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I broke my contract. I had a meeting with my boss where at the start of the meeting he intended to terminate me immediately. At the end of the meeting he decided to suspend me for two days and bring me back for another meeting.

The next day I emailed him (while suspended) accepting responsibility and accepting the termination.

The following day I went in for the meeting and he essentially said he was considering giving me a second chance and asked whether I really wanted to leave or if I just thought it was "the right thing to do". I said I'd have to think about it, and he prolonged the (paid) suspension by another week (which is currently ongoing), and arranged another meeting.

I still want to leave. If they offer me a "second chance", and I don't take it, do I have any right to resign, or can I still be terminated immediately for the original offence?

This is in the UK.

  • Is there anywhere that says you're on like a secondary probation in which you can be terminated at any point or is it just continuation of contract, do you mean that youre going to accept then quit so you avoid termination – Twyxz Aug 13 '18 at 11:05
  • The email detailing my suspension doesn't mention a secondary probation, it says I'm not expected to do any work but should comply with the other terms of my contract. I was planning to tell them openly "I don't wish to accept the second chance but hope you will allow me to resign rather than be terminated" – Oooooooops Aug 13 '18 at 11:12
  • Have you got all this information in writing? I would ensure you get any information you can in writing and keep a copy. As far as I am concerned, if they give you another chance, they are giving you a chance to continue employment, therefore you have the right to resign. If they change their mind just because you've chosen to resign I think that would be very immoral. What ever you do ask for everything in writing, even the offer of a second chance. – andtodd Aug 13 '18 at 11:24
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he intended to terminate me immediately

So he didn't terminate your contract therefore still in contract with said employer.

This means that they cannot stop you from resigning whether you're getting a "second chance", or you're suspended you are well within your rights to leave within the UK.

Simply approach said boss and state

I've had a think about your offer and I've decided that I do indeed want to leave, thank you for considering me for a second chance.

Your boss clearly knows this as he stated

are you sure you wanted to leave?

Meaning he needs you and is also aware that you are within your rights to leave.

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I have a friend who resigned from employment during suspension and it simply went down as a ‘resignation’.

I’ve also worked for an employer in the past who gave the option for staff to resign during a suspension or an investigation if instead of termination to allow them a better chance of finding another job. It was a case of leave by your own will or you’ll be sacked.

Not all employers will operate this way but in sure that if they’re offering you a second chance they won’t likely be able to stop you resigning.

It's worth noting with regards to references, unless explicitly stated in your employment contract, your Employer is not legally required to give you a reference. If they chose to give you a reference, it needs to be fair and honest, therefore you find a lot of employers won't give too many details or a "bad" reference as there can be legal repercussions if they provide any misleading or inaccurate information. This is why many employers now give a simple reference stating your job title, employment details and a basic reason for leaving. The friend I refer to had worked for a big retailer in the UK and their reference stated reason for leaving as "resignation", despite leaving during an investigation.

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