Constructive Dismissal

What is Constructive Dismissal?

Constructive dismissal can occur if you resign from your role as a result of a major breach of contract by your employer, also known as a repudiatory breach of contract.

Complicated? We know. In short, although it’s not an actual dismissal, a constructive dismissal is when you are forced to resign because you think that staying in your employment is impossible due to your employer’s conduct.

There are a number of reasons that could lead you to resign, however the reason you leave your job must be serious. In any case, you should always take careful advice before deciding to walk out of your job.

Examples of Constructive Dismissal can include:

• A breach of contract by your employer (like not paying your wages or holiday pay)
• Bullying or harassment
• Making you accept unreasonable conditions at work
• If your boss doesn’t pay you or they suddenly demote you for no reason
• Being forced to work in breach of health and safety laws

Your employer’s breach of contract may be one serious, isolated incident or a number of incidents that are serious when added together.

Firstly, you should try and resolve your issues by speaking to your boss. You may also lodge a formal grievance to ensure that you have evidence that you raised concerns with your company before deciding to leave.

What to do if you’re dismissed

Am I eligible to claim for Constructive Dismissal?

You can bring a claim for Constructive Dismissal in the Employment Tribunal if you satisfy the following requirements:

• You have been continuously employed for a period of 2 years prior to the date of your resignation
• You have resigned soon after and in response to a "fundamental" breach of your contract of employment by your employer
• Any claim for constructive dismissal would need to be brought within 3 months less one day from the date you resigned.

What if my employer fundamentally breached my contract, but I stayed anyway?

Constructive dismissal is a complex area of law which is far from straightforward. It is very difficult to prove so make sure you gather as much evidence as possible before making a claim.

If your employer breaches your contract but you continue to work – they may argue that, by staying, you accepted the conduct or treatment that you have complained about. In these circumstances it is more likely that constructive unfair dismissal will not have occurred. It is really important that you seek expert legal advice as soon as possible to give yourself every chance of succeeding in your claim.

If you feel you have been affected by constructive dismissal then be sure to get in touch with us today so that our experts can provide you with immediate legal assistance.

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