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Hi All

Bit of a tricky one. Member of staff handed in their notice and asked to leave a week earlier than their notice period. We agreed as understood they were having a tough time, they said they had another job.

They left last Friday, very quiet, didn't want a fuss.

Fast forward five days later and they've called asking for their job back as they were struggling with a family bereavement and really loved their job.

We did begin recruting but only have a few application forms. 

Thoughts? Staff has worked there many years, has had a few personal troubles.

I was thinking a meeting with her and manager to discuss her reasons for resignation and if there's anything we can do. Also seeing if coming back is really the best option for all (I didn't want her to leave)


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Hi -

I'll just throw my threepennorth in, but it's a personal view rather than a professional one:

Obviously only you can really know if you would like her to stay or not, and it should boil down to your own preference, as you have to keep your ship afloat. But if you would rather she stayed I think it would be a good opportunity to make it a positive experience. Rather than a "oh all right then, blimey you've caused no end of trouble!" (and I'm not suggesting that you'd put it this way :) ) you could phrase it as a kind of "you know we'd dearly love you to stay, you're a really welcome member of the team". But accompany it with a few questions about why they want to stay, and whether it's just a temporary decision while they catch their breath, or whether they really want to commit themselves back into the job - because obviously you've gone to a lot of trouble to begin a recruitment process and you don't want to have to start all over again in a few months time.

If that goes well and she finds herself back in a familiar and safe environment, you could have her as a strong employee for some time to come.

The other way to look at it, which I'm sure you're also considering, is that she has 'crossed the rubicon' and now she has thought of a departure once she may not be able to get it out of her head. That doesn't sound likely, given her personal troubles, but you'll need to feel comfortable about that.

Not sure that helps a lot - good luck! :)

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We actually have a policy to say that any staff member who leaves then wants to come back does not get any preferential treatment, they come along just like anyone else and have an interview etc.

My personal thoughts are that if they handed in their notice there was a reason for it so why would they want to come back again......you said they were having a tough time - did they actually tell you at the time that they had had a bereavement? if so why did they not ask for some compassionate leave? call me cynical but it seems strange that they had another job lined up yet were handing their notice in with you because they were going through a tough time?

That makes me sound really cold but I don't mean it in that way :) 

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Mrsbat it is probably very helpful to have something in a policy, espically with high staff turnover. 

We have such a small team and it's a shame she couldn't speak to the Manager or Committee. We've had a chat and I've explained that she needs to talk to us if she's having problems as we're here to help.

Fortunately recruitment never got that far, however if we had been interviewing I would have said they would need to apply like others.

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