Resigning from post

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    Hi all,

    If one was to resign from a post, let's say FY1, and has handed in their resignation letter, what are the repercussions (legally speaking) if they did not show up for their shifts after handing in their resignation letter? I understand there is a 4 weeks notice period that must be abided by however if they do not show up for their scheduled shifts, what could potentially happen?

    Thanks for any replies.
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    (Original post by kofte)
    Hi all,

    If one was to resign from a post, let's say FY1, and has handed in their resignation letter, what are the repercussions (legally speaking) if they did not show up for their shifts after handing in their resignation letter? I understand there is a 4 weeks notice period that must be abided by however if they do not show up for their scheduled shifts, what could potentially happen?

    Thanks for any replies.
    I can't comment from a GMC perspective, but in terms of employment law you would be in breach of contract and they'd be within their rights to not pay you for that period. In private employment they could take you to court for loss of earnings; I couldn't see the NHS bothering but it's a possibility.
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    Not interested in getting paid but rather leaving as soon as I could, from a legal standpoint. Loss of earnings is not something I am concerned about. I am more than happy to forego any pay.
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    They could sue you for breach of contract and they could reflect it in whatever reference they provided. The other thing about pay you dont seem interested in any money owed.

    Its highly unlikely they would sue you, but it would be open to them to claim compensation for the breach.
    I would be more interested in the GMC angle un case you had left them in a mess and been unprofessional about your exit. Not familiar with your professional conduct rules so cnat comment, but there are plenty of qualifieds on here who post.

    Normally ylou would negotiate a quicker exit rather than just resigning without notice.
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    (Original post by kofte)
    Not interested in getting paid but rather leaving as soon as I could, from a legal standpoint. Loss of earnings is not something I am concerned about. I am more than happy to forego any pay.
    I'm sorry you feel that you need to leave so desperately. But to play devils advocate but you really would be throwing a spanner in the works by not giving any notice. It would be your colleagues that would suffer the impact. At least give the trust a little bit of time to arrange some kind of long term cover, rather than just upping and leaving without any warning. You may not want to be a doctor any longer but it is important to continue to act professionally whilst you are one.

    Bear in mind, this could also impact on the reference they give you, although I'm sure the private sector would still value you pretty highly.
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    Thank you to all for your prompt replies. I appreciate the input.

    The resignation letter has been handed in prior to starting and have informed all the necessary people within the organization (rota coordinator, programme admin, head of dep, etc). I'm not looking for a reference nor pay. I have something else lined up that I would like to move on to. However, my concern is if a lawsuit is likely to follow this. Never meant and never intended any of this to happen but some opportunities in life are a one-time-only type of deal and I want to move on. All I wish for is a quick termination. I have been asked to continue with the 4 weeks however I wonder if there are any clauses that could allow me to get out of this?
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    Strictly speaking they could claim any losses incurred as a result of your breach of contract. If they were feeling particularly creative/vindictive, this could be the cost of a locum to cover your duties over and above what they would have paid you. A locum SHO drafted in at short notice to cover an FY1 job could set them back up to £100/hr if hired through an agency. It is unlikely that they will pursue this but they could.

    A referral to the GMC is much more likely as failing to work your notice period will be considered to be (a) unprofessional and (b) putting patient safety at risk. Are you planning to come back to medicine at any stage? Even the private sector might be concerned about someone under investigation and/or subject to GMC sanctions.

    I agree with ForestCat that your first thought ought to be for the service.*Accepting a job is the same as making a promise to work. Leaving at short notice will increase the pressure on an already-stretched system and your conscientious colleagues will suffer to ensure that everything continues as normal. If I were the Clinical Director, I'd be pushing for a civil claim and GMC referral unless there was a really compelling reason why an employer should forgive your notice period.
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    (Original post by kofte)
    Thank you to all for your prompt replies. I appreciate the input.

    The resignation letter has been handed in prior to starting and have informed all the necessary people within the organization (rota coordinator, programme admin, head of dep, etc). I'm not looking for a reference nor pay. I have something else lined up that I would like to move on to. However, my concern is if a lawsuit is likely to follow this. Never meant and never intended any of this to happen but some opportunities in life are a one-time-only type of deal and I want to move on. All I wish for is a quick termination. I have been asked to continue with the 4 weeks however I wonder if there are any clauses that could allow me to get out of this?
    They can release you by consent. Not sure if there would be a found soemthing better dont bother to give notice clause.

    They can also get an injunction to prevent you from working for someone else for the extent of your notice. No real chance of this happening as I doubt you are importnat enough.
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    You say the resignation letter went in prior to starting.
    Since it's well past 4 weeks since foundation changeover, have you not already worked out your notice?

    If you haven't, then do you not feel a responsibility to your patients to work your notice period? Might be worth checking the contract, I always thought the notice period in foundation was 2 weeks.
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    (Original post by kofte)
    I have been asked to continue with the 4 weeks however I wonder if there are any clauses that could allow me to get out of this?
    Nothing legal.

    But please don't screw over your colleagues like this. Just wait out the 4 weeks.
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    (Original post by MonteCristo)
    A referral to the GMC is much more likely as failing to work your notice period will be considered to be (a) unprofessional and (b) putting patient safety at risk. Are you planning to come back to medicine at any stage? Even the private sector might be concerned about someone under investigation and/or subject to GMC sanctions.
    Hi kofte - I ran this scenario past one of our experts here at the GMC to see if I could offer some insight. As MonteCristo pointed out, a doctor could face a GMC investigation in this situation if patient safety was affected by there not being enough medical cover.

    In our core guidance, Good medical practice, it says:

    Patient safety may be affected if there is not enough medical cover. So you must take up any post you have formally accepted, and work your contractual notice period before leaving a job, unless the employer has reasonable time to make other arrangements (domain 3, paragraph 38).

    Hope that helps.

    Cheers,
    Tanita
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    (Original post by General Medical Council)
    Hi kofte - I ran this scenario past one of our experts here at the GMC to see if I could offer some insight. As MonteCristo pointed out, a doctor could face a GMC investigation in this situation if patient safety was affected by there not being enough medical cover.

    In our core guidance, Good medical practice, it says:

    Patient safety may be affected if there is not enough medical cover. So you must take up any post you have formally accepted, and work your contractual notice period before leaving a job, unless the employer has reasonable time to make other arrangements (domain 3, paragraph 38).

    Hope that helps.

    Cheers,
    Tanita
    Big Brother is watching you...
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    (Original post by General Medical Council)
    Hi kofte - I ran this scenario past one of our experts here at the GMC to see if I could offer some insight. As MonteCristo pointed out, a doctor could face a GMC investigation in this situation if patient safety was affected by there not being enough medical cover.

    In our core guidance, Good medical practice, it says:

    Patient safety may be affected if there is not enough medical cover. So you must take up any post you have formally accepted, and work your contractual notice period before leaving a job, unless the employer has reasonable time to make other arrangements (domain 3, paragraph 38).

    Hope that helps.

    Cheers,
    Tanita
    This is actually unusually helpful from the GMC, and I don't mean that in a derogatory way, just to say that actually this is really relevant and thank-you for putting time positively into this forum. Prior to seeing this reply it just seemed like a creepy observational role!! It is useful to have direct advice.

    I wonder, if the OP doesn't want to continue as a doctor (ever) would a GMC hearing be relevant? For instance if they were happy to give up their registration as they have something else to move onto, presumably they could not be summoned to such a hearing nor penalised from it - would they be automatically removed from the register if they weren't interested in what the GMC had to say, on account of not wanting to maintain registration? I am just curious.
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    (Original post by seaholme)
    I wonder, if the OP doesn't want to continue as a doctor (ever) would a GMC hearing be relevant? For instance if they were happy to give up their registration as they have something else to move onto, presumably they could not be summoned to such a hearing nor penalised from it - would they be automatically removed from the register if they weren't interested in what the GMC had to say, on account of not wanting to maintain registration? I am just curious.
    I'm sure @General Medical Council will be along again shortly but my understanding is that you have to ask to be voluntarily erased from the register. The GMC can refuse (e.g. if there is a complaint/investigation pending) and insist that the disciplinary process is followed instead.

    Of course, even being struck off might not be relevant to the OP if they never wanted to return to medicine. That said, lots of employment forms now ask applicants to declare the outcome of any disciplinary actions (professional sanctions, findings of a court martial, etc).
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    (Original post by seaholme)
    This is actually unusually helpful from the GMC, and I don't mean that in a derogatory way, just to say that actually this is really relevant and thank-you for putting time positively into this forum. Prior to seeing this reply it just seemed like a creepy observational role!! It is useful to have direct advice.
    Thanks seaholme - I really do want to help where I can, so please feel free to tag me in posts if you think I could offer advice.

    (Original post by MonteCristo)
    I'm sure @General Medical Council will be along again shortly but my understanding is that you have to ask to be voluntarily erased from the register. The GMC can refuse (e.g. if there is a complaint/investigation pending) and insist that the disciplinary process is followed instead.
    MonteCristo is correct again - a doctor has to ask to take voluntary erasure. We'd make sure there were no open enquiries/investigations into a doctor's fitness to practise before allowing them to do so - even if the doctor didn't want to practise anymore. We could refuse voluntary erasure if there were concerns that had not been dealt with.

    Case examiners - the people who decided on the outcomes of investigations, including whether they should be sent to a hearing or closed - would look at the available evidence and decide whether voluntary erasure could be granted.

    Hope that's useful - let me know if you're curious about anything else!
    Tanita
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    Thanks to everyone for their objective replies. There's always something to learn by visiting this forum.
 
 
 
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