Constructive Dismissal

Constructive Dismissal – what is it?
Constructive dismissal is when the conduct of your employer forces you to quit your job. Generally, it happens where the employee would prefer to keep their job but ultimately feels as though they are being forced out and decide to quit as a result of their employer’s behaviour.
Constructive Dismissal – examples
There are several situations where constructive dismissal might arise. For example;
  • If you are made to work in conditions where you feel unsafe or are in a dangerous environment – particularly if you are working on your own – and you subsequently quit because you don’t feel safe, this could also be constructive dismissal as your employer has a duty to provide you with a safe working environment
  • Feeling you have to quit due to bullying, harassment or assault by your employer or one of your colleagues could count as constructive dismissal
  • If your employer breaches your contract and you feel you have to quit as a result
  • Breaches of contract could also include demoting you for no reason and without consultation, or failing to pay you what you are owed
  • You might also have a case if your employer drastically changes your employment conditions without first obtaining your consent. For example, if they radically alter your shift (such as forcing you to work nights) without your agreement or inform you that you will have to move to another city for your job without consultation and you feel as though you have to quit as a result, this could be constructive dismissal.
Constructive Dismissal –the proof required

If you feel as though you might have a constructive dismissal claim there are a few important things you will need to consider. For example, before you make your Construction Dismissal Employment Tribunal claim, you will need to prove;
  • exactly how your employer breached your contract or altered your conditions of employment
  • that you did nothing to accept those altered terms and
  • that you felt as though you had to leave your job as a result of their actions.If you do decide to make an Employment Tribunal claim, this is something that your solicitor would be able to advise you on.
Resignation – the last resort It’s also important to remember that leaving your job should be the last resort. Ideally at the hearing of your Employment Tribunal constructive dismissal claim, you should be able to show the steps you took prior to leaving your job to try and reconcile the situation with your employer. This could include talking to your manager or other senior colleague about the situation, or getting in touch with your trade union representative or mediator to try and resolve the case another way.
Get early specialist legal advice In the event that you do have to leave your job, you should seek legal advice from specialist employment tribunal lawyers as soon as you can to start the process of proving your case of constructive dismissal. It can sometimes be quite hard to prove the extent of your employer’s behaviour that forced you to quit, so it makes sense to start the process as soon as you can to give yourself the best chance of succeeding in your case and then moving on with your life.

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