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Can I resign with immediate effect?

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  • Can I resign with immediate effect?

    I have been under investigation for an allegation of gross misconduct (not strictly true but I have no way of proving otherwise) and have now been told I am required to attend a disciplinary meeting next week which may result in my immediate dismissal.
    I have worked there longer than 2 years and my notice period is 4 weeks but I am considering handing in my resignation with immediate effect as I donít want to have to go through with the disciplinary meeting. Iím pretty certain my employers will not believe my side of the story and I will be dismissed due to gross misconduct anyway, and even if they donít I no longer want to work there after this as it is only a small company and I would always feel under suspicion.
    I know this would be a breach of contract but is it possible to resign with immediate effect? Will the disciplinary continue without my attending?

    Any advice very gratefully received please

    Tags: None

  • #2
    Ula might be able to advise T&Cs have you?
    might help if we had more facts of the matter???


    • #3
      Mike770 what would you like to know?


      • #4
        what the story of the event was all about, i.e. allegation as you mentioned in Para 1 it would help helpers to understand and possibly advise


        • #5

          Dear Line Manager/Managing Director

          I have been under investigation for an allegation of gross misconduct, which I categorically deny, and I have now been told I am required to attend a disciplinary hearing next week which may result in my immediate dismissal.

          If the disciplinary hearing goes ahead, even if fully exonerated, I would always feel under suspicion. Consequently, it will be impossible for me to continue with the company, whatever the result of the hearing.

          Rather than being subject to this trauma, I am prepared to offer my resignation with immediate effect on the following terms:
          1. The hearing does not go ahead.
          2. My HR record and any reference simply shows that I have resigned voluntarily, without any reference to these allegations.
          3. You pay me 4 weeks pay in lieu of notice.

          Yours sincerely


          I am not sure of 3, but I'd have thought a sensible manager would jump at the opportunity of avoiding the hearing. You've hinted that even an exoneration would amount to constructive dismissal. You might add in somewhere that you've been with the company over the magic 2 years.


          • #6
            might help so await the response do not rush into this


            • #7
              So I have been accused of theft of property or money from my workplace and they have got the police involved. We were all emailed to say that a staff member had had their card taken and used and they were going to get the cctv footage from the relevant stores to find out who it was. Apparently this was the second time someone had had personal effects/money taken during a shift at work (I was not aware of this before though) so they were taking it very seriously.
              A few days later I was asked to send a photo of my driving licence to my manager supposedly for the gdpr policy but the next day after doing this I received a letter via email telling me that I was under investigation and was not required to come into work until it had been concluded. I was warned at this point that I might have to attend a disciplinary hearing if there was a case to answer. I was also given the details of the investigating police officer to contact if I had any information to assist with the investigation.

              My problem is that I did actually find a card outside on the pavement near where I work when I finished my shift. I didnít recognise the name and it wasnít signed on the back so I picked it up to hand into the local bank but in a moment of madness (which I deeply regret now) I tried using it in the supermarket to pay for my shopping and it worked contactless. I am ashamed to say I then used it a couple more times in different stores until it got refused.

              I have to assume that the card I found did belong to the staff member who reported it missing so of course the cctv footage will show me making the transactions and my employers have not surprisingly come to the conclusion that I stole the card from this personís bag and was probably responsible for taking other missing items previously.

              I have not not yet been contacted by the police but Iím sure I will be in due course but I donít know how I can prove that I didnít actually steal anything from peopleís bags at work. I stupidly did not contact the investigating police officer to give my side of the story as I thought the investigation would draw a blank given that I hadnít actually taken anything from work. I guess I thought if I kept quiet it would all go away as most people just report a missing card to their bank not the police so I didnít think the cctv footage they mentioned would turn out to be me.

              I know I am in a lot of trouble now with the police and I donít actually want to go back to work after this but I want to avoid being dismissed for gross misconduct as that will affect my whole future career.


              • #8
                Also can you still be dismissed for gross misconduct if your employers know you committed a crime like this outside of the workplace?


                • #9
                  I think you should google Theft by Finding. If the amounts purchased on the card were pretty modest, the Police might not prosecute.

                  I still think you should think about offering to resign on condition the employers don't hold the hearing and give you a bland reference. I think it's better to do that than just resigning and keeping your fingers crossed.

                  One straw to clutch at is that possibly the employer should postpone the hearing whilst the police investigation and possibly any subsequent trial is in progress. Particularly as, if your work colleague is to be called as a witness in a criminal trial against you, it may just possibly be wrong for him to be called at a disciplinary hearing first. See, for example, https://brodies.com/binformed/legal-...vestigation-or

                  If you can raise a few complexities like that for the employer, that may swing their decision so they may just prefer to sweep it under the carpet and accept your resignation offer. I take it that you aren't in a union? Do you have any idea whether they are raring to have a hearing or would just prefer to get it over with?

                  Your contention that you found the card outside, although no doubt true, is not terribly believable, so the question of whether you can be dismissed for conduct outside work may not come into play. The hearing may just make a finding of fact that you stole on the premises.

                  That question does seem to be quite complex, though, and I suggest you read (for example) https://www.hrlaw.co.uk/site/infoban...e_of_work.html

                  You said "I didnít recognise the name [on the card", yet you also said it's a small company. You don't have to explain that to us, but you should think about that apparent contradiction before any hearing. The obvious question you'll be asked is why you didn't recognise the name on the card and immediately return it.


                  • #10
                    Ok thanks for the further detail. So you are admitting that you used what is potentially a member of staff's credit card to buy items in a supermarket and elsewhere. I am sorry to say this is potentially not a good situation for you, this is not about whether you stole something from a person's bag, you found a card on the pavement and rather than handing into the police or the issuing bank you used it to purchase goods. This is theft.

                    Firstly regardless of whether it was staff member or another person then it will be down to the police to decide whether to investigate/prosecute on the basis of theft from the person concerned. This would be considered a criminal offence and is not my area of expertise so others on the forum may be best able to help you with the process in regard to this.

                    Secondly if is was a staff member then the company will have to investigate and consider what action disciplinary action maybe taken. Since theft is often cited as an example of grounds for dismissal on the basis of gross misconduct then my view, given what you have described, would be that this would be the likely outcome of any disciplinary action taken. Whether it be from the company or a staff member theft would be considered as gross misconduct in either situation.

                    Even it is not a member of staff the company could still carry out an investigation and a disciplinary process, however it may be that they would delay this pending the outcome of any criminal investigation.

                    Resigning with immediate effect may not halt the disciplinary process particularly if the outcome was to result in summary dismissal on the grounds of gross misconduct then this would supersede your resignation which means notice will not need to be paid to you.

                    Please also be aware that employers are not obliged to provide you with a reference. However as part of a discussion with your employer about leaving you could maybe get them to agree a form of words, in which if a reference is requested, they just confirm your start and end dates, your job title and salary, with a phrase that it is the Company's policy to only provide these details for job references.
                    I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
                    If you have any doubts then do please seek professional legal advice.

                    You canít always stop the waves but you can learn to surf.

                    You are braver than you believe, smarter than you think and stronger than you seem.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks 2222
                      In answer to your question about not recognising the name on the card, it is a small company but there have been several new members of staff recently and I only know them by their first name. I am also employed very much part time (just Sat mornings) so donít work with them very often. I still donít actually know which member of staff is the one involved.


                      • #12
                        Thanks ULA

                        I realise that theft is considered gross misconduct but do you think the disciplinary would still result in dismissal even if my employers believe me that I didn’t actually steal from anyone belongings directly? I was actually considering resigning anyway before all this happened as I want my weekends back with my family so I am really not bothered if I have to leave (either by resigning or dismissal).
                        Could I write down my version of events and send to my employers along with a resignation letter to avoid having to attend the disciplinary in person? This whole situation has made my inherent anxiety a lot worse and the thought of having to face my boss and the manager fills me with dread.

                        I am very much part time so I am not concerned about receiving any notice pay. I had thought though that resigning without notice would mean that, as I would no longer be an employee, they would not continue with the disciplinary meeting especially as the police will be dealing with the matter themselves?
                        Unfortunately in my industry (professional but with no union) references tend to be conducted via a telephone conversation between the prospective employer and the previous employer so I would probably just have to not give their contact details as a reference and list employers prior to this employment instead.


                        • #13
                          It is only my opinion and I am not your employer but you found the card, agreed you did not steal it out of their bag, but you then proceeded to use that card to purchase goods. The legal definition of theft is a criminal act in which property belonging to another is taken without that person's consent. Accepting the person dropped it and you picked it up with your initial intention of returning it to the issuing bank but you did not. Not only did you keep the card but you then used it fraudulently to purchase items without that personís consent. Based on this then I think any reasonable employer would come to the conclusion it was gross misconduct.

                          I can completely understand that this has had an effect on your inherent anxiety and that going into the office will not be what you want to do. You are entitled to email/write to your company offering your immediate resignation due to the situation and if you want to offer an explanation for your actions that is up to you. Add in that you assume that since you have offered your immediate resignation you presume the company will no longer proceed with any disciplinary action.

                          In terms of a reference if you can offer other recent employers to provide a reference then that may be best.

                          I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
                          If you have any doubts then do please seek professional legal advice.

                          You canít always stop the waves but you can learn to surf.

                          You are braver than you believe, smarter than you think and stronger than you seem.

                          If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page


                          • #14
                            Pangea, can you find out whether the other theft was on a day you were not there?

                            I guess that, if this was a part time job, you could leave it off your CV altogether? Do you have work during the week as well?

                            Be careful what you write to the company, as the police may well get to see it. I'd hesitate to put your version of events, as it's pretty damning.

                            Despite what Ula said, every business instinct of mine says it would be better not to resign just yet. I would contact the company and offer to resign provided they will cancel the disciplinary hearing. I would not ask for a reference or payment of any kind. For all you know, your manager dreads these sorts of confrontations or is incredibly busy and will be delighted with your offer.

                            If the company refuses to cancel the hearing, you can always resign then and/or refuse to attend the hearing. Maybe get a doctor's note?


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