The bonus policy at my company says:

If an employee resigns or is terminated before the payment date, no bonus is given to him.

This is my first job, and I am confused about the meaning of the word resign. Is resignation date the day when I submit my resignation letter or my last working day?

My understanding is: resignation date is the last working day, and notice date is the day of submitting the resignation letter.

  • 3
    Best case scenario: 1) Announced N month bonus 2) Confirm bonus banked in to account 3) Resign 4) Leave
    – quacky
    Commented Apr 9, 2015 at 6:19

4 Answers 4


Your company policy you quoted is unambiguous.

If an employee resigns or is terminated before the payment date, no bonus is given to him.

If you submitted your resignation before the bonus payment date, you are not eligible for the bonus.

The only case when resignation date is the last working day is when you resign with effect from the next day, and your manager/supervisor lets you go without serving the notice period.

  • 2
    There is no incentive for an employer to pay a bonus to someone who has submitted a resgination, bonuses are for retention not just performance. It is possible that there could be a legal case to get the bonus depending on the legal interpretation of the wording but you would use up in legal fees far more than the potential bonus most likely and you aren't guaranteed to win. If you have submitted your resignation, the chances of getting the bonus have to be close to 0. You could ask HR for an interpretation if you have already submitted a resgination.
    – HLGEM
    Commented Apr 9, 2015 at 15:50
  • However, you give notice of a resignation. You go to your employer with a letter that says "I am telling you today that I will resign fourteen days from now". "If an employee resigns" is not the same as "If an employee gives notice".
    – gnasher729
    Commented Sep 5, 2015 at 15:30

This is slightly off topic, but if you are in a situation where you might resign close to when you get the bonus, you can ask the new employer for a hiring bonus to make up for the bonus you won't get. Or you can ask them if you can delay your start date so that you can give notice after receiving the bonus. You have to do this at the start of the negotiation though, not after you have agreed to the terms.


Resignation Date - the date you will cease employment with the company. The day before that is your last working day. (ex. Resignation July 8; Last working July 7)

Notice Period - no of days for turn over; based on your company policy. Meaning you should hand out your resignation letter ahead of time. (ex Resignation is July 8, notice period is 30days. Then, your submission of resignation must be on or before June 7. Note here that your June 7 is the start of notice period of 30days.

  • 1
    This is not generally correct. The resignation date is the date you formally announce your intent to terminate your employment contract (i.e. before the notice period takes effect). Commented Jun 7, 2019 at 6:16
  • @JuliaHayward, no, what you're saying is not generally correct. The legal definition of resign is "to terminate at the initiative of the employee before standard retirement time." A person's employment is terminated at the very moment they resign. Thus, the resignation date is the when the termination of their employment happens and thus the day after their last working day. (I can imagine that people not educated about the meaning of resignation generally use it incorrectly, but that's a different matter.)
    – Marco
    Commented May 29, 2022 at 21:20

In most cases resignation is the day you put in the notice. So I am guessing if you put in a notice before the payment date you will not get the bonus.

  • No, notice is not resignation. It is an announcement that you will resign at some point in the future. If the employer disagrees then the contract is not clear, and unclear terms in a contract are interpreted against the one who wrote the contract.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Apr 11, 2019 at 22:07

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