Graceful exit means giving an employee a chance to leave the company without bad record (e.g. termination is considered bad record).
Most companies are stumped on a decision when the employee suddenly resigns pending administrative investigation. One question to resolve is should the company issue a Notice of Decision separate from acceptance of resignation or these two should be contained in the same document?
There is no hard-and-fast rule. But guided by the technicality (interplay of law, rules, and regulations on labor matters), the logical thing to do would be to include them in one document.
Separating the Notice of Decision from Acceptance of Resignation involves great risk since they can be taken as two actions. First action is termination. Second action is acceptance of resignation. Rogue employees may consider the Notice of Decision indicating the penalty of termination as an act of termination thus, he may file an illegal dismissal case.
If the company counters by presenting a separate letter of acceptance of resignation he may argue that the letter is given as an afterthought when he already filed a case.
Whereas, if these are contained in a single document there is no dismissal to speak of. There is only acceptance of resignation although the company could have terminated him but held against it to give him graceful exit. Hence, there is no cause of action.
Sample phraseology in drafting this document (where resignation was made after holding hearing/conference or when the procedural due process is complete):
“After careful review and evaluation of the pieces of evidence in this case, such as documentary, testimonial, and other matters of similar nature, grounds have been established to justify your dismissal from service.
However, considering that on ______________ you submitted a letter of resignation to take effect on ________________, the management has decided to accept it for humanitarian consideration to give you graceful exit.”
Sample phraseology in drafting this document (where resignation was made before holding hearing/conference or when the procedural due process is not yet complete and the employee’s reply to NTE admits the offense):
“During the pendency of the proceeding on administrative charges against you, you submitted a letter of resignation. After careful review of the pieces of evidence made available in this case, there is substantial evidence to impose the penalty of dismissal, most especially, with your admission of the offense.
However, considering that on ______________ you submitted a letter of resignation to take effect on ________________, the management has decided to accept it for humanitarian consideration to give you graceful exit and hereby terminates the administrative proceeding. This is without prejudice to whatever legal action that the company may take for said acts”
Legal bases of graceful exit:
In the case of Cosue vs. Ferritz Integrated Development Corporation, et al. (G.R. No. 230664, July 24, 2017), the SC held that “It is settled that there is nothing reprehensible or illegal when the employer grants the employee a chance to resign and save face rather than smear the latter’s employment record.”
To: MA. LANDICIA S. OBRA
Subject: ACCEPTANCE OF RESIGNATION
This refers to your resignation in the midst of the administrative investigation on the charges against you involving the following:
For the above, you were given a period of five (5) calendar days within which to submit your written explanation. You submitted your explanation in writing denying the allegations. You were also placed on preventive suspension to avoid the escalation of conflict within the company premises.
With these new reports and discoveries, the company directed you to submit your written explanation within a period of five (5) calendar days. You also submitted your explanation in writing on the second NTE wherein you merely denied the.
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You were also placed on preventive suspension to avoid the commission of similar acts that may prejudice the interests and property of the company. You were likewise invited to a hearing/conference scheduled on ________________ at _________________.
On _______________, a hearing/conference was held at the XX Office in accordance with the Notice sent to you earlier.
On _______________ you submitted a letter expressly stating your resignation from service to take effect on ____________________.
As can be gleaned from the pieces of evidence culled by the investigating group, there is substantial evidence to justify your dismissal from service. However, due to humanitarian consideration, the management has decided to give you a graceful exit and clean records by accepting your resignation to take effect as requested on ________________________.
In view of the acceptance of your resignation, kindly process your exit documents such as your clearance, settle all accountabilities, and make the proper turnover for the expeditious release of your final pay.
Please be guided accordingly.
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