One of the more common queries that the General Union receives is the question of how an employee should actually go about the resignation process – what they should tell their employer, how much notice they need to give, and what they should write in a resignation letter.
If you’re someone who is currently planning an exit strategy, we have a basic template that you can use for your resignation letter – as well as some information and pointers to go along with it.
How much notice is enough notice?
Before we get to the actual resignation letter template, we should first review how much notice an employee has to give to an employer before they resign.
If it’s the first contract, we recommend you give the notice as required by the contract (especially for small employers). Others may advise that only two weeks are necessary, but we recommend giving as much notice as the employer desires.
This is because of a conflict between the Labor Contract Act, the Civil Code, and the possibility of being sued for damages. Members wanting more information about the possibilities of this happening should contact us.
From the second contract (and onward), 14 days of notice is sufficient regardless of what is written in the contract.
LETTER OF RESIGNATION
Now that you know exactly how much notice you have to give, we can move on to the letter of resignation. Your letter of resignation should look something like this:
To [name of company],
Please accept this document as notice of my resignation, effective as of [last day of employment]. I anticipate that any outstanding salary shall be paid in full within seven (7) working days of my final day of employment.
Be sure to sign and date the letter accordingly, and make sure that you keep a copy of the letter for yourself as evidence that the letter exists.
At some workplaces, the General Union also recommends that you keep a note of the time your resignation letter was delivered, the place it was delivered to, and to whom the letter was delivered. In some circumstances it may even be best to send a registered letter (haitatsu shomei) through the post office. You will receive a postcard to say the letter was delivered.
This basic evidence will help ward off shenanigans if your company happens to “lose” your letter of resignation and/or tries to claim that no letter was ever received.
Before we wrap this article up, here are a few additional pointers:
＊ An employer cannot refuse your resignation. This may seem obvious, but we see more than a few cases per year of employers refusing to accept someone’s resignation. Be sure to keep evidence that the resignation was delivered – just in case.
＊ Only resign by e-mail or registered letter. While most people don’t have a problem while resign, evidence will be very useful if problems later arise.
＊ Don’t use profanity or sarcasm in your resignation letter. Discretion is the better part of valor, and the moral high-ground is easy to defend. Try to be professional in public, even if you don’t feel like it in private.
＊ Don’t use your resignation to air your grievances. A resignation letter may seem like an ideal place to burn your bridges and rage against a company that you feel has treated you unfairly, but resist the urge to turn your resignation letter into your own personal manifesto. We really can’t stress this enough. Less is more.
＊ You do not need to give an employer a reason for your resignation. Your reasons for leaving are your own private affairs. According to the law, you don’t need to justify your resignation to anyone.
＊ You do not need to share any information about your next employer. In addition to the previous point, you may find that your soon-to-be-ex-employer is suddenly very, very curious about your next place of work. As there are many employers who may take your resignation personally, it may be in your best interests to keep information about your next place of work a secret.
If you’re a union member, feel free to contact us if you have more detailed questions about the resignation process. Good luck!