Employer has option not to accept withdrawal of employee’s resignation

Persida Acosta

Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
I already filed my resignation and it was accepted by my employer. If I am going to withdraw my resignation, will I still be considered employed?

Dear RV,
According to the Labor Code of the Philippines, an employee may terminate his/her employment with or without just cause or reason. This is according to Article 285 of the law, which provides:

“Art. 285. Termination by employee. – (a) An employee may terminate without just cause the employee-employer relationship by serving a written notice on the employer at least one (1) month in advance. The employer upon whom no such notice was served may hold the employee liable for damages.

(b) An employee may put an end to the relationship without serving any notice on the employer for any of the following just causes:

1. Serious insult by the employer or his representative on the honor and person of the employee;

2. Inhuman and unbearable treatment accorded the employee by the employer or his representative;

3. Commission of a crime or offense by the employer or his representative against the person of the employee or any of the immediate members of his family; and

4. Other causes analogous to any of the foregoing.”

But once an employee files his/her resignation and the same is accepted by the employer, the former may no longer withdraw the same, unless the latter allows the withdrawal, in which case the former keeps his/her job. This matter was expounded by the Supreme Court in the case of Philippines Today, Inc. vs. National Labor Relations Commission (G.R. No. 112965, January 30, 1997) in this wise:

“The court ruled against the employee. It held that resignations, once accepted, may not be withdrawn without the consent of the employer. If the employer accepts the withdrawal, the employee retains his job. If the employer does not, the employee cannot claim illegal dismissal. To say that an employee who has resigned is illegally dismissed, is to encroach upon the right of employers to hire persons who will be of service to them.

Obviously, this is a recognition of the contractual nature of employment, which requires mutuality of consent between the parties. An employment contract is consensual and voluntary. Hence, if the employee “finds himself in a situation where he believes that personal reasons cannot be sacrificed in favor of the exigency of the service, then he has no other choice but to disassociate himself from his employment.” If accepted by the employer, the consequent effect of resignation is severance of the contract of employment.

A resigned employee who desires to take his job back has to re-apply therefor, and he shall have the status of a stranger who cannot unilaterally demand an appointment. He cannot arrogate unto himself the same position which he earlier decided to leave. To allow him to do so would be to deprive the employer of his basic right to choose whom to employ. Such is tantamount to undue oppression of the employer. It has been held that an employer is free to regulate, according to his own discretion and judgment, all aspects of employment including hiring. The law, in protecting the rights of the laborer, impels neither the oppression nor self-destruction of the employer.”

Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.

We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.

Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to dearpao@manilatimes.net


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