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Constructive Dismissal

Constructive Dismissal is where the employee leaves their job due to the employer's behaviour.

For example, the employer has made the employee's life very difficult and the employee feels that they cannot remain in their job. When this happens the employee's resignation is treated as an actual dismissal by the employer, so the employee can claim Unfair Dismissal. The employer's actions must have amounted to a fundamental breach of contract.

Examples of Constructive Dismissal can include:

  • Not supporting managers in difficult work situations.

  • Harassing or humiliating staff, particularly in front of other less senior staff.

  • Victimising or targeting particular members of staff.

  • Changing the employee's job content or terms without consultation.

  • Making a significant change in the employee's job location at short notice.

  • Falsely accusing an employee of misconduct such as theft or of being incapable of carrying out their job.

  • Excessive demotion or disciplining of employees.

An employee can resign over one serious incident or due to the build up of a number of incidents. However, the employee must resign soon after the incident in order to be able to rely upon it. Generally the actions of the employer must be a serious breach of contract.

Always get professional advice if you feel you are in this situation. Professional advisors can assist by explaining your rights and/or negotiating on your behalf with the company. Do not resign until you have taken professional advice.

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