Employee receives compensation after intention to resign acted on by employer
An employee has won a moderate amount of compensation after the Fair Work Commission ruled that he had not resigned his employment but merely flagged with his employer his intention to resign.
The male employee ‘MH’ commenced his employment with Firequip Pty Ltd (“Firequip”) in August 2022 as a business development manager. He was initially employed on a six-month probationary period that ended in February 2023.
Firequip is involved in the supply of specialist products to the fire protection and building industries.
On Friday, 9 June 2022, MH sent an email to Firequip’s managing director, which in part stated,
‘I just wanted to make contact and, in the very least, advise you in advance of my intent to resign at the end of the month‘. Shortly after, the two also had a phone conversation.
On the morning of Tuesday, 13 June 2023, MH met with Firequip’s General Manager. As is not unusual, both employees contested what was said at the meeting between the two.
In evidence before Deputy President Tom Roberts, MH claimed that the General Manager had repeatedly said at the meeting that he was accepting MH’s resignation, but MH replied that he had, in fact, not resigned but merely indicated his intention to do so.
Later that day, the General Manager forwarded MH an email titled ‘Re; Resignation Acceptance’ and referenced the award requirement of one week’s notice, and Firequip was prepared to waive this notice requirement.
In the Deputy President’s view, MH was terminated at the initiative of the employer. As he noted,
“by his email of 9 June 2023, the Applicant clearly foreshadowed his intention to resign at the end of the month in June. I am satisfied on the evidence that he did not resign from that position at the meeting with Mr (C) on 13 June. Rather, the evidence shows that Mr (C) decided during the meeting on 13 June that the employment of the Applicant should come to an end on that date, as opposed to 30 June or thereabouts … Mr (C) acted on his mistaken belief by terminating the employment of the Applicant at the meeting on 13 June. The termination took effect on that day”.
In determining that MH had been unfairly dismissed, the Deputy President noted that MH was dissatisfied in his role and had indicated his clear intention to leave Firequip’s employment.
The Deputy President believed that MH would not have remained in Firequip’s employ after 30 June 2023, and after taking into account the one’ weeks’ notice paid in lieu, granted him remedy of compensation in the sum of $3,375.00.
For queries about dissatisfied employees, the giving of notice, termination, or other employment questions, please contact Dean Cameron at Workforce Advisory Lawyers – We Know Employment Law on 1300 925 529, 0417 622 178 or via email to email@example.com
Disclaimer: This information is provided as general advice on workplace relations and employment law. It does not constitute legal advice, and it is always advisable to seek further information regarding specific workplace issues. Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.