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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50202
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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Hi, An apprentice recently stopped coming to work, her mum

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An apprentice recently stopped coming to work, her mum emailed me saying she is pregnant(and not in a position to write email and she is emailing on her behalf) and her mum will keep me informed. After 6 days, her mum emailed me again saying that the apprentice has made her decision and she will be going to stay away with her partner, far from work and work is currently out of question. Also said she will make arrangements to return company property to me asap.
I responded saying I consider this email as a resignation and I accept the resignation and apprentice is relieved off her duties with immediate effect.
My question is now if she actually is pregnant(something I doubt), am I responsible for he SMP/SSPs?
Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long in to her apprenticeship is she with you please
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

6 months

Ok thank you leave it with me I need to look up a few things and then get my advice ready.I will post back on here when done there is no need to wait and you will receive an email when I have responded.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Sorry. Actually it is 7 months to be precise


This is the same apprentice I have discussed with you previously. Where I was not sure if I will have to pay the SMP. Leave it with you

Hello again, thanks for your patience. Your liabilities for SMP and SSP will be entirely separate and there are different requirements for paying each of them.

First of all be careful with just treating this as a resignation when the employee has not indicated she wishes to resign. I know she has said she will not be attending work but you need to check the reasons for that, such as whether there is a health-related issue that prevents her from working because in that case you cannot just assume she wants to resign and doing so could amount to discrimination. So go back and check the reasons for not wishing to return, whether this is just temporary and if she is going off sick or if she is actually leaving her employment – but don’t assume, you need to delve a bit deeper into this before you make a decision.

Assuming that she does want to leave then you will not have to pay SSP once her employment has terminated. However if she continues to be employed by you, you would have to pay her SSP as long as she is signed off sick and she earns the lowest earning threshold for NI contributions, that being £111 per week. If she earns that she is entitled to SSP whilst still employed by you.

Her entitlement to SMP would depend on how long she was employed by you on a specific date. By aw she needs to have worked for you continuously for at least 26 weeks up to the ‘qualifying week’, which is the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth. She needs to have earned at least £111 a week for the preceding 8 weeks as well. If she meets these criteria, then you need to pay her SMP even if she later stops working for you.

I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks Ben,


As in my initial question, her mum had emailed me saying that she is pregnant and currently deciding on what to do.5/6 days later her mum came back to me and said that she(apprentice) will now be moving to her partners home, far from work and as her health is paramount, work is out of question-exact words in the email from her mum. I am not informed weather she is continuing with her pregnancy or not or weather she is sick because of some other reason, also I am not even sure weather this is real or they are just faking it-found another job for example.

I understand but you should not just jump to conclusions - just because she is moving closer to her partner's does not necessarily mean she wants to resign and it could be she goes off sick for a period of time and continues being employed by you so to protect yourself you need to get more details and find out her intentions rather than just assuming she wants to resign
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Exact email from her mum:


Sorry for late reply. ABC is trying to get her head around it all. She has decided to go and stay with her partner (kent). The stress and the sickness is taking its toll on her so I'm afraid work is out of the question as her well being is paramount.on ABCs behalf I thank you for your support and the opportunity you have given her . We will make arrangements to drop bits back to will be sooner rather than later.


My Response:

Hi ,


Considering this a resignation, I accept the resignation. Although the notice period is 2 months, considering the situation I am happy to waive off the notice period. She is discharged of all her duties from immediate effect. I wish her all the success in future and if she needs any help from me, just let me know.

Her P45 and salary/deduction details will be sent to her in next 20 business days.



Ok I understand but you are assuming things here, she has not mentioned resignation and it is ambiguous. Hence why you need to ask her to confirm if she is resigning rather than assuming
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks.Last one. So mum can confirm on her behalf that this is a resignation? I just go back to her mum and say: Sorry I kind of assumed this is a resignation, Can you please confirm on Jade's behalf that this is actually a resignation?



Ideally you want the employee to confirm this and bed to check what is so bad that she can't even write a couple of lines to confirm this. But if only the mother can write on we behalf and you have no reason to suspect it is done without her consent you can use that
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