Verbally announcing an intention to leave, and then leaving, interpreted as resignation

It is not uncommon for heated exchanges to occur in the workplace. Employees should have regard to their conduct in light of the latest judgment handed down by the Labour Court in the matter of Mnguti v Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration and Others.

During the course of an argument, the employee announced to his employer that he “wanted to leave”.  After a further exchange between the parties the employee left, without submitting a written resignation. The courts have held that a verbal resignation can be binding provided the employee evinces a clear and unambiguous intention not to continue the employment relationship, either by words or conduct.

In the circumstances the employee referred an unfair dismissal matter to the CCMA  – where the Commissioner found that there was no dismissal and therefore, that the CCMA lacked the necessary jurisdiction to entertain such. On review, the Labour Court confirmed that the employee had in fact resigned and that no dismissal had occurred..

Read the judgment here: http://www2.saflii.org/za/cases/ZALCJHB/2015/277.html

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