MP rescinds her resignation
Scouring the BBC website looking for interesting HR stories and blog inspiration, I came across the news that Sarah Champion MP had rescinded her resignation from the front bench and asked Jeremy Corbyn for her job back. It appears that he has agreed and that she may be the first of several who, not having forced Jeremy to resign, will now be holding out a white flag of peace and resuming their previous roles on the front benches.
It is rare that we find employees asking to return to their former employers, but not unheard of. The biggest question is should you take them back? And if you do, will the relationship be better or worse than before?
When requesting references, one of the questions frequently asked is “Would you re-employ this employee?” Responses indicate that many employers have a policy not to re-employ, but a few say they would.
Not all leavers are equal
When determining your policy on re-employment, you may want to think about the provisions and safety nets which would be needed rather than taking a blanket decision. However, with all things HR, you need to ensure you don’t discriminate or set a precedent which will be hard to manage in the future. Would you treat the following scenarios the same?
- A Saturday worker who left to go to University and now wants a full time job
- An underperforming employee who resigned but can’t find a better job to go to, so tries to rescind their resignation before their notice period is up i.e. while they are still employed with you
- A top performer who is head hunted by the competition, leaves for a month and then wants to come back as they didn’t like what they found on the other side of the fence
- A good performer who left to travel the world for 12 months and wants to come back
- A good performer who felt they were under paid, underappreciated and could contribute a lot more to the business if you just let them, who wants to come back to the business having worked for another (non-related business) for 3 years.
In truth, we have dealt with all of these scenarios over the past 12 months and there are no hard and fast rules on how to deal with them – it comes down to relationships, personalities and setting (or not wanting to set) a precedent.
Whose business is it anyway?
On the one hand, you do not want to cut off your nose to spite your face, but on the other hand you don’t necessarily want to take someone back just because it suits them to come back. Your business may have moved on. You may not have a vacancy. You may not have a need for their skills. However, feeling guilty because they were a nice person is not a good enough reason to take someone back.
When developing your policy, consider the following:
• The reasons for leaving may have a massive influence on whether you take someone back
• Their previous attendance record
• The amount of time they have been away
• The size of your business and whether you can easily absorb extra headcount
• Whether the person has a unique or scarce skillset
• Where they have been since leaving you
• The role and money you bring people back into
If you decide not to re-employ previous employees, ensure you apply your policy strictly and that all employees are aware of the policy before they leave the business.
As always, if you require any help writing a re-employment policy, do not hesitate to contact the team on email@example.com or by calling 01923 866040