Unfair dismissals and resignations

What is required for a resignation to be effective?

“Was the Applicant’s employment terminated on the Respondent’s initiative (s.386(1)(a))?

[53] In broad terms, a resignation which is not regarded as being truly voluntary may not be

an effective resignation capable of acceptance by an employer. In such a case acceptance of the

resignation will constitute a termination at the initiative of the employer. However, where an

employee uses unambiguous words an employer is entitled to treat such a resignation as

effective and which operates to terminate the employment.

[54] A resignation that is given in the heat of the moment or under extreme pressure may

constitute special circumstances such that a reasonable period of time should be allowed to

elapse and/or further enquiries made as to whether the resignation was not intended. If a

resignation is not withdrawn within a reasonable time, this may suggest the resignation was


[55] Special circumstances may also exist where an employee is ‘jostled’ by the actions of

the employer to resign such that the resignation in such circumstances is not effective.

[56] In all cases an objective view of the actions of the employer and employee is required.”


Thakur v Assetlink Services (11) Pty Limited [2023] FWC 2550 delivered 10 October 2023 per Bissett C