Labour Law: I wish to resign. What are the terms and conditions?

 

It is not unusual these days to want to resign. Labour law allows a lot of leeway for this procedure. Lawrence explains how to terminate your employment contract!

Termination is a necessary step to formally end the obligations between an employee and his employer.

Your contract of unlimited duration:

Resignation can be done orally or in writing, at your choice, unless the employment contract requires a specific procedure. 

However, we advise you to do so in writing to ensure an acknowledgement of receipt. Indeed, it is from this moment that the termination starts and the deadlines start to be counted. 

Of course, it is always better to have proof of receipt of a letter of resignation!

As a courtesy, it is always better to make an oral announcement to your employer before sending an official letter.

 

What are the deadlines?

The law applies specific notice periods that depend on the length of time the employee has been working. These periods can be modified in the employment contract. 

Here are the time limits dictated by labour law:

Activity of one year or less – 1 month

Activity from 2 to 9 years – 2 months

Activity 10 years or more – 3 months

 

Notice periods begin to run at the end of a month (unless otherwise specified in the employment contract).

For example:

You decide to resign on 18 March 2019 and your employer received your letter on 22 March. You have worked for him for 5 years. From 31 March 2019, you will have 2 months’ notice (unless otherwise stated in the contract). Therefore, your last day of work will be 31 May 2019. 

 

Your contract is of fixed duration:

In principle, a fixed-term contract is only terminated at the end of the period determined by it. It is therefore impossible to resign when you are bound to a fixed-term contract…Unless there is an agreement with your employer or the contract states otherwise! Dialogue is your best ally.

You can terminate a fixed-term contract during the trial period. A 7-day period is linked to it. 

Resignation is also possible for just reasons according to the Federal Court, i.e. if a serious event has occurred and has broken the bond of trust between employee and employer (e.g. a case of harassment).

In the absence of just cause, the resignation will be considered an unjustified abandonment of work. Your ex-employer will be able to claim damages from you!

 

One last element to consider when resigning is good relations. Don’t forget to thank your clients, colleagues and employers, and even organize a farewell party! After all, your paths may cross again in the future. 

 

You don’t know how to terminate your contract in the best possible way? Lawrence answers all your questions and writes your letter of resignation!

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