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Exiting the organisation 

There are a number of ways the employment relationship can end resulting in an employee exiting the organisation. Some of the most common being:

Summary dismissal

This can often be legally referred to as summary termination for breach and repudiation. When an employee has committed a serious breach or repudiation the employer has the right to elect to terminate the employment with immediate effect.  This right is different to a right the employer might have under a term of the employment contract to terminate for serious misconduct.

Dismissal for cause

This form of termination at the initiative of the employer is generally used for either employee underperformance, or inappropriate behaviour, which is not considered serious enough to justify summary dismissal.


A redundancy occurs when an organisation genuinely ceases to require the employee's job to be performed by anyone because of changes in the operational requirements of the business.  It will also be a genuine redundancy if termination is because of the insolvency or bankruptcy of the employer.


The end point of an employees working life. Semi – Retired is when an employee reduces the hours they work as a way of transitioning into Retirement.

Termination by notice or agreement

This occurs when either the employee or employer gives the other party notice of the intention to terminate the employment contract.  This notice is effective once it is received by the other party and does not require the other party to accept the notice.  This can include such instances as employee resignation, retirement or employer giving notice of termination to a casual or fixed term contractor.

Abandonment of employment

Abandonment of employment can happen in a number of ways, but will commonly occur when an employee either literally walks off the job and does not return for a period of time, or does not return to work after a period of leave without the express permission of the employer. Employers need to be able to prove that they tried to get in contact with their employees in these circumstances before they are deemed to have abandoned employment.

Termination by frustration

If some event not contemplated by the parties at the time of entering into the employment contract renders the continuation of the employment relationship untenable, this might constitute frustration of the contract.  The effect of frustration is to allow the parties to treat the contract as coming to an immediate end.  Examples are death of a party, permanent incapacity or incarceration.

For more information on exiting the organisation, please see our:

Frequently asked questions


Information sheets

Legal considerations

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Summary dismissal

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Phased retirement

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Avoiding constructive dismissal claims

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Employee departure checklist

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Exit interview form

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Letter of termination for cause (with notice)

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Abandonment of employment letter

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