Malcolm ZoppiWed Jun 12 2024

Solicitor Guide: What is constructive dismissal?

Have you ever wondered what constitutes constructive dismissal? Is it just about resigning from your job, or is there more to it? In this article, we will delve into the concept of constructive dismissal and explore its implications in the workplace. Whether you’re an employee facing difficult circumstances or an employer seeking to understand your […]

Have you ever wondered what constitutes constructive dismissal? Is it just about resigning from your job, or is there more to it? In this article, we will delve into the concept of constructive dismissal and explore its implications in the workplace. Whether you’re an employee facing difficult circumstances or an employer seeking to understand your obligations, the answers may surprise you.

When can you claim constructive dismissal?

To be eligible to claim constructive dismissal, you must meet certain criteria. This includes having employee status and having worked for the employer for a minimum of 2 years. Constructive dismissal occurs when there is a fundamental breach of the employment contract that forces you to resign.

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The breach can be a serious incident or a series of incidents that undermine the trust and confidence in the employment relationship. Resignation should be a last resort after attempting to resolve the issues informally or through raising a formal grievance. It is important to gather evidence to support your claim of constructive dismissal and accept that leaving the job immediately may potentially breach the employment contract.

Eligibility criteria for constructive dismissal claim#
Employee status
Minimum of 2 years’ employment
Fundamental breach of contract
Resign as a last resort
Evidence to support claim
Potential breach of employment contract

Making a constructive dismissal claim

If you find yourself in a situation where you believe you have been constructively dismissed, it is important to navigate the process carefully and follow the necessary procedures. Seeking legal advice from a specialist employment solicitor is highly recommended before taking any legal action. An experienced solicitor can provide valuable guidance and ensure that you understand your rights and options.

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When considering a constructive dismissal claim, it is crucial to be aware of the time limits involved. Generally, you must make a claim to an employment tribunal within three months minus one day from the last day of your notice period or the day of resignation without notice. It is essential to act promptly and be mindful of these deadlines to protect your rights and maximize your chances of a successful claim.

Another important aspect to consider is the impact of settlement agreements on your ability to make a constructive dismissal claim. A settlement agreement is a formal arrangement that ends the employment relationship with certain terms and conditions. However, signing a settlement agreement means forfeiting the right to pursue a claim related to constructive dismissal. Therefore, it is crucial to fully understand the implications and seek proper legal advice before signing any agreements.

FAQ

What is constructive dismissal?

Constructive dismissal occurs when an employee is forced to resign from their job due to their employer’s behavior, which is in breach of the employment contract.

How can I prove constructive dismissal?

To prove constructive dismissal, you must show that your employer’s conduct amounted to a serious breach of your employment contract, resulting in you being left with no choice but to resign.

What are some examples of constructive dismissal?

Examples of constructive dismissal include significant changes to your job role without your agreement, bullying or harassment by colleagues or superiors, or a significant reduction in your pay without any valid reason.

Can a solicitor help with my constructive dismissal case?

Yes, specialist employment law solicitors can provide you with advice and guidance on how to approach a constructive dismissal claim and help you navigate the legal process.

Am I eligible to claim for constructive dismissal if I have less than 2 years of service?

In most cases, you need to have at least two years of continuous service with your employer to be able to bring a claim for unfair dismissal. However, there may be exceptions, such as cases of discrimination or whistleblowing.

What is the difference between constructive dismissal and wrongful dismissal?

Constructive dismissal refers to a situation where the employee is forced to resign due to the employer’s behavior, while wrongful dismissal occurs when the employer breaches the terms of the contract by dismissing the employee without notice or proper cause.

When should I consider entering into a settlement agreement for a constructive dismissal case?

A settlement agreement, also known as a compromise agreement, is a legally binding contract where you agree to settle your potential claims against your employer in exchange for a financial settlement. It is often used in constructive dismissal cases to avoid the need for tribunal proceedings.

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Disclaimer: This document has been prepared for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or financial advice. You should always seek independent professional advice and not rely on the content of this document as every individual circumstance is unique. Additionally, this document is not intended to prejudge the legal, financial or tax position of any person.

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Get the specialist support you need

Whether you require specialised knowledge for your business or personal affairs, Gaffney Zoppi can support you.