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Ai Group Industry Newsletter

Thursday, 20 July 2017
  19 July 2017
Ai Group delivers key outcomes for business
  19 July 2017
Building Code motion heads to the Senate




  19 July 2017
Get the inside running on doing business in Western Australia
  30 June 2017
South Australia in transition: Where to next?




  19 July 2017
How is your State faring on entering the new financial year? 
  19 July 2017
Economic Outlook 2017-18: What's in store for business?




Resigned to his fate

The case of a Video Editor offers an interesting insight into the binding nature of an employee's verbal resignation. After three and a half years of employment, and two years after his last performance review, the Editor emailed his supervisor with a request to review his performance level in the hope of securing a salary increase sufficient for a larger housing loan. This amounted to an increase of $13,000. Informed by the employer that his request was "neither reasonable nor financially feasible", the Editor proceeded to supplement his income by obtaining after-hours work – with a direct competitor of his employer. This was in breach of his contract of employment. Confronted by his supervisor in a meeting attended by a witness, the employee was informed that “he had the option of either immediately ceasing all work for (the competitor) or resigning his employment". Described by the witness as being in "a negative space", but "determined", he chose the latter option – and declined two offers to take some time to think about it. Despite this, the Editor failed to deliver a requested written resignation, and on the date of his intended departure, more than three weeks later, advised the employer that he in fact intended to stay. He added that "I will be taking this as unilateral and unfair termination" if the employer disagreed. However, on application for unfair dismissal, the Fair Work Commission determined that the employer was entitled in the circumstances to accept the Editor on his original word. Satisfied that the employee was not forced to resign because of conduct engaged in by his employer, the FWC referred to previous cases regarding the validity of a verbal resignation in stating that "words of resignation uttered in the heat of the moment must be retracted swiftly in order for the resignation to be withdrawn".

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