May 3, 2013

Voluntary Resignation: The Philippine Law

Voluntary Resignation

Resignation is defined as the voluntary act of an employee who finds himself in a situation where he believes that personal reasons cannot be sacrificed in favor of the exigency of the service and he has no other choice but to disassociate himself from his employment. (Virgen Shipping Corp. vs. Barraquio, G.R. No. 178127, April 16, 2009 citing Valdez vs. NLRC.)

The key is that resignation must be a “voluntary act”, and that the employee must have knowingly and voluntarily dissociate himself from his employment for his own personal reasons. It does not cover cases where the employee is forced to resign with the use of threats, intimidation, coercion or manipulation, or where resignation is imposed as a penalty for an offense.

The common practice of allowing an employee to resign, instead of terminating him for just cause so as not to smear his employment record, also fall under the category of voluntary resignation. (See J Marketing Corp. vs. Taran, G.R. No. 163924, June 28, 2009).

Resignation Notice

The Labor Code requires the employee to give an advance notice to the employer of his intention to resign. The notice of resignation must be in writing and must be served to the employer at least one month prior to the effective date of his resignation.

Resignation notice usually takes the form of a letter (commonly called “resignation letter”) addressed to the employer, expressing the employee’s intention to terminate his employment. It must state the date when resignation is to take effect because of the 30-day notice requirement under the law. It may also contain the reason or justification of the employee for filing his resignation, although legally, this is not important. The employee may resign for whatever reason, or even for no reason at all. Thus, in legal parlance, voluntary resignation is also called “termination by employee without just cause.”

Resignation letter normally contains explicit words expressing employee’s intention to terminate his employment. However, lack of explicit words stating the employees intention to resign is deemed not crucial, as long as the employees intention to resign can be deduced from letter itself. In one case, the Supreme Court held that a memorandum written by the employee containing his deep resentment towards his superior juridically constituted a letter of resignation. Even if the employee did not expressly indicate his intention to resign (neither of the words “resign” or “resignation” was mentioned), the resentful and sarcastic tone of the memorandum was held to be sufficiently indicative of such intention.

Effect of Failure to Tender Resignation Notice

If the employee fails to give the employer one month advance notice of his intention to resign, he may be held liable for damages.

Instances when Notice of Resignation is Not Required

The employee may resign even without serving any notice on the employer for any of the following reasons:
  1. Serious insult by the employer or his representative on the honor and person of the employee;
  2. Inhuman and unbearable treatment accorded the employee by the employer or his representative;
  3. Commission of a crime or offense by the employer or his representative against the person of the employee or any of the immediate members of his family; and
  4. Other causes analogous to any of the foregoing.
Resignation under any of the instance enumerated above is also called “termination by employee with justcause.”

You may want read the whole article here and you might learn a lot from the Q&A part of the website.


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