I'm out on holiday outside the country at the moment and don't have access to my company laptop. I contacted HR to resign and was told my resignation has to be put through a designated company portal. I can't access this 'portal' as it resides inside the company Intranet. It is physically impossible for me to resign the 'right' way since I don't have my company laptop.

Can I resign by emailing my resignation to the general HR contact, and CC my direct line manager? Will I be in breach of contract because the firm may say I actually never resigned because I didn't follow the procedure?

  • 1
    @motosubatsu I don't think the issue is so much evil USA devs as it is that this seems very specific to the particular company and their resignation procedures. We can say "yeah, sounds reasonable to email HR and your manager", but who knows?
    – DaveG
    Dec 11, 2018 at 14:47
  • 1
    It's not specific to the company imho; there are rules and laws about how you can resign that are explicitly not company specific because governments don't want companies to be able to make it really hard for people to quit.
    – Erik
    Dec 11, 2018 at 14:57
  • 1
    Agreed with @Mawg - how long is this holiday? Why can't you wait until you return, or why didn't you give notice before you left?
    – David K
    Dec 11, 2018 at 17:19
  • 1
    @DavidK personal circumstances have changed so I have to resign
    – omega
    Dec 12, 2018 at 2:45

2 Answers 2


I am not a lawyer. As others have said, talk to Citizens Advice or ACAS - but you cannot be prevented from resigning as that would be slavery.

With that it of the way, my advice: don't do it via email. Do it via an actual physical letter, signed using an actual pen with your actual signature stating that you "resign with immediate effect". Send this recorded delivery to the registered address of your employer as listed at Companies House - this is important as letters accepted at the company's registered address are legally deemed to have been read. Send a copy by email as well, but it's important to establish the paper trail - that means there can no dispute as to whether and when you resigned.

Then of course work your notice period in the most professional manner possible.

  • I'm not in the UK at the moment... if I do send a letter to companies house when does the date effective of my resignation start? The date which I send the letter or date which the letter was accepted ?
    – omega
    Dec 11, 2018 at 8:06
  • 2
    Talk to a lawyer. Dec 11, 2018 at 8:15
  • @omega There are services which print and email physical letters for you. I believe there are both in the UK and USA (and some even publish an API!). Maybe this can help you
    – rath
    Dec 11, 2018 at 8:42
  • 1
    You don't send a letter to CompanysHouse. You go to the website gov.uk/government/organisations/companies-house which has the registered address and lots of details about every company that is registered in the UK. Not www.companyhouse.uk which looks like a scam site to me.
    – gnasher729
    Dec 11, 2018 at 12:33
  • 1
    @PhilipKendall There was a comment "so I send a letter to companies house" which obviously won't work.
    – gnasher729
    Dec 11, 2018 at 14:22

The UK government's website only talks about whether a company can require written notice instead of merely verbal notice. This seems to be written on the assumption that written notice is always sufficient.

Giving notice

You must give at least a week’s notice if you’ve been in your job for more than a month.

Your contract will tell you whether you need to give notice in writing - otherwise you can do it verbally.

Give written notice if you think you’ll need to refer to it later, for example at an employment tribunal.

There is a free Acas helpline where more qualified people can give you legal advice on your rights and responsibilities in this regard. But UK employment law is still fairly protective of workers rights, so I'd be astonished if a company could legally make it impossible for you to resign.

  • 1
    Thanks . If I send an email to the general HR contact and cc by boss and performance managers, is that sufficient for my resignation and notice period to take effect from when the email was received in their inbox? They may argue I did not follow the policy of using the 'portal '
    – omega
    Dec 11, 2018 at 6:23
  • 1
    As Philip Kendall said, if you send a letter to the registered company address (best by registered mail), then they have legally received it, and can claim all they want, it's not going to help them. If they don't bother picking up that mail and reading it, you still have legally giving notice. Every UK company is legally required to read any mail going to their registered address, and if they don't, they are responsible for any damages caused.
    – gnasher729
    Dec 11, 2018 at 12:26

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .