SMS resignation can be final, employees warned

2011-04-12 07:23

Making loaded suggestions in an SMS, such as wishing to resign, could hold up in court, labour law consultants warned.

“Employees often resign, change their minds, want to withdraw the resignation, but the employer simply wants to move on,” Global Business Solutions chief executive officer Jonathan Goldberg told Business Day newspaper today.

Last year, various disputes between employers and employees centred on whether employment agreements had come to an end due to resignations or dismissals issued through cellphone messages.

The consultants found that a number of cases had arisen over the past few years in which people had argued that they did not mean what they said in SMSes.

The idea that people can resign by SMS should not come as a surprise as text messaging was just another form of communication, labour analyst Tony Healy told the newspaper.

Both Healy and Goldberg agreed that poorly controlled use of technology was affecting relationships between employers and employees.

Courts were already finding that comments by staff about their places of work on social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, can have legal repercussions.

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