Resigning won't get you more money

QUESTION: I have worked for my employer for about 4 years. The industry in which I work is going through a tough time and there have been a number of layoffs in our offices over the last couple of months. I am in a non-management business analyst position and I think that my role is going to be one of the next ones to be chopped. If I submitted a resignation in writing effective 6 months from now, and a few weeks later they decided to terminate me, would they have to pay me out for the rest of the 6 months?
 
ANSWER: What you are trying to do is beat your employer to the punch and, fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your perspective, it won’t work.
 
Let’s assume that you are entitled to 3 months notice of your termination based on your seniority and level of responsibility. That means that if the employer told you you were finished 3 months later, you would have received sufficient notice. Alternatively, if the employer walked you out the door and you could not find any new employment within 3 months, they would owe you 3 months’ pay.
 
That amount does not increase because you have already submitted a resignation for a later date. Think about it. If it was that easy, every employee would submit a resignation effective on their 90th birthday. Suddenly everyone would be guaranteed employment or a payout for a very long period of time.
 
You are not the first one to ask this question and will probably not be the last. The reality is, if it were that easy to extend your notice period, everyone would be doing it. Employees would walk around armed with a resignation letter effective far into the future so they could throw it at the boss the moment they smelled a pink slip on its way.
 
As published by The Hamilton Spectator, October 27, 2007.
Ed Canning
Ed Canning
P: 905.572.5809
ecanning@rossmcbride.com