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The University of Southampton
Human Resources

Leaving the University


This page provides information to staff and managers on what actions need to be taken by a staff member and their line manager when a staff member is leaving the University, either voluntarily (e.g., as a result of resignation or retirement) or due to the expiry of their fixed term contract.

Much of the information is also relevant where a staff member is leaving for some other reason (e.g., redundancy, dismissal, statutory bar, or some other substantial reason), but it's recommend that line managers get advice from Ask HR on any specific procedural steps if their staff member is leaving for one of these reasons.

Make employee a leaver


  1. Process and responsibilities
  2. Resignation
  3. Fixed term contract expiry
  4. Retirement
  5. Notice periods
  6. Notifying HR
  7. Handovers
  8. Holiday
  9. Final pay and P45
  10. Email and system access
  11. Updating personal details
  12. Exit surveys and interviews
  13. Returning property
  14. Repayments
  15. Employment references
  16. Confidentiality

Process and responsibilities

Click the link below to view a step-by-step summary of the leaver process:

Leaver Process

Responsibilities of employee and line manager
EmployeeLine manager
Notify line manager in writing Acknowledge receipt of resignation/retirement
Give required amount of notice Confirm final day of work
Take remaining holiday Approve any holiday requests (where possible)
Work out notice period Submit leaver request (resignations/retirements)
Return University property Ensure return of any University property
Ensure work is completed or handed over Arrange handover of work


Employees (including those on a fixed term contract) can choose to end their employment at any stage, by giving the University notice of their intention to resign.  Resignation should be in writing (an email is sufficient) and addressed to their line manager. It needs to clearly state that the employee is resigning and the date of their final day of employment. The employee doesn’t need to explain their reasons for leaving, but they may choose to do so. The employee will need to give the minimum amount of notice, as set out in their contract of employment (see Notice Periods below).

Once an employee has given formal notice that they intend to end their employment, this can only be withdrawn if their line manager agrees.

Fixed term contract expiry

Staff whose employment is ending because their fixed term contract will not be renewed or extended due to redundancy or some other substantial reason, and who have not signed another contract with the University, do not need to resign and their line manager does not need to raise a leaver request, unless the employee is leaving earlier than the expiry date of their contract. HR will automatically make them a leaver on the HR system and write to the employee to confirm their employment is ending. The line manager does need to ensure they follow the correct process for the expiry of a fixed term contract.


Staff who are retiring from the University should consult the information on the University’s Retirement page, as well as familiarising themselves with the general information that applies to leavers on this page.

The process for retiring is much the same as resigning: the employee must give their line manager notice in writing of their intention to retire and their final date of employment – often this will be done much further in advance than in the case of a resignation.

Staff who are considering retirement should contact the Pensions Team first to discuss their options regarding their pension, prior to making any decisions.

Notice periods

A staff member who wants to leave the University needs to provide the minimum notice period, as set out in their contract of employment. Staff can request a copy of their contract by completing a Document Request or they can ask for confirmation of their notice period by contacting Ask HR.

Notice periods vary depending on the employee’s level, career pathway and whether they are still on probation.  If in doubt, staff should contact Ask HR to clarify.

Changing notice periods

A staff member can give a longer notice period than the minimum stated in their contract.  If they want to give a shorter notice period, this needs to be discussed and agreed with their line manager. The University is under no obligation to accept a shorter notice period, but it may be possible to accommodate it, or it may be in both parties’ interests for the employee to work a shorter notice.

The notice period starts the day after the employee has given notice of their intention to resign.

Transferring to another role in the University

Where a staff member is leaving their current role to take up another role within the University, they do not need to resign. There will need to be some discussion between the employee and their existing manager and new manager as to when the employee will be able to commence the new role and whether the employee will need to take their accrued holiday prior to moving into the new role. Please see the page Changing jobs within the University for information on the correct process to follow.

Notifying HR

Where a staff member resigns, it is the responsibility of their line manager to notify Human Resources so the employee’s HR record can be ended. It is important this is done as soon as possible to avoid the possibility of an overpayment. 

To notify HR, the line manager needs to complete the Leaver/End of Contract Request on ServiceNow.

This form can also be completed by a delegate or an administrator.

The form asks several questions which the person completing the form will need to answer, some of these will require information from the employee. It’s recommended that the information below is gathered before attempting to complete the form, as the form can't be saved:

The staff member's resignation letter/email also need to be attached to the request.

Sponsored employees

The University has a legal obligation to notify the UKVI within ten working days if it no longer sponsors a migrant worker, therefore it is vitally important that line managers notify HR as soon as possible if a sponsored worker resigns.


To ensure a smooth transition, an employee and their line manager should make arrangements to discuss the handover of work and responsibilities:


Where a staff member leaves part-way through a holiday year, their holiday entitlement will be pro-rated based on the portion of the holiday year they work.  The University’s holiday year runs from 1 October to 30 September. 


A full-time staff member at Level 3 with 5 years’ continuous service has an annual entitlement to 24 days Annual Leave, 8 Bank Holidays and 6 University Closure Days, which equates to 266 hours (38 days x 7 hours). 

If the staff member's last day of employment is 30 April, they will have worked 212 days of that leave year, or 0.58 (212/365 = 0.58).  Their total holiday entitlement for the year is multiplied against this figure to pro-rate their entitlement:

266 hours x 0.58 = 154.3 hours

Staff can find out what their remaining holiday balance is by contacting Ask HR.  They will need to let Ask HR know their final day of employment.

FTC ending early

Staff on an FTC who leave earlier than their contract expiry date will also have their holiday entitlement pro-rated. They should contact Ask HR to ask for a revised holiday figure once you know the date their employment will finish.

Taking remaining holiday

Staff are encouraged to use up any remaining holiday entitlement prior to leaving and any holiday taken will count as part of their notice period.

If there are genuine reasons why the employee can’t use all of their remaining holiday before they leave, their line manager can request that any remaining holiday is paid out with the employee’s final pay.  This should be done via the ServiceNow leaver request, or in the case of an employee on a fixed term contract, by contacting Ask HR.

Negative holiday balance

In some cases an employee may have used more holiday than they had accrued at the point of leaving and their holiday entitlement will be in deficit.  The value of this holiday will be deducted from the employee’s final pay.  The employee may be able to cancel some future dated holiday they were due to take before their final day of employment to avoid or reduce the deductions. 

Final pay and P45

Employees will generally receive their final pay, including the value of any remaining holiday at the end of the month in which their employment ends.  In some cases, if an employee is leaving early in the month, their final pay may be processed in the previous month.

The employee’s P45 will be sent to them after they’ve been paid their final pay.  This will usually be in the week following the pay run in which the employee received their final pay.

The P45 is sent to the employee’s home address recorded on the HR system so it’s important the employee checks MyView that their address is up to date prior to their employment ending.  If an employee has not received their P45 within a month of leaving the University they should contact the Payroll Team.

Email and systems access

Email: Staff will continue to have access to their email account for 28 days after their employment has ended. 

Systems: Staff lose access to other University systems, including MyHR Dashboard the day after their employment ends.  

Access to pay documents

As staff lose access to MyView the day after their employment ends, it is important staff save/print off any pay documents, such as pay slips or P60s by their final day of work.

Updating personal details

Before they leave the University, staff need to check that their personal data and contact details are up-to-date in MyView.  This is to ensure:

HESA leaver information

The University is required to return certain data about its staff to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).  This includes reasons information about staff who are leaving, specifically their location after leaving and their activity after leaving.  Where a staff member is leaving and this information is incomplete on their HR record they will receive an email a couple of weeks before their employment ends, prompting them to provide the information.

Exit survey/interview

Staff have the option to complete a short exit survey when they leave.  The data collected helps the University to understand why staff leave and to identify areas where it could improve the employment experience.  A link to the survey is included in the leaver letter / end of fixed term contract letter. 

Staff also have the option to request an exit interview. This will be conducted by HR and the information shared with the employee’s school/department. To request an exit interview, staff should contact Ask HR.

Returning equipment/property

It is important that staff return any University property they have before they leave.  Depending on local practices, this may be returned to their line manager, or to an administrator in their area. 

Staff who fail to return this property may receive an invoice for the cost of replacing the property.

Items include, but are not limited to:


In some cases staff may owe the University money when they leave. This will normally be deducted from their final pay. Situations include where the staff member:

It's the responsibility of the line manager and the employee to ensure HR are notified if any of the above situations apply.

Employment references

Staff can request an employment reference by completing the form on ServiceNow or by contacting Ask HR. Please note that it’s the University’s policy to only provide factual employment references confirming the following information:

See the Employment References page for more information.


Staff still have a duty of confidentiality to the University after they leave and should not disclose any confidential information to third parties, in accordance with their contract of employment.

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