Can an employee make a claim against us after they resign?
Our employee’s performance has been declining over the past 6 months and she has not been meeting her key performance indicators.
We offered her training assistance and in-house support for managing her staff. We then had role duplication and we offered her a reduced role (reduction in responsibilities and salary) or a redundancy. She took the reduced role. In the 2 months following this, her performance continued to deteriorate and she took individual leave days.
Last week in a one-on-one meeting she asked if she should resign as she felt she couldn’t do the work and had depression. I said I could not respond to this as I am not a neutral adviser. I further advised her not to make a decision if she felt unwell. I called in her manager to the meeting and the employee verbally resigned.
She has not followed this up with written advice, so I sent an email confirming what she’d said in the meeting and asked her to reply, but I haven’t received a reply yet.
Can we consider this resignation final? If we do, does this mean the staff member has no further recourse to say that she had a mental illness and was not allowed sick leave?
The employee resigning from her employment would not affect her ability to lodge a general protections claim against the company or a claim for workers’ compensation. This does not necessarily mean that she will, or that she would succeed in bringing a claim.
Every situation is different and will depend on each individual’s circumstance.
If you are concerned about the employee bringing a claim against the company, you could consider asking her to provide a deed of release in exchange for the company making an ex-gratia payment to her.