Constructive dismissal is notoriously difficult, but not impossible to claim for. If you’re considering resigning and claiming constructive dismissal, you should consult with our constructive dismissal solicitors in Brighton and Hove to ensure it’s the best way forward for you.
What Is Constructive Dismissal?
Constructive dismissal normally arises from a breach of contract and occurs when an employee is forced to leave their job against their will as a direct result of their employer’s conduct.
This does not mean an employer has acted unfairly or unreasonably. The actions of the employer only amount to constructive dismissal in the most serious of cases. These include (but are not limited to):
- Non-payment of wages
- Sudden demotion without reason
- Unreasonable changes to the way you work
- Allowing other employees to harass, bully or discriminate against you
- Being given an excessive workload
In the first instance you should speak to your employer about your grievance. If you do have a case for constructive dismissal, you should leave your job immediately – by staying, your employer may argue that you accepted the conduct or treatment.
If this informal approach does not work, employees have the option to raise a formal complaint (known in law as a grievance). This should be done in writing – its purpose it to make the employer aware of how strongly the employee feels about the situation, but will also give them the opportunity to resolve it. This resolution is generally carried out by inviting the employee to discuss their concerns at a formal meeting.
If genuine efforts have not been made to resolve the employee’s concern before resigning, it can make it more difficult to claim at a later stage that the employee has been constructively dismissed by the employer.
If you still want to pursue a claim for constructive dismissal after all these steps, you should seek legal advice from one of our constructive dismissal solicitors.
Working Under Protest
If the terms of an employee’s contract change without agreement, an employee could work under protest while attempting to resolve the matter with their employer. This would involve the employee continuing to work, while making it clear in writing that they do not agree with the situation. It is important that this is done on a regular basis, for example weekly or on each payday to make clear the feeling is ongoing.
But this cannot go on indefinitely. The longer an employee continues to work under the new terms, the more likely it may be seen that the situation has been accepted. This could impact on any legal claim an employee considers bringing before a tribunal or court.
Why Is It Difficult To Claim Constructive Dismissal?
For a constructive dismissal claim to succeed, you have to be able to prove that it was the action or non-action by your employer that left you absolutely no choice but to resign.
If your employer can show they took steps to amend your working situation in accordance to your contract, or that they remedied any situation that was negatively impacting you, your claim for constructive dismissal would likely fail.
For example, if you raise a complaint for bullying and harassment and your employer ignores your complaint allowing the bullying to continue, you may be forced to resign and could claim constructive dismissal.
If, however, the company responds to your complaint, punishes the bully and the bullying continues, you would not be eligible to claim constructive dismissal if you resign as the company has tried to resolve your situation.
In all cases, you must be able to demonstrate that you have followed all the informal and formal processes to raise a complaint in your company. Our constructive dismissal solicitors can help.
Why Use a Constructive Dismissal Solicitor?
Before considering resigning due to the actions of an employer, seeking independent legal advice from an constructive dismissal solicitor, is an absolute must.
Not only is resignation a considerable step to take, but constructive dismissal is both contentious and can be a difficult claim to win. A constructive dismissal solicitor will be able to ascertain whether the actions of the employer warrant an unfair dismissal claim, so that the employee can make a more informed decision..
If you are suffering at work and you feel that your employer is trying to constructively dismiss you, then you need to speak to one of Britton and Time’s constructive dismissal solicitors. We specialise in all forms of dismissal and have acted in cases both for the employee and employer.
If you want to book an initial consultation with one of our constructive dismissal solicitors, then contact us or call us on 01273 726951.