I will be starting a new job mid January, and to meet the two-week notice period, I would need to put in my notice on the 27th. However due to other circumstances (finalizing a home mortgage), I cannot officially change jobs (accept offer / put in notice) until after the paper work's cleared (so no 3 week notice).

The issue is it is currently the holidays in the US, and my boss, his boss, his boss's boss, etc. Are all out of office untill the first of the new year. I'm not sure how many people from HR would be available either, though I know my main contact will be out as well. So, I'm at a bit of a loss of how to provide notice.

I could blast out an email, but I'd rather not bother people on vacation, nor could I guarantee that they have received it. I would also prefer to give them fair notice (10 business days as opposed to the 8 if I give notice on the first), since I foresee a lot of tasks to hand off.

So, how can I give notice on a particular date when (presumably) no one is around to receive it?

  • 5
    my boss, his boss, his boss's boss, etc. - certainly, someone in this chain of vacationers has designated who's in charge in their absence?
    – dwizum
    Dec 13, 2019 at 19:29
  • 3
    Who would you 'report' to (e.g. if something needs to be escalated) in the absence of these bosses? You could give the notice to that person, or to HR. Dec 13, 2019 at 20:06

3 Answers 3


So, how can I give notice on a particular date when (presumably) no one is around to receive it?

First of all, forget about the notion that nobody is around to receive your notice. Yes, your boss and other important persons may be on vacation but that does not mean that they are all 100% disconnected from any form of communication. An employee's resignation could potentially be in the same category as an emergency so I would go ahead and try to let your boss know.

I would call the boss and then follow up with your boss and all of the appropriate parties with an email. If you cannot speak with your boss for whatever reason, I would still send the email to the boss and all of the appropriate parties and make sure that the subject clearly indicates that you are resigning from your position. This will ensure that if they are intermittently checking their email, your message will stand out.


Even if you could comfortably contact your bosses and your main HR contact on Dec 27th, they wouldn't implement any decisions about you until they return around Jan 2nd or 3rd anyway. They'll just have to make do with the eight days.

In the meantime, cover yourself by giving notice to somebody in HR on the 27th.


Send your letter of resignation as Certified Mail with Return Receipt Requested, addressed to the HR Department of your employer. Make sure to provide plenty of lead time to ensure the letter arrives before your notice period. Remember that the postal service will be working at overcapacity over the holidays.

While Certified Mail with RRR does not provide proof of content, you will at least be able to prove that you sent something in time.

  • And in many places, the date of posting is taken as valid in law, not the date of reception.
    – Solar Mike
    Dec 14, 2019 at 10:22
  • Indeed. My suggestion was meant to reduce hassle and discussion, not as a hard legal requirement. Dec 14, 2019 at 11:32
  • One quibble: Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested is no more reliable than plain old First Class Mail. This is one of those times where the mail item MUST get there, or Bad Things will happen. For those times, you want Registered Mail. (Note: You know your life is getting seriously complicated when you find yourself using Registered Mail more than once every several years.) Dec 16, 2019 at 19:53

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