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Effective Date of Termination

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[Thanks to Louise Jones of Temple Garden Chambers for preparing this case summary]

When is the effective date of termination when an employee unequivocally resigns on one date, with immediate effect, and her employer subsequently informs her that her resignation is to be taken as commencing on a later date? 

The answer says the EAT in Horwood v Lincoln County Council is the former date, i.e. the date that the employee resigns.

The EAT observed that the EDT is not a term of contract law, but a statutory construct, specifically designed for the purposes of a legislative scheme of employment rights based on a personal contract. Ms Horwood had provided a clear letter of resignation, and the law does not allow the EDT to be based on uncertainties, such as whether the letter would have been read on the intended date of receipt or not. The employer could not unilaterally alter the EDT so that it became a later date, and thus the EDT was the date of the employee's clear resignation.