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Secured a new job? What to include in a resignation letter

Are you part of the 23%?

This year, PwC conducted their UK Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey 2023’.

The survey discovered that 23% of UK employees plan to change jobs in the next 12 months; a 5% increase since 2022.

According to PwC, the most prevalent reasons to seek a new position were:

  • A lack of autonomy 
  • Feeling a lack of meaning in their work
  • Feeling their viewpoints aren’t considered by their managers.

With almost a quarter of the UK workforce transitioning to new roles, we’ve compiled our advice on best practice for formally resigning and what to include in a resignation letter, with resources on where to seek advice if you’re resigning due to unfair treatment in the workplace.

As a leading East Midlands recruitment agency, our specialists are well-versed in advising candidates on how to approach their transition into a new job.

Best practice when handing your notice in 

“Your employer might have a resignation process they want you to follow. Check your contract to find out. If it’s not in your contract, you could ask your manager or HR department.”Acas

It’s important to ensure your resignation is handled correctly. In the majority of cases, upholding a positive relationship with the employer should be a priority. This will help you to maintain your professional image in the industry, whilst increasing your chances of gaining a positive reference from them in the future.

Our advice on best practice is as follows:

  • Check your notice period in your contract
  • Hand in your notice
  • Immediately follow it up by arranging a meeting to discuss it with your employer; in person or via a video call. 

(Alternatively, a number of our placed candidates sometimes choose to discuss it with their employer first, before then following up with their resignation letter as a formality.)

  • During the meeting, request to have the details confirmed in writing – ideally in the following days
  • Importantly, be polite. It’s wise to think long-term and to maintain a positive relationship with management and your co-workers in the industry. Thanking them for the opportunity (if it feels appropriate) can be a beneficial way to close the discussion.

Be sure to meet with your employer as soon as you make the concrete decision to leave or have secured your new role. This will provide them with a satisfactory window of notice, allowing them to begin advertising your vacancy.

How to hand in your notice and formally resign

If you tell your employer that you’re considering leaving, but don’t confirm this with them, this information likely won’t be honoured as a formal resignation.

Formally submitting your notice and clarifying important details is essential; not only to enable clear communication but also to protect your rights and safeguard against complications.

As stated by Landau Law, a resignation is “a clear statement by you, to your employer that you are going to leave your job.” They specify here that simply “saying that you are looking for another job isn’t the same as formally resigning.”

What to include in a resignation letter or notice letter

  • Clearly state your intention to leave
  • Confirm the date that you are giving notice
  • Confirm the duration of your notice period
  • Confirm the day you will depart from the business
  • Request for the details to be confirmed in writing.

Having these details promptly confirmed in writing will allow the process to continue without a margin for error, meaning that you leave the business on the agreed-upon date.

This will in turn help payroll to calculate your final paycheck accurately and allow HR to provide any end-of-employment forms (such as your P45) on time.

Optional extras to include in a resignation letter or notice letter

  • Your reasons for leaving 

If you choose to do so, this section should be brief and ideally focus on positive aspects. A simple statement (such as that you’ve found an opportunity to expand your skills) can suffice here. This can help to represent your departure in a good light, influencing the likelihood of receiving a positive reference in the future.

  • Accrued holiday and pay 

If relevant to your job, this can be an opportunity to ask your employer how much accrued holiday and wages you’re owed. These details should be included in the written confirmation, which you can refer back to.

If you resign due to negative circumstances or unfair treatment

If you hand your notice in due to a breach of your contract or experiencing workplace discrimination, contact Acas to seek free advice on your rights. You may be able to claim for constructive dismissal. In cases such as these, your notice period may be changed to allow you to leave the working environment faster.

“You should talk to your employer about how and when other people are told about your resignation. For example, whether it’ll be you or your manager who tells them.” – Acas

If you believe there’s a chance that your leaving will be relayed to the business in a biased or unfavourable manner, the Harvard Business Review recommends sending your resignation letter to your line manager via email, while copying in their boss and a member of HR. If you resign verbally, you can likewise invite them to attend your follow-up meeting or forward the details of the written confirmation to them.

How our temporary and interim specialists can support you

If you leave your role without another job lined up, this is where our temporary and interim recruiters can help you to maintain a steady income and avoid gaps in your CV while you look for your ideal permanent position.

If you’ve worked with Distinct previously, contact your specialist to let them know you’ve had a change of availability. If you have less than a month’s notice remaining, tell them you’re interested in a temporary, interim or contract role with a quick start date.

The unique aspects of these roles are often attractive to those seeking more flexibility. Compared to permanent work, these differences can also sometimes lead to myths and misconceptions, which our specialist recruiters sat down to debunk recently.

The duration of these roles may be a few months, or until a project is completed. This fast-paced form of employment can provide a wealth of new opportunities and experiences; all of which can make a very engaging CV that stands out to employers.  

Finding your ideal job with Distinct Recruitment

If you’re planning to make a move in the next 12 months; whether seeking a sense of purpose in your day-to-day role or a culture where you feel your input is valued – contact us today to discuss how we can support you.

We’ll provide free, tailored advice and coaching, from your initial call through to a check-in once you’re settled in your new role. Reach out to our Nottingham office to get started.


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