Employer must be told a month in advance before worker quits

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Persida Acosta

Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
I applied for work abroad and was able to find one. However, my employer abroad would like me to get there in two weeks time. I already have the documents I need to travel; however, the problem is I am still connected with my local employer.

If I resign from my current work effective immediately, would I be violating any law? I feel that this is the opportune time for me to leave because the salary is good as well as the terms and conditions of my employment contract.
Steve

Dear Steve,
Your desire to work abroad and earn a considerable amount of money for your family as well as the sacrifices you are going to make are worthy of praises. However, before you embark on another employment, it is incumbent upon you to make the necessary steps to formally terminate your current employment in accordance with law. Although there is no law that forbids you from quitting your job, the law provides that you must inform your employer at least one (1) month in advance. This is explicitly provided under the Labor Code of the Philippines as follows:
“ARTICLE 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.
xxx”


The purpose of the required advance notice mentioned in the said law is to apprise your employer of your impending resignation and to give him enough time to look for your replacement. This is to protect him from incurring damages that may arise due to work interruption as a result of your resignation. This was further explained by the Supreme Court in the case of Intertrod Maritime Inc. vs NLRC (G.R. No. 81087, 198 SCRA 318, June 19, 1991), to wit:

“Resignation is the voluntary act of an employee who “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.” The employer has no control over resignations and so, the notification requirement was devised in order to ensure that no disruption of work would be involved by reason of the resignation. This practice has been recognized because “every business enterprise endeavors to increase its profits by adopting a device or means designed towards that goal.””

Thus, as can be gleaned from the foregoing, your employer has the discretion to allow you to resign from your work within a short period of time or even waive the one (1) month period provided by law before it becomes effective. If your employment abroad means so much to you and your family, all it takes is a matter of strong conviction to convince your employer to allow you to resign without having to wait for one (1) month.
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.

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