If it is the employee’s decision to resign, they can equally decide to retract their notice.
Once a valid resignation has been given by an employee, it cannot be withdrawn without the employer’s agreement. That said, established case law states it is good practice that when an employee resigns in the “heat of the moment”, they should be given the opportunity to withdraw the notice once they have calmed down.
An employer is not obliged to pay the employee during their notice period if they are off sick for the full notice period.
The contract of employment should firstly be checked to see whether this sets out any provisions for payment during notice period when off sick such as entitlement to company sick pay. However, if the contract is silent, there are some complicated rules which apply in order to work out the employee’s entitlement. The starting point is to check the notice period which the employer must give to the employee (even if it is the employee who gives notice).
If the employer can terminate the contract by giving statutory notice (one week for every complete year of service up to a maximum of 12 weeks), then if the employee resigns, they are entitled to be paid at their normal hourly rate during the employee’s statutory notice period (which is one week) even if they are incapable of work because of sickness or injury. This weeks pay is essentially a windfall to those employees who would normally only be entitled to receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) during their notice period, or even no monies if SSP has been exhausted. For the remainder of the notice period, they would receive payment under the contract so either company sick pay, SSP or potentially nothing if SSP is exhausted.
However, this does not apply where the employee is contractually entitled to a notice period from the employer which exceeds the statutory minimum notice period by at least one week. In those cases, the employee would only be entitled to what is due under the contract, whether this is company sick pay or SSP, or if this is exhausted, nothing.
It is an odd provision which encourages employers to have longer notice periods than statutory in their employee contracts.
Hopefully, this has helped dispell some myths.