testify to difficulties in recruiting, which reverses the balance of power between employer and employee in favor of the latter.

Before going to your boss, be aware that there are a few rules to follow in order to separate yourself from your business. Overview of things to know to have all the cards in hand.

1. Can we resign orally?

Technically yes. You just have to show your clear and unequivocal desire to resign to your employer. But in reality, it is rather not recommended. Sending a resignation letter with acknowledgment of receipt will serve as proof.

“I do not recommend speaking at all: it only confuses. If you are faced with an employer in bad faith, how are you going to be able to prove and date your resignation? “ says Elise Fabing, partner at Alkemist lawyers and specialist in labor law.

The lawyer also advises to specify the reasons for his resignation. In the event of acts blamed on the employer, such as overwork or harassment, “This can make it possible to reclassify the resignation as dismissal” to the industrial tribunal. This is called “equivocal resignation”, meaning that it is not clear that the employee really wants to resign.

2. Can we slam the door and go?

You might just have one dream: to leave overnight and never come back. Except that you are not an actor and the world of work is not a Hollywood production. In “real life”, employees must give notice, the duration of which is most often fixed by the collective agreement. In general, it is one month for technicians and three months for executives.

By mutual agreement with your employer, it is also possible to reduce or even eliminate this notice. If you are refused it and you absolutely want to leave, it may be tempting to abandon your job to lead to dismissal for serious misconduct (which also opens up unemployment benefits).

But the employer can drag out or simply refuse to give in to blackmail. “It's a very bad idea because the employee remains in the workforce. During this period, no salary or unemployment benefit will be paid. In addition, if the employee finds another job, he must then necessarily resign and… give his notice ”, adds Elise Fabing.

3. Can we touch unemployment?

Unlike the conventional termination, resignation does not give rise to rights to unemployment, nor to severance pay. You will only have your balance from any account. Note that Pôle emploi, however, identifies exceptions (17 cases in total), which allow the release of unemployment benefits.

We find in particular family reasons, such as following a spouse, victims of domestic violence which require a change of residence. For professional reasons, the exception applies, for example, if you terminate your contract during the first 65 days, and provided that you have previously been employed for at least three years without interruption in another company.

You can claim unemployment benefits after having resigned from civic service, international solidarity volunteering or associative volunteering (for at least one year). Finally, those who have resigned who have a professional retraining plan can also apply for it, depending on a large number of criteria.

The full list here.

4. Can your employer refuse your resignation?

No. Resignation is a right for the employee. On the other hand, the employer can challenge its terms (and obtain redress) if it is abusive. For example: leaving during a period of intense activity where the employee's presence is essential, or a resignation which results in that of colleagues, endangering the company.

Note that in CDD, the employee is required to perform the entire duration of the contract and cannot resign. There are exceptions such as leaving for a permanent contract, for incapacity or for serious misconduct on the part of the employer. Finally, it is always possible to terminate the contract by mutual agreement with the employer.

5. Can we reconsider his resignation?

Yes, but both parties have to agree. “It is very common for the employer to want to catch up with his employee by offering better working conditions. To do this, he makes an amendment to the employment contract. Likewise, it is not uncommon for some departing employees to realize that the grass is not so green elsewhere and to reconsider their decision ”, continues Master Elise Fabing.


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