Constructive Dismissal covers the situation where your employer has made it impossible for you to stay in your job – but hasn’t expressly dismissed you – due to breaching a term of your contract of employment. If you resign in this situation, it will be treated as a dismissal – a ‘constructive’ dismissal. Your employer’s behaviour must be a serious (often called “fundamental”) breach of your contract. This could be a breach of an express term, such as the amount of pay you should receive, or of an ‘implied terms’ (those terms which are not expressly written or agreed but which still apply) – such as the obligation of mutual trust and confidence.
Your employer’s behaviour must be so bad that you can assume that he or she no longer recognises the existence of the contract of employment between you. While any breach of contract by your employer will be worrying, not all breaches of contract will be serious enough to warrant you resigning.
Every constructive dismissal case will be different. Some actions by your employer that could amount to a constructive dismissal include:
- Refusing a request for flexible working
- Trying to force you to accept a change in working hours
- Demoting you without following a process
- Harassing or bullying you
- Failing to take a grievance seriously
- Reducing your pay without consultation
- Introducing new duties into your role
- Taking performance management action against you when it isn’t appropriate
- Unlawfully discriminating against you
If you are contemplating resigning as a result of what is going on at work, and the behaviour you are experiencing, we can help you understand whether you have been constructively dismissed. We can also guide you through the next steps you need to take. It’s also worth remembering that as well as a claim for constructive dismissal, you may have other claims, such as a discrimination claim, arising out of the same circumstances.
Constructive Dismissal Claims
If you find yourself in an intolerable position at work, you must first do whatever is right for you. Don’t underestimate the impact that stress at work can have on your health. While we would never encourage someone to resign without thinking it through first, your main concern must be you, your health and the impact the situation is having. If, as a result, there is a possibility that you could be entitled to compensation, you should consider this seriously – particularly if you find yourself out of work. We can help you assess the chances of succeeding in a constructive dismissal claim, and the likely compensation you might receive.
Finding out More Information
If you would like to discuss your situation in more detail – either because you are considering resigning, or because you have resigned and want to know more about a constructive dismissal claim, book an employment consultation today.