Constructive dismissal; so why ‘I Quit’?
If you have been subjected to poor treatment by your employer, whether as a one-off incident or over a period, you may feel that you have no choice other than to resign.
Being forced to resign as a solution to your problem may give you the right to claim ‘constructive dismissal’ and you may have a case to take the matter to an Employment Tribunal.
What is classed as constructive dismissal?
It is effectively a breach of your employment contract and this can occur in many ways.
- It may be that you have not been paid your wages.
- It could be when your employer tries to change the terms of your contract without your agreement.
- You are not being allowed your annual leave or paid for it.
- Bullying or harassment;
- Unreasonable changes to working hours or the environment in which you work;
- Demotion for no legitimate reason.
Quite often a claim for constructive unfair dismissal is a result of a ‘breach of the implied term of mutual trust and confidence’.
This term will not be written in your contract of employment but is implied in all such contracts. It is expected that you should trust your employer to treat you fairly and deal with you in an honest and open manner. This is also a mutual right; your employer can expect the same from you also.
If this trust is broken, then you may have the basis of a claim to an employment tribunal.
Constructive dismissal claims are considered difficult to win so before resigning we suggest that you seek our advice at an early stage and before you decide to resign.
Points to consider
The breach must be fundamental, one that goes to the heart of your contract. It must be so fundamental that you may say ‘I cannot stay here any longer’.
After the ‘breach’ it is important that you resign quickly. If for example your employer says they are changing terms of your contract without your agreement, unless you inform them you don’t accept the changes and carry on working under the new terms it may be seen that you have ‘affirmed’ or accepted the changes. Employees often wrongly think that because they didn’t sign a new contract with the changes that they are protected – you are not necessarily, it may be deemed that you accepted them by simply carrying on working.
If your employer does something or says something that breaks the mutual trust and confidence clause, again it may be important to resign soon after otherwise it could be seen as you are accepting the breach.
Sometimes it is possible that a series of breaches might end in one that is ‘the last straw’, which might then bring into a claim previous actions.
If you feel you have a case for constructive dismissal against your employer then speak to us quickly, this is a complicated area of law so don’t act first come and see us first.
Contact our expert employment law team on 01286 872779 or 01286 269226
e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in our online form and we will call you back.
Do Not Suffer in Silence
We have successfully conducted constructive dismissal claims and will give you an honest appraisal of the merits of your claim.