If an employee resigns after commencement of disciplinary proceedings should the employer continue the disciplinary procedure?
If the employee resigns after commencement of disciplinary proceedings and does so with immediate effect, their employment will terminate. There is therefore little point in continuing a disciplinary procedure in respect of an employee who is no longer employed, as no disciplinary sanction can be imposed against a former employee. However, the disciplinary information collated should still be retained for a period of up to one year after the employee’s resignation because it may be needed as evidence should the employee subsequently try to claim constructive dismissal or unlawful discrimination in relation to the conduct of the disciplinary proceedings.
If the employee resigns after commencement of disciplinary proceedings but provides their contractual notice period, as a general rule the disciplinary procedure should be progressed to its conclusion during the employee’s notice period. The employee is still employed during this period and there is no reason why they should avoid a possible disciplinary sanction just because they have chosen to resign. If the disciplinary procedure concludes with a recommendation for the employee’s summary dismissal on the grounds of gross misconduct, if this is effected during the employee’s notice period it will supersede the resignation and the employee will be deemed to have been dismissed for conduct reasons.
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