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Abandonment of employment is a form of termination of employment at the employee’s initiative. Abandonment of employment occurs when an employee does not attend work for a prolonged period without prior notice or reasonable explanation, i.e. the employee indicates that they do not intend to return to work.
To minimise the risk of a successful unfair dismissal claim, an employer must make every effort to find out what the intentions of the employee are.
Before an employer can consider that an employee has terminated their employment by way of abandonment, the employer must be fully satisfied that every attempt has been made to contact the employee to facilitate their return and to advise them of the implications of their continued unauthorised absence.
The ‘Abandonment of Employment Letter - First Contact (Requesting a Response from Employee)’ is to be used by the employer after receiving no response from the employee despite trying to contact them (by telephone or email etc.) on numerous occasions.
The ‘Abandonment of Employment Letter – Termination of Employment (Where the Employee has not Responded to the Initial Letter)’ is to be used after receiving no response from the employee to the initial letter and when the employer seeks to accept that the employee has terminated their employment on the basis of abandonment.
Both letters should be sent by registered mail to ensure proof of delivery.
Guidance notes and instructions are shown italicised.
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The Abandonment of Employment Letters have undergone a periodic review. Some minor amendments have been made including the addittion of further information about an employer's attempts to contact an absent employee.
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