We have an employee who resigned yesterday, giving substantial notice. She wants to finish just before the end of the Financial Year. This is an awkward time for us, as it doesn’t allow us time to train someone new in the finance department in which she works before it gets really busy. Do we have to accept this date? Our preference would be for her to leave at least 2 weeks earlier so we can have a new person established in her role. If the resigning employee doesn’t agree, what are our options?
You should speak to the employee about arranging a date that is convenient to both parties as a termination date.
From a legal standpoint, whether you are obligated to allow her to work the long notice period she has provided to you (or to pay her out for the balance up the date she has specified) is dependent on the relevant terms, if any, of her written employment contract.
However, it is more likely that you are only obligated to accept the amount of notice set out in her contract, any relevant modern award or the National Employment Standards. You should inform her of this and then arrange a mutually convenient date for her last day.
If the issue becomes difficult or intractable, we suggest you seek formal legal advice.