My employee gave me their verbal resignation yesterday and wants to come back today – do I have to let them?
If it was a “heat of the moment” resignation, usually yes.
Resignation is unilateral, in that you don’t need to “accept” it for it to be valid.
That said, if there has been a discussion, tempers got frayed, and your employee storms out saying “you can stuff your job!”, then you should give them the chance to cool down.
It really depends on whether you want them to stay. If you do, let them decide, once they have thought about the mortgage payment, and the credit card bill coming in, whether they REALLY want to have no salary next month.
If however they have stormed out and then backed it up with a written confirmation (email or letter or even text) the next day, then I would go ahead and deal with it as a “real” resignation. This can be a relief if you have had a “challenging” employee.
You will however need to check whether there are any protected characteristics that could apply. Is there anything you have done that could be construed as either discrimination or constructive dismissal? Have their colleagues said anything?
Unless they refuse to work their notice period, you will have to pay it. The only way not to pay it would be
1 – if they refuse to work their notice period AND you have a clause in your contracts allowing you to make an adjustment for the loss you have suffered;
2 – if they have committed an act of gross misconduct and you have followed the correct process to dismiss them.
If they are willing to work, then all that remains is to decide whether you actually want them to work their notice period and to thank them for their contribution to the company. And they did make a contribution otherwise you, as an effective employer, would have managed them out long ago, wouldn’t you??!