Things to Remember Before You Resign

Last June 30, 2019, I posted an article entitled “You’re Fired” and discussed basic information to help you determine what is legal and illegal under Philippine laws in relation to the dismissal or termination of one’s employment. If you have not read that article yet, please kindly read it here. This time, however, I will discuss all about resignation from employment. I will share the most important things to remember before you resign.

I have mentioned before that if an employER has the right to hire an employEE, he also has the corresponding right to fire an employEE. That is a given, but still subject to the observance of due process. On the other hand, if an employEE has the right to security of tenure*, he also has the right to put an end to the employER-employEE relationship and resign from employment.

*Security of tenure simply means that an employee cannot be dismissed without a valid cause.

Resignation is legally defined as the voluntary act of an employEE who finds himself in a situation where he believes that personal reasons cannot be sacrificed in favor of the exigency of the service, such that he has no other choice but to disassociate himself from his employment.

An employEE may quit ANYTIME provided he/she gives written notice to the employER at least thirty (30) days prior the intended date of resignation. This is a mandatory requirement as it is explicitly stated in Article 300 (formerly 285) of the Labor Code of the Philippines, which states that:

“An employee may terminate without just cause the employee-employer relationship by serving a written notice on the employer at least one (1) month in advance. The employer upon whom no such notice was served may hold the employee liable for damages.”

Please note that this is the minimum requirement under the Labor Code. A company may impose a longer period of notice requirement, depending on the nature of the job and other circumstances as agreed upon in the employment contract. So before you even draft your resignation letter, always check your employment contract to make sure you do not violate any of your contractual obligations.

It is also important to note that the 30-day prior written notice MAY BE WAIVED or SHORTENED by the employER. It all depends on your discussion with the employER. For as long as the employER accepts your resignation, may it be effective 30 days or even less than that, it all depends on the employER. Just make sure you clarify this matter with your employER and if possible, get a copy of the signed acceptance letter (with the agreed effectivity date) as your reference.

QUESTION: What will happen if you do not observe the 30-day advance written notice and decide to resign immediately?

Based on the above Labor Code provision, the employer may run after you and hold you liable for DAMAGES. That is crystal clear.

There are exceptions, however, to the 30-day advance notice rule. Likewise stated in Article 300 of the Labor Code, an employEE may put an end to the employER-employEE relationship without serving any notice for any of the following JUST CAUSES:

(a) Serious insult by the employER or his representative on the honor and person of the employEE;

(b) Inhuman and unbearable treatment accorded the employEE by the employER or his representative;

(c) Commission of a crime or offense by the employER or his representative against the person of the employEE or any of the immediate members of his family; and

(d) Other causes analogous to any of the foregoing.

If any of the above just causes is applicable to an employEE, he/she may use it as a valid ground to resign IMMEDIATELY. Remember, however, that you must be able to prove this ground clearly and independently, and better if you have sufficient proof and evidence.

Question: If an employEE later on disputes his resignation and files an illegal dismissal case before the Department of Labor and Employment – National Labor and Relations Commission. What will happen?

For illegal dismissal cases, the employER has the burden to prove that the employEE voluntarily resigned. The employER must also exercise extreme caution in cases of resignation of employEEs so as to avoid any error or technicalities should there be an illegal dismissal case filed by an employEE in court.

Question: What if my employER already accepted my resignation but I changed my mind and decided to stay in the company?

The decision rests on the employER if your resignation will be withdrawn or not. The employER needs to approve your withdrawal of resignation. Again, it will all depend on your relationship with your employER. If you have a cordial relationship with your employER, it may be easy to get their approval and you will be able to withdraw your resignation and keep your job. This, however, may be quite challenging if you have a strained relationship with your employER. So, as much as possible, try to keep the employER-employEE relationship as pleasant and friendly.

There you go! Please make sure you check the above considerations first before you submit your resignation letter to your boss. Resigning from your job is your right. An employER cannot compel any of its employEEs to stay in the company. Your resignation, however, needs to comply with minimum requirements under the Labor Code and even the company policies applicable to you as an employEE of the employER.

I wish you good luck on your decision. Thank you for reading my post! Stay safe.

Until next time! This is Attorney Mommy, at your service!

See my other legal posts below:

You’re Fired

Ten Things About Notarization in the Philippines

What is the Essence of a Contract?

All About Wills


Hello! I am Camille, a.k.a Attorney Mommy. I am a happy wife, a proud mom, and a full time attorney. I feel blessed that I am able to take care of my family while I practice my profession. I see to it that I enjoy and have fun in whatever I do. This blog keeps me sane, alive and excited for greater things ahead. Thank you for taking the time to read my posts!

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