Make a resignation letter to end your employment politely and on good terms. Creating a resignation letter formalises your resignation and ensures that your correspondence with your employer is recorded.
When should I use a resignation letter?
Use this template to create your resignation letter to resign:
to take up a new job
for personal reasons (eg to spend more time with your family)
because you simply no longer enjoy the job or it’s no longer a good fit for you (eg if your circumstances have changed and you want to find a remote role)
For more information, read Resigning from employment.
Do not use this template if you are resigning because of something that your employer did which may have been in breach of your Employment contract. For example, if your employer didn’t pay you or didn’t address allegations you made regarding workplace bullying. If this is the case, you should create a Constructive dismissal letter instead. For more information, read Constructive dismissal.
What’s included in a resignation letter?
This letter of resignation covers:
your and your employer’s details
your notice period
your date of resignation
your employment end date based on your notice period
the amount of time you have spent in your job
the reasons why you are leaving your job (optional)
What is a resignation letter?
A resignation letter is a formal letter informing your employer of your decision to resign from your job.
Writing a professional resignation letter can help you to resign on good terms. This can be beneficial if you intend to ask your employer for a Reference letter to support your application for a new job.
Using a resignation letter when you resign can also help provide evidence in case of any disputes. For instance, it may clear up any disagreement over the date that your notice period began.
What can I do before resigning?
Before resigning from your job, you may want to consider other options.
Resolve a dispute
If you are considering resigning because of a dispute between you and your employer, you may prefer attempting to resolve the dispute first. It is healthy to attempt to resolve any disputes through open dialogue with your employer (or your manager or the HR department). However, if you would feel more comfortable taking a formal approach, you can create a Grievance letter to communicate your complaint. If your employer makes a decision which you disagree with, you can challenge it using an Appeal letter.
Recording all communications about the dispute (eg in a grievance letter) can also be beneficial if the dispute is taken further (eg to an Employment Tribunal).
Request new working arrangements
If you’re resigning because your current working arrangements are no longer appropriate, you could attempt to agree on new arrangements with your employer instead of resigning. For example, you could use a Flexible working request to formally ask your employer to agree to new flexible working arrangements.
Can my employer impose conditions when I resign?
You should receive your normal pay and benefits (eg annual leave) when you resign and begin working out your notice period. However, your employer may offer you (or, if allowed in your employment contract, require you to take) garden leave or payment in lieu of notice. For more information, read Resigning from employment.
If they were included in your employment contract, your employer may also impose restrictions (known as ‘restrictive covenants’) on how you can work once you leave. For example, you may be restricted from immediately working for a competitor of your employer. For more information, read Post-employment restrictions.
When do I need to hand in a resignation letter?
Your notice period will usually be specified in your employment contract or offer letter. It is important to hand in your resignation letter on a date which gives you adequate time to work out your notice period before the date that you have chosen for your employment to end. If possible, deliver the letter by hand so the date is the actual date of receipt.
Ask a lawyer for advice if:
you want to resign due to a problem at work which may lead to constructive dismissal (eg you experienced discrimination or were suddenlty demoted without justification)
you are a director or you have shares in the company you wish to leave
there are any complicated issues which you need to resolve before leaving your job (eg restrictive covenants which you wish to negotiate)