Dismiss vs. Resign

What's the Difference?

Dismiss and resign are both actions that involve leaving a job or position, but they differ in who initiates the departure. When someone is dismissed, it means that they are being let go or fired by their employer. This decision is typically made by the employer due to performance issues, misconduct, or other reasons. On the other hand, when someone resigns, it means that they are choosing to leave their job voluntarily. This decision is made by the employee for personal reasons, such as finding a better opportunity, pursuing further education, or wanting a change in career path. Both dismissals and resignations can have significant impacts on the individual and the organization.


Photo by Mario Verduzco on Unsplash
DefinitionTo officially remove someone from their job or positionTo voluntarily leave a job or position
Initiated byEmployer or superiorEmployee or individual
ReasonsPoor performance, misconduct, redundancyNew job opportunity, personal reasons, dissatisfaction
Legal implicationsPossible legal action if not done according to labor lawsNo legal implications if done properly
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Further Detail


Dismiss and resign are two terms commonly used in the context of employment. Dismissal refers to the act of terminating an employee's contract by the employer, usually due to poor performance, misconduct, or redundancy. On the other hand, resignation is when an employee voluntarily decides to leave their job, usually by providing notice to their employer.


When an employee is dismissed, the employer typically follows a formal process that may involve warnings, performance improvement plans, and ultimately a termination meeting. This process is often governed by employment laws and company policies to ensure fairness and compliance. On the other hand, when an employee resigns, they usually submit a resignation letter to their employer, stating their intention to leave and providing a notice period as per their contract or company policy.


Dismissal can occur for various reasons, including poor performance, misconduct, breach of company policies, or redundancy. Employers must have valid reasons for dismissing an employee to avoid legal repercussions such as unfair dismissal claims. Resignation, on the other hand, can be due to personal reasons, career advancement opportunities, dissatisfaction with the job or company culture, or even retirement.


Dismissal can have a significant impact on an employee, both professionally and personally. It can affect their reputation, future job prospects, and financial stability. Employees who are dismissed may also experience feelings of rejection, anger, and uncertainty about their future. Resignation, on the other hand, is a more controlled decision made by the employee, allowing them to plan their exit and transition to a new job or career path.

Legal Considerations

Dismissal is subject to various legal considerations, including employment laws, anti-discrimination laws, and fair dismissal procedures. Employers must ensure that they follow the correct legal process when dismissing an employee to avoid legal claims. Resignation, on the other hand, is a voluntary decision made by the employee, and as long as they provide the required notice period, there are usually no legal implications.

Employer-Employee Relationship

Dismissal can strain the relationship between the employer and the employee, leading to feelings of resentment, mistrust, and animosity. It can also impact the morale of other employees who witness the dismissal. Resignation, on the other hand, allows for a more amicable parting of ways, with the employer and employee often maintaining a positive relationship even after the employee leaves.

Company Culture

The way a company handles dismissals and resignations can reflect its company culture and values. A company that handles dismissals with empathy, fairness, and respect for the employee's dignity is likely to have a positive company culture. Similarly, a company that supports employees who choose to resign by providing opportunities for feedback and growth can foster a culture of trust and loyalty.

Employee Rights

Employees have certain rights when it comes to dismissal and resignation. In the case of dismissal, employees have the right to challenge their dismissal if they believe it was unfair or unlawful. They may also be entitled to severance pay or other benefits depending on the circumstances of their dismissal. When resigning, employees have the right to leave their job without facing any legal consequences as long as they provide the required notice period.


In conclusion, dismissal and resignation are two distinct processes that have different implications for both employers and employees. Dismissal is a decision made by the employer to terminate an employee's contract, often due to poor performance or misconduct, while resignation is a voluntary decision made by the employee to leave their job. Both processes have legal, emotional, and professional implications that should be carefully considered by all parties involved.

Comparisons may contain inaccurate information about people, places, or facts. Please report any issues.