Resigning and quitting
People resign for lots of different reasons. Some reasons for resigning might include:
- Being offered another job somewhere else
- Not being happy with the job that you have
- Going on to do fulltime study
- Leaving the country or the state to travel
Give the right amount of notice when quitting
When you want to resign, you have to give your employer the correct amount of notice in advance. 'Giving notice' basically means telling your employer ahead of time that you plan to stop working for them.
The idea is that you will keep working for them for a short period of time before finishing up, so that they are not inconvenienced by your resignation. The amount of notice you have to give might be specified in your contract if you have one; otherwise, it is equal to your pay period (e.g. if you are paid fortnightly, give a fortnight's notice).
If you don't give the right amount of notice when you resign, your employer may be allowed to recover the difference of the money they owe you and the time that you should have worked.
Often they can withhold final payments from a worker who is leaving (e.g. any payments due to you because of annual leave that you haven't earned but haven't taken).
If you're not sure how much notice you have to give, get in touch with one of the organisations listed at the bottom of this article - they should be able to help.
Your employer does not have to let you work during the notice period, but they do have to pay you the amount you would normally have been paid in the time for which you gave notice.
Put it in writing
It's a good idea to put your resignation in writing and to keep a copy for yourself so that you can prove you gave the correct amount of notice.
For sample resignation letters, check out our How to write a resignation letter page.
Statewide community legal centre specialising in issues for workers in Victoria, and offering free and confidential advice
Fair Work Ombudsman
Gives advice and helps people understand their workplace rights and responsibilities
Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU)
A national organisation representing the Australian workforce