Resignation retraction letter |

Changed your mind about leaving your job? Don’t panic.

Your reasons for resigning may have been clear when you handed in your resignation letter. However, there are a number of circumstances that could have made you rethink your decision. Knowing how to approach your employer to retract your resignation can be daunting – especially if you’re worried it’s too late to make your request.

To help you get it right, here’s a sample resignation retraction letter and tips on how to withdraw your resignation. 


Reasons for retracting your resignation 

Retracting a resignation isn’t a typical occurrence, but there may be times when you feel it’s the right decision because: 

  • A job offer has fallen through
  • You decided you didn’t want to move 
  • You were going to move to a new area, but the move has been put on hold
  • You’ve heard negative things about your new employer and have decided they don’t align with your own principles 
  • You’ve decided to put your study plans on hold for a while
  • Your current employer has made a counter offer

How to: Resign

The great resignation (and what it means for your career)


How do I retract my resignation?

It may state in your company handbook the process for retracting a resignation. If not, it’s standard practice to put this request in writing, and it must clearly state that you wish to retract your resignation and be allowed to work past your leaving date. 

It’s best to keep the letter to the point, but it’ll help the process go more smoothly if it contains:

  • The date
  • Your name
  • The name of the person who is handling your resignation
  • An opening statement requesting the retraction of your resignation 
  • Reasons for wishing to retract your resignation
  • A summary of the skills and value you bring to the role 
  • A closing statement expressing your thanks
  • Your signature 


If you’re struggling with how to put this into writing, here’s a resignation retraction letter example that you can use a template: 


Resignation retraction letter example 



Your name

Dear [name of recipient] 

I am writing to rescind my resignation, dated [date of resignation]. I wish to continue working in my current role as [job title]. If possible, I would like my resignation retraction to commence on [date]. 

I apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. At the time of resigning, my plan was to [reason for resigning], but these plans have changed because of [reason for retracting resignation], and I’m now able to continue working in my position as [job title]. 

If you agree to retract my resignation, I’m sure my skills, like [mention a couple of skills] will continue to bring success to my team, as I have previously when [an example of past achievement]. 

Thank you for considering my resignation retraction, and I look forward to discussing how we can move forward with this. 

Yours sincerely,

[Your name]


Does my employer have to accept my retraction?

Once you’ve submitted your resignation, your employer has no legal duty to accept your retraction. So, before resigning, be certain you want to leave. You can try negotiating a resignation retraction with your employer, but they are within their rights to reject this.  

View all negotiation skills training courses


Tips for withdrawing your resignation 

Asking to withdraw your resignation can be daunting, so to help you get over your nerves, here are some tips to help you successfully retract your resignation: 


Know your rights

Typically, once your employer has accepted your resignation, there’s no legal obligation for them to accept your retraction. However, check with your HR department or your employee handbook to see if it states differently. Knowing where you stand, legally, is always a useful first step when going into discussions with your employer. 

Employee rights and responsibilities


Communicate with your employer as soon as possible

It may state in your contract that you have a certain period to retract your resignation. If not, the sooner you do it, the better it is for your employer, as they make have already started the process of hiring your replacement. 

How to: Communicate effectively at work


Tell the truth

Your employer will more than likely ask why you’ve decided to retract your resignation. If it’s for personal reasons, you don’t have to go into depth, but providing context for your change of mind may help your employer be more empathic towards you. If the reason for wanting to stay is because your new job has fallen through – it may be wise to handle this tactfully (so they don’t think you’ll be looking to jump ship at the next available opportunity).  


Be prepared to prove your value

Your employer may be wary about accepting your resignation retraction. This is understandable, as not so long ago you were ready to leave. So, they may need some persuading to keep you in their employment. Ahead of any discussions with your employer, list successes or achievements you’ve been a part of and single out your contribution. Following the STAR method will help you to clearly communicate to your employer the value you bring to the role and your team.  


Stay positive 

In discussions with your employer, you can be apologetic about any inconvenience your decision may cause, but always try and keep the conversation positive. Emphasise your commitment to the company, how much you enjoy working with your team, and the successes you want to achieve with the company in the future. 

Whether the outcome of talks is positive or negative, thank them for their time – you never know when you may have to ask for a reference or when your career paths may cross again. 

How to: Make a career plan

Character reference template


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