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Resigning for health

Your job and career questions answered

I'm a teacher and I've been signed off work for five months with stress related to a family illness and bereavement. Throughout, my employer has been insensitive and unsupportive. I've decided to resign. I have a sick note for a further three weeks. My paid leave has been used up. How do I give notice? Will there be any repercussions? I have an occupational health appointment next week. If I wish to leave, should I attend or not attend this? I'm struggling to know what to do now that I'm unable to contact my rep. I need advice before I put anything in writing.

Sorry you are ill. You can resign at any time by writing to your employer.

Out of courtesy, this is usually regarded as your head. If you are signed off sick, you do not need to resign before the end of the period you are signed off for. However, it you do not return to work, your pay will stop at that point. If you are not signed off until the end of your period of sick leave, you will need to either return to work or be given another sick note. Normal notice periods apply, but if you are not being paid, and there is no cost to the school, they may let you resign without the normal notice period. However, this may affect your benefits. I don't know how you intend to support yourself after leaving, but seek advice if you are hoping for state benefits. Discuss your situation with the occupational health adviser as they may help clarify how much of the stress is situational and relates to your school, and how much is the actual job. They may help you focus on your next move. There are bound to be some repercussions in that future employers will want to know that you will not be a liability to them. In a job market that is increasingly favouring employers, this may present you with a problem.

If you have a question for John Howson, please email susan.young@tes.co.uk

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