Notice of voluntary departure

Notice of voluntary departure
Published on: 3 February 2023

Table of contents

The voluntary notice of termination is a document that the worker must present when he/she wants to terminate the employment relationship with the company unilaterally. However, in order to give rise to the termination of the contract, it must be subject to a series of requirements. Here we are going to go into this issue in depth to clarify everything you need to know about it.

What is meant by notice of voluntary redundancy?

Article 49 of the Workers' Statute recognises the right of any employee to resign from his or her position, i.e. to leave the company for which he or she works without just cause. The employee's mere will is sufficient for the decision to become effective.

This resignation is what is known as voluntary redundancy. However, the Workers' Statute understands that such a decision may have negative consequences for the employer. After all, to stop counting on the services of one of his employees from one day to the next can seriously affect his productivity.

This is the reason why the concept of notice of termination has been introduced. Specifically, it is a document by means of which the employee notifies the company of his or her intention to resign after a certain date. Since it is always advisable to present the decision in writing, it is usually called a letter of notice of voluntary resignation.

What information must the letter of voluntary redundancy with notice contain?

The Workers' Statute does not specify in detail what information the letter of notice of voluntary redundancy must contain. Neither do most sectoral regulatory agreements. However, common sense dictates that it should at least contain the following information:

  • Name and surname of the employee.
  • Position held in the company.
  • Date on which the letter was written.
  • Date on which the resignation will take effect.
  • Signature of the employee

This brings us directly to the next point. Of course, we are talking about the period of time within which the company must be notified.

The notice period for voluntary redundancies

It should be noted that the Workers' Statute does not give an exact deadline. In this case, however, the collective agreements do. Therefore, any employee should consult it before writing his or her letter of voluntary severance.

In the event that the collective agreement to which the employee is subject does not say anything either, a notice period of 15 days is set from the date on which the employee notifies his or her employer. This has been established in case law on several occasions.

But is the notice period 15 calendar days or 15 working days? This is a doubt that many workers have. In this case, the case law always refers to calendar days. Therefore, the period would be two weeks. It can be longer if the worker wishes.

Is it compulsory to give notice of voluntary departure during the probationary period?

The only exception to the obligation to give notice of voluntary redundancy is in this case. Employees who are subject to the probationary period of their contracts do not have to notify the company of their decision. However, the employer has the same right to terminate the contract from one day to the next if he so wishes.

What happens if the worker does not give 15 days' notice?

It is true that when an employee applies for voluntary redundancy, he/she waives his/her right to receive compensation and to apply for unemployment benefits if he/she meets the requirements.

However, he/she retains the right to receive a severance payment. This amount includes the proportional part of your last salary, the days of holidays not taken, the proportional parts of the extraordinary payments and any other economic concept that may be included.

The employee is obliged to give at least 15 days' notice of voluntary redundancy. Therefore, when it is not given, it is understood that there is a breach of contract and, therefore, the employer has the possibility of deducting from the severance payment the days of salary corresponding to that period.

But that is not all. Although it is not the most common, the employer can request damages from the worker for not giving notice of voluntary redundancy and give him/her room for manoeuvre to find a replacement. In any case, this is something that usually only occurs when the damages exceed the economic value of the severance payment.

Can an employee withdraw from voluntary redundancy?

This is another good reason to always comply with the notice period for voluntary resignation. The Workers' Statute specifies that, until the effective date of the resignation, the employee may retract his or her resignation.

Therefore, if the employee notifies the company that he or she has reversed his or her decision during the 15 days' notice period, the contract will not be terminated. However, it is important to notify in writing as well, in order to provide a reliable record of the fact.

That said, you now have all the information you need to know how the notice of voluntary termination works. However, if you still have any doubts, please contact our employment lawyers so that they can give you a hand.


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