What is Constructive Dismissal?

Author:
David Jones
Employment Law Associate Solicitor
Date:
26/11/2019

Constructive Dismissal is where an employee resigns from their job in direct response to the actions of their employer and is more formally known as Constructive Unfair Dismissal.

You can use our Unfair Dismissal Compensation Calculator to see how much compensation you may be entitled to.

For free initial legal advice call our Employment Law Solicitors.

Call us on 08002605010 or request a callback and we will help you.

Constructive Dismissal Claims

To have a good case, you will have to show that your employer breached a term of your employment contract. This could be paying your agreed salary or a breach of the implied term of mutual trust and confidence. You must also show that the breach was so serious that your employment contract can be disregarded which allows you to resign.

Constructive Dismissal claims are challenging, and are often connected with bullying, sudden demotions, raising grievances or Discrimination at Work.

So What Can You Do?

Get Legal Advice

Resigning from a job because of the actions of your employer is a very difficult decision to make. So it’s really important you understand your employment rights and the implications of making this decision before you quit your job. 

Our Employment Lawyers offer initial legal advice and can help you to clarify what is happening at work. They can discuss the issues that occur when making a Constructive Dismissal claim against your employer and give you legal advice on what you should do next.

This could be to hand in your notice and make a claim, to try to resolve the issues with your employer or working under protest if your terms and conditions of employment were changed.

Whatever the advice is, you would be making your decision based on the best possible information from expert Employment Lawyers.

Try to Resolve the Problem

Before taking such a drastic step as handing in your resignation, you should try to raise the issues you are having with your employer to see if anything can be done to resolve the problems you’re having. You can do this by having an informal discussion with your line manager or HR department if there is one.

Your next option is to raise a grievance with your employer. This makes your concerns official and you will need to put them in writing and allow your employer the chance to investigate and have a formal meeting to allow you the chance to tell them how strongly you feel. Your employer should have procedures in place for dealing with grievances at work.

Having an informal discussion and raising a grievance can help you to demonstrate that you did all you could to resolve the problems you were having at work before handing in your resignation. If your employer does not deal with your grievance correctly, their conduct in handling the grievance could add to the grounds of your claim.

Ask for a Settlement Agreement

A Settlement Agreement is a way of ending the employment relationship in a way that works for you and for your employer. They may decide to take the option if you ask for a Settlement Agreement, particularly as it means you cannot then take them to an Employment Tribunal afterwards. We can help with these negotiations.

Resign from Your Job

Your last step, if none of the others works for you, is to resign. You should not take this decision lightly, and you should speak to an Employment Lawyer first. You will probably need to give the notice required in your employment contract or else you risk breaching your contract of employment.

But serious breaches by your employer can justify resigning with immediate effect and working your notice period could mean that your employer claims that it can’t have been that bad. Make sure you get specialist legal advice from an Employment Solicitor before taking this step because the wording of your resignation letter could affect your claim for Constructive Dismissal.

Important Things to Note

To claim for Constructive Dismissal you must have a minimum of two years’ continuous service with your employer.

You should also know that the timescales to bring a claim at an Employment Tribunal are short. You only have three months to bring a claim.

You will also have to complete the Early Conciliation process with ACAS before your claim can proceed to the Employment Tribunal. The three month time limit pauses whilst the Early Conciliation process takes place, but you should get legal advice and make your claim as early as you possibly can.  

If you feel that your circumstances at work are so bad that you can’t continue to work there, please contact one of our Employment Law Solicitors for advice.

For free initial legal advice call our Employment Solicitors

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