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Quit your job

Some guidelines to follow

In an ideal world, resigning from your job would be pleasant and straightforward. Your boss would be understanding and supportive of your needs and no bad feelings would arise. The fact is, too few employees experience such an easy ride.  You should take care of the way you resign from your job, as it might have an effect on your further career. There are some directives you should follow. Moreover you should keep good references.

Preparing your resignation
Once you have made your decision to change jobs, you need to write a resignation letter, to officially notify your employer. What you write in this letter depends on the circumstances that make you change jobs. Basically, a resignation letter has to contain a date, a recipient, a sentence saying to you want to quit your job, the start and end date of your notice period, your name and signature. If you have a good understanding with your employer, you can add a few lines to thank your employer for the opportunities you have been given. However, you should not mention any negative feelings on this letter. Keep in mind that the letter is an official document that will be archived. Do not use any words or expressions as they can be used against you. If you want, you can sit down with your employer afterwards to discuss what has gone wrong, but don't write it down. 

What should you do with your letter:
- Hand in your letter personally: you give your resignation letter to your boss and you ask him or her to sign it for acceptance.
- Get the bailiff’s writ: just like when you hand in your resignation personally, your resignation is effective immediately.
- Send a registered letter: keep in mind your resignation is effective on the third working day after posting your letter. Working days include Saturdays, but send your registered letter on Wednesday at the latest to make sure it arrives the same week.


Calculate your notice period:

After resigning, you would need to spend some extra time working for your boss. This is what we call the notice period. The first day of the month after your resignation was confirmed, is the beginning of your legal term of notice. Your notice period depends on different criteria, like salary and years of service

  • Your contract started before 01.01.2014
  • Contracts dated before 01.01.2014, require two resignation calculations:
  • The resignation period for seniority before 31.12.2013, is being calculated based on the former legislation ,valid on 31/12/2013.
  • If you earn less than € 32 254 a year, your notice period will be 6 weeks when you have less than 5 years of seniority. When you have over 5 years of seniority your notice period will be 12 weeks.
  • If you earn between € 32 254 and € 64 508 a year, you will need to discuss your notice period with your boss. The maximum term of notice would be 18 weeks.
  • If you earn between over €  64 508 a year, you will need to discuss your notice period with your boss. The maximum term of notice would be 24 weeks.


2. The second part of the resignation period will be calculated based on the seniority as from 1 Jan 2014, following the new legislation.

Seniority - Resignation period for the employee
0 < 3 months            1 week
3 < 6 months            2 weeks
6 < 9 months            3 weeks
9 < 12 months          3 weeks
12 < 15 months        4 weeks
15 < 18 months        4 weeks
18 < 21 months        5 weeks
21 < 24 months        5 weeks
2 < 3 year                6 weeks
3 < 4 year                6 weeks
4 < 5 year                7 weeks
5 < 6 year               9 weeks
6 < 7 year              10 weeks
7 < 8 year              12 weeks
8 ….                      13 weeks (maximum)

 

In order to reach the total resignation period you need to add the two different calculations.

Your contract started after 01.01.2014
For new contracts starting as from 01.01.2014, the resignation period needs to be calculated following the new legislation.

 

Help - How do I explain my boss?
You've made your decision to change jobs and written the letter that legally notifies your employer of your actions. Time to sit down with your boss and explain your decision. It's not uncommon to experience a mixture of emotions. Guilt,  is often the first - they'll think I've deserted them! Anxiety then sets in. You imagine the moment when you tell your boss you're leaving and you try to visualize their expression and reaction. The notice period? How will they treat me? What if they try to convince me to stay? What if they don't? You may feel sad about the friends that you will leave behind.

Remind yourself you are happy with the new job you will be doing. The reality is, most people at some point in their lives, including your boss, will have been in your situation. Despite the fact you may have been a valued member of the team, the company will not collapse without you. You are not the first person to resign from there and you won't be the last. There is never a 'right time' to resign. Just use common sense and judgment:

 

  • Keep it confidential - your boss will appreciate being the one to decide who else to tell, how and when to break the news
  • Find the right moment to see your boss - just before he/she is about to make a presentation to the board of directors is not a good time
  • Be sure of your reasons for leaving - if necessary, rehearse them.
  • If you don't want to reveal where you're going, you're perfectly within your rights to not declare your intentions
  • Be prepared for negative reactions. Keep your head straight and communicate clearly.
  • Stay positif. Introduce the person who will be replacing you and help him/her. Remember you need to have good references.
  • Don't forget the reasons why you resigned from your job.