I resigned in writing from my position yesterday afternoon and have been working away from the office and my colleagues today. I received a message today from a colleague saying they are sorry to hear I’m leaving. I questioned where they had heard this and they say our manager has told them.

I’m annoyed that this gossiping has happened and wondered if this is a breach of confidentiality within the UK workplace. I’ve still got 4 weeks notice to work so am surprised that everyone will now know before I’ve had a chance to tell them and this has made me feel awkward now.

  • It doesn't seem like you understand what GDPR is or it's purpose. This is not a privacy issue. If you think you can report your boss to a government agency to get him in trouble, think again.
    – Jack
    May 13, 2019 at 9:05
  • @Jack I don't see any mention of GDPR anywhere in the question (or on this page at all apart from these comments) May 13, 2019 at 9:39

3 Answers 3


Unless you explicitly asked for confidentiality with regards your resignation and your manager agreed to it, your manager informing your colleagues is not a breach. Keep in mind that your manager now has to balance your workload among your colleagues so it is good that they know as early as possible.

In the future, if you wish to personally tell your colleagues about your resignation then do not resign while working remotely or kindly ask your manager to allow you to break the news to them.

  • 4
    How would it be a breach if the OP had explicitly asked? I don't see how you could withhold that information from a practical perspective in transfer of duties and offboarding.
    – Myles
    May 9, 2019 at 19:55
  • 1
    @myles I have edited the answer to reflect your comment
    – sf02
    May 9, 2019 at 19:57
  • 3
    OP can ask to keep this confidential, but doesn't have the right to demand it. If you give four weeks notice, and I'm the one supposed to take over your work, I'd want to know now, and the manager would want me to know now. Anything else would be damaging for the business.
    – gnasher729
    May 9, 2019 at 21:21
  • 3
    I am struggling to imagine the circumstances under which any manager would agree to keeping someone's resignation confidential for more than an hour, at most. It's not a private matter, it affects other people's jobs. May 10, 2019 at 10:10
  • @BittermanAndy Given four weeks notice, and a request from the employee to be let notify colleagues, a generous manager might allow a day or two. Much more than that would eat into the time to prepare for the departure. May 11, 2019 at 12:35

I’m annoyed that this gossiping has happened

It might have been gossiping, but it doesn't seem to have been.

I questioned where they had heard this and they say our manager has told them.

This seems normal, especially in the context of e.g. a team meeting.

You have no right to confidentiality about your resignation. It is an official company issue, and representatives of the company may inform whoever they wish, for any reason. In some cases they will be required to do so, such as tax office. In other cases, it may be necessary for planning.

Usually there is some etiquette around resignations, which varies by region and company internal culture. In my experience, often managers will respect a request that you inform colleagues first, and will either allow you to announce it yourself or share it themselves equally in some group meeting. In some cases, managers prefer to keep a resignation quiet until a "good time".

It is possible your manager has breached etiquette for your company or region. But they haven't breached any right of confidentiality purely by mentioning that you were leaving. Even if you explicitly state that your resignation should be kept confidential, this has no real weight except that the manager might agree to your request.

If there is extra information around the reason for you leaving, that might be protected. And it would be poor etiquette to frame it as you being fired if you had not been for example (in some cases this could be slander, or libel when written down assuming it is not true). You don't go into detail in the question, but that does not seem to be the case here.


No, it is not a breach of confidentiality, especially if this is within the normal notice period.

What did you expect? That your manager keeps your exit secret until your last day and then 3 hours before you are leaving says "ok, do the handover now". That wold be truely unprofessional. If it is clever to tell the whole team immediately or not is up to the manager who has to deal with replacing you.

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