Law firm David Lim & Partners LLP’s litigation department head, Doris Chia, told HRD Singapore that once an employee sends in his or her letter of resignation and this is accepted by the employer, in effect ‘the deed is done’.
“If the employee subsequently changes his mind and wants to take back his resignation, the employer has the option of allowing or refusing to allow him to do so,” Chia explained.
HR teams who find themselves in such a situation need not re-hire the employee on terms that are the same as the original employment contract.
Instead, Chia said that the rescinding of a resignation by en employee gives employers the chance to alter the terms on which the relationship was based.
“If the employer allows the employee to ‘take back’ the resignation, at its option, the employer can allow the employee to continue working as if he never resigned,” Chia explained.
“Alternatively, the employer can treat the employer-employee relationship as a new contract and a condition of the ‘return’ of the employee may be new employment terms,” she said.
Common employment terms include salary, bonus and leave entitlements, as well as the scope and seniority of the employee’s role at the company.
Under the Employment Act, an employee could also have to undergo another probationary period, which can last between three to six months.
For employees covered by the Employment Act, employers are entitled to terminate during a probationary period, by providing notice of usually 1-2 weeks or as stated in the contract, or by paying salary in lieu of notice.
Employees who resign and then change their minds could give employers a chance to introduce new terms into an employment contract.