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To hold or accept? Resignation of employee under investigation is always a hot topic with passionate ideas coming from both ends.

In one of the HR groups I belong, someone posted this inquiry:

“… since we have been conducting rigorous investigations on our merchandising system and have found fault on our manager and his team, and other surprising discoveries related to supplier-merchanding matters, can WE HOLD THE RESIGNATION of employees? Will this be acceptable?”
(note: Manager was given NTE, but investigation points to involvement of Supervisor and regular staff who are not yet under investigation}

I am sharing my answer below for reference
I have this clarification, whose resignation are you planning to ‘hold’?

  • (a) employees who just happen to be part of merchandising, but not part of admin investigation
  • (b) employees who are under investigation

In the 2 scenarios I cited above, here’s my answer to your question.

Scenario 1: Employee is not under investigation


  • If you are inclined to accept the resignation, you need to finish your investigation in 30 days, during employees rendering period. This, to still hold them accountable while still in your employ, if they have involvement on the case

  • If you want to hold their resignation, you cannot  even if you want to


Scenario 2: Employee is under investigation


  •  If you are inclined to accept the resignation of employee under investigation, follow the advice of Rey Elbo:
    “The better approach is to accept the resignation but without prejudice to the filing of a criminal and civil case to recover damages. This “without prejudice” thing must be stated clearly in the management acceptance of the employee’s resignation. Therefore, the acceptance must be in writing and formal. If the employee is no longer in the office premises, then management can institute all possible cases against him.”

  • If you are inclined to hold the resignation of employee under investigation, then, here’s my advise:
    If you mean rejecting employee intent to sever employer-employee relationship, then you CAN’T.
    But you may defer formal acceptance pending the result of the investigation. You are not rejecting the the right of the employee to leave the company,  the deferment is meant to respect both the right of employee to due process and management prerogative to fire.
    If employee will leave the company in the middle of investigation, it can mean 2 things, and both are bad for the employee. Resigning is like waiving of employees right to be heard, or worse, flight is akin to admission of guilt. In both cases, the likelihood of a decision not in favor of the employee is high.
    If employee will leave the company in the middle of investigation, it will be denying management of its prerogative to terminate. By deferring acceptance of resignation, it’ll give management the option to give graceful exit for employee in the event the investigation will lead to establishment of guilt or to proceed with termination.
    However, employee can still ignore the deferment notice. Best scenario, employee will render 30 days. Worst scenario, employee leaves immediately. On the latter, just continue and conclude the investigation. Pursue civil liability and if it applies, criminal case.
    When a person enters into an employer-employee relationship, s/he accepted and agreed to respect management rights and prerogatives. In the same way that management will respect his/hers.
    Management was given the prerogative to hire, discipline and fire (Pantranco, North Express vs. NLRC GR # 106516).
    And when both rights (employer and employee) collide, due process is the mechanism to sort it out.
    In my experience, management in numerous times, opted not to exercise its prerogative to fire, for humanitarian reasons.
    But in cases when its trust is violated, and it chose to use its prerogative, this should not be denied. Just my thought.

Please note that my opinion applies only on termination cases

Do you have something to say? Share it in the comments section.


Disclaimer: The articles found on this blog do not constitute legal advise, and engagement/discussion does not signify professional client relationship. Likewise, subsequent court and administrative rulings, or changes to, or repeal of, laws, rules and regulations may have rendered the whole or part of this article inaccurate or obsolete.


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