Has your working environment become unbearable, the end of your career seems imminent or you simply want to quit your job without notice? Before making any hasty decisions, it is important that you know how to resign. You should review your employment contract to better understand your obligations because even after an employment relationship ends, an employee may remain bound by the contract.

Firstly, ending your employment without the required notice is a breach of contract. In practice, there may be little an employer can do about this. The courts will rarely, if ever, grant an order for specific performance that compels the employee to return to work. However, an employer remains free to sue for damages for loss occasioned as a result of a wrongful termination and to withhold wages due to work done before the departure.

Secondly, the most important obligations to be vary of are your post-employment obligations which are duties you are bound by even after your employment contract has been terminated. Post-employment restraints are usually contained in your written employment contract, or set out in a separate document.

A restraint in your contract is simply to specify an employee’s obligation not to make use of confidential information acquired during the employment or the obligation not to compete with the employer, or work for a competitor, for a defined period after the termination of employment. The courts have made it clear that, provided such a general restraint is valid, they will be more willing to enforce it.

Resignation checklist

To find out more information about a valid restraint clause please read the article titled ‘Understanding Restraints’ which can be found on our website.

Here at JFMLAW, we can assist you with how to resign by reviewing your employment contract and providing you with specialised help concerning your duties during and after employment. Give us a call.