Forbury People Limited


When is notice not notice…

14 September 2018

In a recent EAT case, the claimant had decided to move from one department to another, both within the employer’s business.  She had received a conditional job offer from the new department and wrote to her employer stating ‘please accept one month’s notice from the above date’. Her conditional offer was later withdrawn and she asked to retract, what she called, her notice of resignation.  The employer refused stating that she had resigned.

The EAT held that the notice was ambiguous and concluded that a reasonable person would have understood this to refer to the move to the new department and not to the termination of employment entirely.  The EAT did not feel that the reference to retracting her ‘notice of resignation’ was fatal and said too much emphasis should not be given to subsequent events when trying to interpret the parties earlier actions and intentions.

This case is a warning to employers not to be too heavy handed in such situations and to take a step back and consider what was likely intended by the party giving the notice.

Louise Merrell

Louise Merrell

T: 0118 953 3929


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Forbury People Limited is a limited liability company registered in England and Wales. Registered number: 6251169. Registered office: 5th Floor, Thames Tower, Station Road, Reading, RG1 1LX. VAT registration number: 921 6822 30.