Constructive Dismissal Solicitors
If your employer has fundamentally or seriously breached your employment terms and conditions and you have more than 2 years’ continuous service, you may be entitled to pursue a claim for Constructive Dismissal. You must seek professional legal advice at the earliest opportunity to discuss whether you may have a claim or not as Constructive Dismissal claims can be difficult to pursue. To speak to our Employment Law specialists, please call or complete the contact form below.
What is Constructive Dismissal?
Constructive dismissal (sometimes called constructive unfair dismissal) is when an employee feels forced to resign because their employer has fundamentally or seriously breached their terms and conditions of employment. Essentially, the employer’s actions mean that the employee feels that they cannot continue to work for their employer as the trust and confidence in the employment relationship has been destroyed.
The most common grounds for constructive dismissal
There are no set circumstances grounds for any constructive dismissal case claim. However, the reasons below are more realistic suggestions for someone to resign, and more likely to have a claim for constructive dismissal: actions that could amount to a constructive dismissal claim, entitling an employee to resign are as follows:
- Consistently being paid incorrectly or late
- Bullying and harassment by the employer or other staff members
- Not being provided with the correct safety equipment for a job or a safe working environment
- Changing hours or place of work without agreement and without the contractual right to do so
- Not dealing with grievances raised reasonably.
If an employee does decide to resign in response to an employer's actions or failure to act, the employee can treat themselves as being "dismissed". When this process happens, it ’is known as a "repudiatory breach" breach of contract. Repudiatory means that it is so fundamental and so serious that it goes to the heart of the contract and destroys the trust and confidence in the employment relationship.
Choosing to resign is not a choice to be taken lightly & as this can be a life-changing decision. Getting early legal advice is essential.
In terms of pursuing a claim for Constructive Dismissal, we strongly recommend taking the following steps: 1) Speaking to your Line Manager
If you feel that your contract has been breached, you should raise the issue with your Line Manager in the first instance. Most Grievance Procedures encourage raising issues informally in the first instance, and this can often help to resolve the issue quickly and without having to consider further action, including a Constructive Dismissal claim.
2) Raising a grievance under your employer’s Grievance Procedure
A grievance is a complaint in writing and employers are under a duty to investigate a complaint once it has been raised in writing under their internal Grievance Procedure. A formal grievance will be necessary if raising the issue informally hasn’t resolved the problem, or you feel that it is appropriate to go straight to the formal process.
3) Pursuing a claim for Constructive Dismissal
If you are unable to resolve the issue through your employer's internal Grievance Procedure, then you may wish to consider pursuing a claim for Constructive Dismissal. However, we advise you obtain legal advice at the earliest opportunity to help you decide whether your case is viable, what a claim would involve and what you may receive in compensation if your claim is successful.
4) Commencing ACAS Early Conciliation.
If you do resign because of your employer’s breach of contract you must start ACAS Early Conciliation within 3 months minus 1 day of your last date of employment. This is a mandatory process and if you fail to do this you will lose your right to bring a claim for Constructive Dismissal.
If you feel that your employer has fundamentally or seriously breached your employment contract, it is best to see if this can be resolved first before taking any legal action.
We cannot stress enough, that if you are considering pursuing a case for Constructive Dismissal, you should speak to our Employment Law specialists at the earliest opportunity.
At Banner Jones, we've helped many employees in Chesterfield, Sheffield, Mansfield and Dronfield with their employment law matters. For more information, call our team of Employment Law specialists in confidence on .