Resignation or dismissal?
Case 7: The facts
After more than 20 years’ service, Mrs Devlin handed in her notice when relations with a company director became difficult. She gave a date for her employment to end, but said: “If this doesn’t suit please let me know.” Her employer found a replacement before her notice expired; it told Devlin that she did not have to work her notice, but paid her in lieu. When she later brought an unfair dismissal claim, the EAT had to decide whether there had been a dismissal.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal said there was no dismissal. Once Devlin handed in her notice, she was not entitled to withdraw it; her letter only suggested that the leaving date could be negotiated. When her employer said she did not have to work her notice, this only meant that she did not have to attend work during that period; other terms and conditions, including the duty of trust and confidence, remained in force.Tom Findlay & Co Ltd v Devlin UKEATS/0071/06