Constructive dismissal and employment law advice
What is constructive dismissal?
Constructive dismissal occurs when an employee resigns from their job due to the employer's behaviour. The employee hasn't been fired, but they felt that remaining in employment was untenable.
How do I know if I might have a case for constructive dismissal?
You might have a case for constructive dismissal if:
- The employer has breached your contract and you felt forced to leave because of that breach
- You have not done or said anything that would imply you accepted the breach or the change in employment conditions
- You have been bullied to the point of resignation
Common constructive dismissal situations
Your employer's breach of contract may be one major incident or the last in a series of smaller ones that are serious when taken together.
Some, but by no means all, common constructive dismissal situations are:
- The employer has given you impossible to reach targets, has undermined your authority, demoted you without reason or has taken any other similar actions making it impossible to perform your duties
- The employer is forcing you to accept unreasonable changes to your conditions of employment without your agreement such as: location, working hours, responsibilities
- The employer has failed to protect you if there is a case of bullying, harassment or violence against you by work colleagues
- The employer is forcing you to work in dangerous conditions
If you believe you have a case for constructive dismissal and are considering handing in your resignation the normal procedure to follow is:
- Speak to your line manager or someone from your HR department
- Follow the standard grievance procedure before taking legal action
Before deciding to resign it's strongly advised to seek professional legal advice from an expert employment solicitor to ensure you do have a good case for constructive dismissal. The last thing you want to do is resign thinking that you will be owed compensation for your ill treatment, and then find you can't claim anything.
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