Constructive dismissal is where you are forced to resign in response to your employer’s conduct, which has made your position untenable. Although it’s referred to as a “dismissal” in law, it is, in practical terms, a resignation.
You must have been continuously employed with the same employer for two years to bring a claim save for any automatic right to bring the claim.
If you can show that your employer has fundamentally acted in a way that makes your position untenable and goes to the root of your employment relationship, then your claim may well succeed. The onus is, however, on you to prove that your employer was in breach. This differs from unfair dismissal claims where it is for your employer to prove that there had been a fair dismissal.
Some examples of fundamental breaches of contract are:
- Failure to pay wages
- Excessive demotion or disciplining
- Significantly changing an employee’s job description at short notice
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David has an LL.B (Hons) degree in law. He was voted one of the UK’s most influential aspiring lawyers. He was also directly involved in the protection of workers’ rights as respected Union Rep for Usdaw, and he is the Non-Executive Legal Director for the Humber Taxi Association.
Examples of Constructive Dismissal
Example of Constructive Dismissal
- Failing to correctly address and investigate a grievance
- Failing to pay an employee their correct wages, or reducing their wages without their agreement or without consulting them first
- Failing to pay an employee their commission or changing the way that commission is earned without consulting the employee first
- Giving an employee an excessive workload, which is likely to make them fail, feel pressured or become stressed
- Demoting an employee without their agreement
- Significantly changing an employee’s job roles, duties or responsibilities without their agreement or without consulting them first
- Harassing or discriminating against an employee
- Embarrassing or humiliating an employee in front of colleagues or clients
- Suspending or excluding an employee without a solid, proven reason
- Beginning disciplinary proceedings against an employee without any solid foundations for doing so
- Significantly changing an employee’s working environment to one which is detrimental to the employee’s ability to carry out their job well
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