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Old 07.11.2011, 15:23
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Can you retract a resignation?

Hi, I had a quick search but couldn't find what I needed, maybe somebody can help.

Is it possible to retract a resignation, or is the rule that once you quit you quit?

If a contract says the 'resignation in writing' does this cover email? I know that law can be tricky in Switzerland so just need to be sure.

Basically a friend of mine quit a job because of stress and wanted to start a new career, but now finds out that it is not an option due to medical grounds, so she needs to find out where she stands.

Can she just say 'I don't quit anymore?' and if so what are the legal grounds for the company to say 'well we don't want you now anyway because you quit'.

Any ideas?
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Old 07.11.2011, 15:36
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Re: Can you retract a resignation?

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Can she just say 'I don't quit anymore?' and if so what are the legal grounds for the company to say 'well we don't want you now anyway because you quit'.
Yes, and yes.

If I were in her shoes, I would go back to my employer and explain 1) why I had resigned, 2) why I had changed my mind and 3) that I would really like to keep my job. It would be up to me to convince my employer what had changed, and to help him understand that the same circumstances wouldn't happen again.

So if you've been off the job with stress, you need to think about what you've done to alleviate the stress so that you won't be handing in your resignation in three months time.

At the same time, there's nothing to stop the employer from firing you -- in Switzerland, employment is essentially at-will and you can be let go for no reason. I can understand why an employer might not feel too keen on keeping an employee who had already handed in their resignation employed. By her own admission, she only wants the job because she can't find anything else -- hardly a great endorsement.
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Old 07.11.2011, 15:40
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Re: Can you retract a resignation?

Thanks Village Idiot,

More or less what I had said to her. Better off looking for something else...
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Old 07.11.2011, 15:49
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Re: Can you retract a resignation?

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Can she just say 'I don't quit anymore?' and if so what are the legal grounds for the company to say 'well we don't want you now anyway because you quit'.
There's no law that says they have to give her her job back, it just depends if they want her to stay or not.

All she can do is ask and see what they say.
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Old 07.11.2011, 16:05
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Re: Can you retract a resignation?

the sooner you try to fix it, the less time that has gone by when they might have found a replacement...
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Old 07.11.2011, 17:46
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Re: Can you retract a resignation?

Well...yes she could try to talk to the former boss and hope for the best. Nothing to lose really (the face, maybe-).

One needs to remember that Swiss employees have two rights: the right to shut up, and the right to leave.
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Old 08.11.2011, 09:29
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Re: Can you retract a resignation?

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Is it possible to retract a resignation, or is the rule that once you quit you quit?
Well, if you've sent the resignation letter by post, then have regrets and inform the employer that the letter he will be receiving is no longer valid then you might be able to save your job... (see Art. 9 CO). However, once the employer has received the resignation letter, then that is it. Any "retraction" requires the consent of the employer, essentially an agreement that you can continue to work.

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If a contract says the 'resignation in writing' does this cover email? I know that law can be tricky in Switzerland so just need to be sure.
No, the resignation would have to be "written" on paper. However, it is possible for the parties to a contract to waive form requirements. So if the employee resigns in an email and the employer does not insist on a "written" resignation, the resignation will most likely be valid...
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Old 08.11.2011, 10:13
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Re: Can you retract a resignation?

This is why it is important to:

1. have something else lined up before resigning and,
2. not to burn bridges when resigning.

Sometimes the thing lined up doesn't work out, and you really just want to go back to something familiar.
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Old 08.11.2011, 10:38
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Re: Can you retract a resignation?

Email appears to be acceptable.

I once resigned by email to HR (I was out of the country at Christmas and needed them to receive it before month end), which was accepted.

I was pursuaded not to leave by my managers, so sent an email to HR, in mid-January, to withdraw the resignation. Which was excepted.

This was at a reasonably large company (Ciba (RIP )).
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Old 08.11.2011, 11:15
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Re: Can you retract a resignation?

Is your friend prepared to renegotiate her contract to be allowed to come back?

Is it a large or a small firm?

Was she/he officially sick when s/he resigned?
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Old 08.11.2011, 21:56
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Re: Can you retract a resignation?

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Is your friend prepared to renegotiate her contract to be allowed to come back?

Is it a large or a small firm?

Was she/he officially sick when s/he resigned?
It is a smallish firm and she was not off work sick when she resigned. Maybe a new job somewhere else would be the best option.
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Old 08.11.2011, 23:19
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Re: Can you retract a resignation?

A friend of mine was in a similar situation recently, but he left on good terms and was taken back at least on some sort of temporary contract (which I think invoved a small pay cut).

Always been a big fan of lining up the next job before ditching the old...
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Old 09.11.2011, 05:51
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Re: Can you retract a resignation?

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A friend of mine was in a similar situation recently, but he left on good terms and was taken back at least on some sort of temporary contract (which I think invoved a small pay cut).

Always been a big fan of lining up the next job before ditching the old...
Like I said, it was all planned and going forward after a lot of research etc and then not possible on medical grounds that didn't exist before. Sods law really...
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Old 09.11.2011, 09:28
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Re: Can you retract a resignation?

I reckon it depends on how the original resignation was presented.
ie
Dear Sir, due to health concerns I am regretfully obliged etc etc
or
Dear Cheesemush, you can stick your job where the monkey put the nut

that probably makes a difference.....
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Old 10.11.2011, 21:54
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Re: Can you retract a resignation?

Hopefully bridges haven't been burned but there was frustrations at the lack of training/support mentioned, that might make things a little tricky.

Focusing on the 'written' part at the moment because if it had to be 'written on paper' and it wasn't then maybe she didn't resign anyway - although I think this is a little unlikely as the company would probably invoke the 3 months notice and sack her anyway.
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Old 11.11.2011, 06:07
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Re: Can you retract a resignation?

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Hopefully bridges haven't been burned but there was frustrations at the lack of training/support mentioned, that might make things a little tricky.

Focusing on the 'written' part at the moment because if it had to be 'written on paper' and it wasn't then maybe she didn't resign anyway - although I think this is a little unlikely as the company would probably invoke the 3 months notice and sack her anyway.
No, it doesn't have to be written on paper. Sending it via registered post would enable someone to prove that they gave notice, but that's the only point - email is perfectly acceptable in Switzerland.

Focusing on the technicalities of it is a really, really, really bad idea. Loopholes aren't going to cut it here. She needs to focus on whether there's enough goodwill with her employer that the employer will allow her to stay.
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Old 11.11.2011, 09:55
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Re: Can you retract a resignation?

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Like I said, it was all planned and going forward after a lot of research etc and then not possible on medical grounds that didn't exist before. Sods law really...
A pregnancy? If that's the case, she'll have a very hard time of it once she announces that to her employer, if they do take her back.
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