Constructive Dismissal Claims - Prolegal

Constructive Dismissal Claims

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An employee is constructively dismissed if they resign in response to behaviour by their employer that is so serious as to amount to a fundamental breach of the employment contract. The breach could be of an express term (such as failing to pay you) or an implied term. Most constructive dismissal claims relate to a breach of an implied term of “mutual trust and confidence”, which essentially means that both employer and employee should treat each other with respect.

Common reasons for a constructive dismissal include:

  • Unilaterally reducing an employee’s pay
  • Changing an employee’s hours without consultation or sound business reason
  • Unilaterally changing the employee’s job role or duties to their detriment
  • Requiring a substantial change in location without reasonable notice
  • Failing to properly and promptly investigate a grievance
  • Unreasonably long suspension pending disciplinary proceedings
  • Suspending an employee without pay (unless there is the contractual right to do so)
  • Reprimanding an employee in front of colleagues
  • Unlawful discrimination
  • Failing to protect an employee from bullying or harassment

Often, it will be a series of events rather than one single issue that prompts a resignation. In such a case, it is necessary to identify the “last straw”.

To successfully claim constructive dismissal, the employee must show that they resigned “in response” to the employer’s breach of contract. This means resigning close in time to the event or last straw. If an employee delays, they could be held to have waived the breach and lost the right to claim.

Prolegal can help you by

  • Advising whether or not your circumstances could lead to a claim for constructive dismissal
  • Drafting a grievance or grievance appeal and assisting you with the procedure
  • Drafting a resignation letter to maximise your prospects of successfully claiming constructive dismissal
  • Representing you in Tribunal proceedings for constructive dismissal

Don’t delay before seeking our advice: claims have to be brought within 3 months of your resignation. If you are still employed, you should seek advice urgently as otherwise you could lose your right to claim.

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Prolegal Solicitors Specialists in Employment Law